Tech Movers and Shakers — January 2017
Greg Duffy, the Founder and former CEO of security camera company Dropcam, has accepted a role at Apple and will be leaving Google. Duffy who co-founded Dropcam in 2009, led the company until it was acquired by Google-owned Nest for $555 million in mid-2014. Duffy spent several months working for Nest before departing the company in January of 2015. While his role at Apple is unknown, as is the supposed project, Duffy’s background with helping create Dropcam as well as experience at Nest could lend itself to other connected home projects, including Apple’s HomeKit framework.
Baird Capital, the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co., added Andy Tse, CFA, as a Partner. Tse is a member of Baird Capital’s global team working to identify and pursue investments in the technology & services sector. A veteran executive with more than 20 years of private equity experience, Tse most recently served as Managing Director of AIF Capital where he led investments in industrial and services sector across Greater China, South Korea, South East Asia, India, Sri Lanka and Australia.
The BBC has named Matt Grest as Director of Platform. Grest was previously Sky’s Director of Digital Platforms, with responsibility for web and mobile across Sports, News, Sky.com and intranet. He also led the creation and expansion of Sky’s new digital hub in Leeds. As the BBC’s Director of Platform, Grest will be part of the Design and Engineering (D&E) technology division created last year and will be tasked with heading up the transformation of the BBC’s digital and broadcast products into a fully integrated platform, merging together the public broadcaster’s existing platform products and teams with myBBC.
Music-streaming service Deezer SA hired former managers of Facebook Inc. and Spotify Ltd. in a bid to crack the Asian market and differentiate itself from larger rivals such as Apple Music by expanding through brand partnerships. The Paris-based company said it recruited Pascal de Mul, who worked as Global Head of Hardware Partnerships at Spotify for five years, and Daud Aditirto, who spent the last four years working on growth alliances at Facebook in Asia. Deezer appointed Aditirto as Vice President for the Asia-Pacific region, where it is seeking to expand. De Mul was named Chief Partnership Officer, tasked with striking deals with big firms in industries such as telecommunications, hardware and automotive to increase the company’s 10 million-strong user base.
iCrossing has snapped up the Internet Advertising Bureau’s outgoing UK chief Guy Phillipson and appointed him as its UK Chairman. Phillipson took up the role at the Hearst-owned digital marketing agency on 1 February after 12 years at the IAB. Joining on a part time basis he is reporting to Global Chief Executive Nick Brien. Prior to joining the IAB Phillipson served as Head of Advertising at Vodafone, and during his tenure at the IAB transformed it into a free resource for marketers while encouraging best practice and advice for the burgeoning sector.
Stefan Langefeld will join German media company Pantaleon Entertainment as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Alongside CEO Dan Maag, Langefeld will handle the ongoing global rollout of video-on-demand (VOD) platform Pantaflix while Maag will focus on the areas of strategy, international partnerships and production. Langefeld has more than 15 years of experience in the media and IT industry as a founder and manager, including around nine years in management positions at Apple. Earlier, Langefeld worked for Euvia Media, operator of German TV channel 9Live, and pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland.
Phil Fernandez, Co-Founder and former CEO of marketing automation software provider Marketo, joined early stage venture capital firm Shasta Ventures as a Venture Partner. In the new role, the entrepreneur will share product & go-to-market strategies with SaaS founders and the firm’s portfolio companies including Anaplan, Apptio, Glint, Lithium, Leanplum and Zuora, among others. Fernandez is a Silicon Valley veteran, with more than 35 years of experience building and leading technology companies.
Telegraph Media Group’s Executive Director Dave King has departed the company after 12 years and will take up the role of UK Managing Director at out-of-home company Exterion Media. King will be responsible for the UK business at the out-of-home brand, with a focus on growing franchise operations, accelerating revenue growth and leading its transition into a digital media company. He was formerly Managing Director of EMAP Advertising, responsible for EMAP’s commercial activities including radio, TV, magazines, online and digital media, and Head of Investment at Carat, responsible for the majority of UK media buying.
Chris Lattner joins Tesla as its Vice President of Autopilot Software. He comes to Tesla after 11 years at Apple where he was primarily responsible for creating Swift, the programming language for building apps on Apple platforms and one of the fastest growing languages for doing so on Linux. Prior to Apple, Chris was lead author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, an open source umbrella project that is widely used in commercial products and academic research today.
Uber’s latest hire is Amit Singhal, former Senior Vice President of Search and employee number 176 at Google, has joined the ride-hailing company as SVP of Engineering. Singhal will be heading up the Maps and Marketplace departments at Uber, while also advising CEO Travis Kalanick and Uber VP of Engineering and Otto Co-Founder Anthony Levandowski on their efforts to build out the company’s self-driving technology. At Google, Singhal was instrumental in helping create the world’s leading search engine through advancements including building contextual awareness into query recognition and ensuring the quality and order of returned results.
TV remote control and smart home technology specialist Universal Electronics has named Menno Koopmans as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for EMEA. Koopmans has worked at Universal Electronics for over 11 years in various product, marketing and sales leadership roles, both in the business-to-consumer and business-to-business segments. In his new role he will report to Chief Operating Officer Louis Hughes. Koopmans replaces Paul Bennett, who stepped down at the end of December after working for the company for 20 years.
Viacom’s worldwide entertainment arm has named Sarah Levy as its COO. Levy will oversee operations and strategy for Viacom Global Entertainment Group (VGEG)’s domestic cable channels and those networks that sit within the Viacom International Media Networks division. She has been promoted, having formerly been COO of Viacom Kids & Family Group, which was rebranded as Nickelodeon Group upon the establishment of VGEG. Levy’s duties will be overseeing production management and operations, digital strategy and business development, and content and programming enterprises. She’ll also provide guidance on content distribution, business and legal affairs, and HR.
Vivendi has hired former Telefónica Brasil CEO Amos Genish in the new role of Chief Convergence Officer. Based in London and Paris, Genish will be charged with overseeing the group’s convergence strategy between content, platforms and technology. Genish has previously worked for Vivendi in his role as Founder and CEO of Brazilian telco GVT. He founded the company in 1999 and led it expansion before it was sold to the French media group in 2009. Genish became CEO of Telefónica Brasil in May 2015, following the integration of Vivo and GVT after Vivendi sold the latter to Telefónica.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is losing its Head of International and primary English-language spokesperson Hugo Barra after he announced his exit from the company. Former Android executive joined Xiaomi 3.5 years ago. At the time of his arrival, the Xiaomi business was limited to Greater China. Under his leadership, it has expanded across Asia and beyond to reach more than 20 countries. Barra left Xiaomi early this month. His immediate plan is to take some time off to rest before “embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley.”