Top 10 Movers and Shakers in August
The last month of the summer, traditionally a quieter time for hiring, still revealed some major tech movers and shakers. We have collated a few so you can stay on top the fast moving tech world.
Amazon Studios director Roy Price announced that the company will be hiring a London-based head of original content to respond to its growing interest in video entertainment commissioned outside of the US. Amazon is planning to “double down” in London. The individual taking on the head of original content position has not yet been announced.
Deezer’s US boss Tyler Goldman has left to head up vape company PAX Labs as the streaming service appoints a number of new key hires. Goldman joined Deezer in 2014 followings its acquistion of Stitcher where he was CEO. Over the last three years, he’s helmed an initial push into the US via partnerships with Bose and Sonos, as well as telecoms firm Cricket. Despite his departure, Deezer continues to invest in a strong team in the US and elsewhere, and has recently welcomed two more tech movers and shakers to the board — Jorge Rincon as a Vice President of North America and Phil Moore as Vice President of Southern Europe and MEA. Rincon will be responsible for overseeing all operations in North America and Canada, including the expansion of Deezer’s partner network. Moore will implement new processes to drive business efficiencies in Southern Europe and MEA. He joins the brand from Huawei Technologies.
Google Ventures (GV) features in this months tech movers and shakers with founder and CEO Bill Maris, who is leaving the organisation, and David Krane, who will be taking Bill Maris’ place in the company. Maris is reported to be one of the highest ranking executives to leave in recent times. He was key member in building Google Ventures, which was founded in 2009. David Krane was the first public relations manager at the company and was responsible for day-to-day activities at GV.
Google announced their new hire Diane Greene, who runs its cloud business, a while ago but Greene has recently been building out the cloud team by attracting talent from VMware and Amazon Web Services. Here are some of the hires that have taken place under Ms. Greene’s watch: Brian Matsubara, a seven-year AWS veteran. In Google, Mr. Matsubara is part of the cloud unit’s strategic alliances team. Jessica Beegle, a 3-year AWS veteran who managed its relationships with third-party healthcare and life sciences software companies, joined Google as global lead of healthcare. Ken Hoppe, a former vice president at storage vendor Violin Memory who has previously held sales and business development roles at EMC and Oracle, recently joined Google’s cloud team. Marcin Kurc, a former AWS manager who was part of Matsubara’s team, joined Google in mid-August when it acquired startup Orbitera, where he was CEO. Jaypal “JP” Sethi, who was vice president of business development at Orbitera, spent more than seven years at VMware.
Huffington Post’s founder Arianna Huffington is one of August’s top tech movers and shakers. She joined Uber’s board back in April and now she has announced that she is leaving her digital publisher to launch a health-focused startup called Thrive Global to tackle stress and burnout. Her departure comes just over a decade after she founded the Huffington Post with Kenneth Lerer, Jonah Peretti and Andrew Breitbart, who would also go on to be among the most influential media figures of their generation. Peretti founded BuzzFeed and Lerer is its chairman, while Breitbart went on to create the rightwing news site that is named after him.
KPCB’s design partner John Maeda is leaving the VC firm to join Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. Maeda will have a long, elaborate title at Automattic — he’s the company’s new Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion. Before KPCB, Maeda was a research faculty member at the MIT Media Lab in the 1990s.
Q2 Holdings Inc., Austin-based fintech software company, has named Odus Wittenburg as company’s president. This, tech movers and shakers title worthy individual, takes on the president mantle from CEO Matt Flake, who previously held both positions. Flake remains chief executive of the company. Wittenburg was most recently senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud Office and Mailgun units and Latin America markets for Rackspace, which is based in San Antonio but has major Austin operations. Before that, he was president and managing partner of The Edwards Group LP, an Austin-based private equity firm.
Samba TV, the connected TV apps publishing and ad company, has named Dan Ackerman as its new chief revenue officer. Dan is the latest well-known industry figure to make our tech movers and shakers. He is joining Samba TV from AOL, where he served as SVP of programmatic TV. Before joining AOL, Ackerman held numerous, executive-level sales and ad strategy roles at CBS, WideOrbit and Jivox.
Sprint named a European telecom exec to head its business-to-business sales. Sprint Corp. said Jan Geldmacher joined the company in August as president of enterprise. The job involves overseeing business-to-business sales and business development and supporting enterprise customers for the Overland Park-based wireless carrier. Geldmacher had been CEO of Vodafone Global Enterprise, which directed that company’s relations with multinational companies. He previously served as CEO of British Telecom Germany.
Tesla has lost Bill Chen, certainly one of the tech movers and shakers to mention as he was the individual leading maps and navigation engineering efforts. Before joining Tesla, Mr. Chen was a key member of the Apple Maps team. At Tesla, he worked to create “high precision” maps of roads using data the company is constantly collecting from its cars. Mr. Chen was also working on a new mapping display to replace Google Maps in Tesla vehicles.