Tech Moves

Tech Strikes: Ex-Microsoft economist joins DOJ antitrust staff; AWS director lands at StackOverflow

Susan Athey. (Christopher Michel Photo / Wikimedia Commons)

Stanford professor Susan Athey, a former consulting chief economist at Microsoft, will join the U.S. Department of Justice as its top antitrust economist, Bloomberg reported. Athey consulted with Microsoft from 2007 to 2013, where her expertise included big data analytics, antitrust and policy relating to internet search and online advertising. Her regulatory efforts at the tech giant included antitrust investigations against Google.

Athey joins the Justice department as it prepares for a trial against Google and investigates Apple. Bloomberg reported that she is likely to be recused from those cases because of her previous work, which includes serving as an expert in an antitrust suit against Apple.

Athey’s move also comes as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and other regulators scrutinize Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard. Amazon is also facing antitrust investigations in the U.S., U.K., and E.U.

Athey recently resigned from the Expedia board of directors, and announced plans to step down from the board of Seattle pet sitting company Rover in August.

— Tom Keane, a Microsoft corporate vice president who played a key role in building the Office 365 and Azure businesses, is leaving the company after 21 years, he posted in LinkedIn.

Keane was one of the subjects of a recent Insider report on claims of toxic behavior inside the company. The report included allegations that he engaged in verbal abuse of employees.

We’ve contacted him for comment on his reasons for leaving Microsoft, and his future plans. He wrote on LinkedIn, “I could not be prouder of the last 21 years, and equally excited for my next journey to begin.”

Bloomberg News first reported on Keane’s departure.

Jody Bailey. (Stack Overflow Photo)

— Jody Bailey left Amazon Web Services, where he was director of software development, for a position as chief technology officer at Stack Overflow.

Bailey spent more than three years at AWS, and previously was head of technology at Pluralsight. He also held engineering leadership positions at AtTask, Vovici, VeriSign, and Vastera.

Bailey, based in Seattle, will lead product engineering, platform engineering, information security, and IT teams at Stack Overflow, a developer resource. The company raised a $85 million Series E round in July 2020.

Other personnel changes across the Pacific Northwest tech industry:

  • Jennifer Mullin, formerly vice president of marketing at cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes, is now chief marketing officer at DreamBox Learning. She previously also held marketing roles at Leapfrog Enterprises, Visa, Evite and Gap.
  • Shivani Patel, formerly director of sales at Amplitude, joined augmented writing company Textio as its vice president of sales.

Updated with news of Tom Keane’s departure from Microsoft. GeekWire’s Todd Bishop contributed to this report.

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