Tech Moves

Tech Strikes: Highspot provides executives; Blue Origin vets depart; Disney hires former Microsoft exec

From left, clockwise: Arvind Prakash, John Zhang, Kelly Lewis and Julie Valenti. (Highspot Photos)

— Enterprise sales startup Highspot appointed four new executives:

  • Arvind Prakash as VP of product management. Most recently VP of product management at real estate company Compass, Prakash was previously an executive at Expedia-owned Egencia.
  • John Zhang as VP of engineering. A former Microsoft and Twitter software engineer, Zhang was most recently a general manager at Chinese microblogging website Weibo.
  • Julie Valenti as VP of account management. Valenti is a former DocuSign, Oracle and startup executive.
  • Kelly Lewis as VP of revenue enablement. She was most recently a VP at telehealth platform Amwell.

The Seattle company closed its Series E round at a $2.3 billion valuation earlier this year. Highspot was included on Deloitte’s 2021 list of fastest-growing firms.

— Clay Mowry, former Blue Origin VP of global sales, joined Denver, Colo.-based Voyager Space. Based in Washington, D.C., Mowry was the longtime president of commercial satellite company Arianespace before joining Blue Origin in 2016.

Horacio Gutierrez. (Walt Disney Co. Photo)

The Walt Disney Company hired former Microsoft General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez as its new senior executive vice president, general counsel and secretary. He starts at Disney on Feb. 1, succeeding retiring Disney exec Alan Braverman, and reporting to Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

Gutierrez was most recently head of global affairs and chief legal officer at Spotify. He made his mark at Microsoft as the leader of the company’s intellectual property group, implementing a strategy of patent licensing and litigation.

— Former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst joined Kirkland, Wash.-based Tanium’s board of directors. Whitehurst was most recently president of IBM and is now a senior advisor to the company.

Before Red Hat, Whitehurst served as COO of Delta Airlines. He is currently a special advisor to Silver Lake.

Christopher Li. (Fred Hutch Photo/Robert Hood)

— Fred Hutch epidemiologist Christopher Li was named the first-ever associate director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Fred Hutch and University of Washington Cancer Consortium. The consortium also includes the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Seattle Children’s.

Li has been at Fred Hutch for more than a decade, and also serves as faculty director for the cancer research center’s DEI office. He is a professor in Fred Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division and a research professor in UW’s department of epidemiology.

— The Interactive Advertising Bureau hired Lartease Tiffith as EVP of public policy.

Tiffith was most recently a senior manager for public policy at Amazon. A lawyer, he was previously counsel to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and senior counsel to Vice President Kamala Harris when she served in the Senate.

A.C. Charania. (Reliable Robotics Photo)

— Former Blue Origin Director A.C. Charania left the Kent, Wash.-based space venture to join Reliable Robotics as vice president of product. Based in Mountain View, Calif., Reliable Robotics develops autonomous aircraft systems.

Charania spent five years at Blue Origin, working most recently on its Blue Moon lunar lander program. He previously worked on business development at Virgin Galactic.

— Following Karman Systems’s acquisition of Systima, Taylor Banks is now CFO of Karman Missile and Space Systems. He previously spent six years at Mukilteo, Wash.-based Systima, including three as its CFO.

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