Tech Moves

Tech Strikes: Lyft hires CFO from Amazon; Tomo provides CMO; Gopuff faucets extra Seattle expertise

From top left, clockwise: Sarah Makar, Sudhir Reddy, Padma Kodukula, Kerry Person and Rebecca Warner.
Sarah Makar. (Tomo Photo)

— Tomo, a new real estate startup led by ex-Zillow leaders, announced Sarah Makar as CMO. She is also a Zillow alum and was most previously SVP of marketing at Zillow Group.

Makar departed Zillow in 2019 after seven years and was most recently a consultant. She was previously an executive at Expedia.

Tomo launched its digital platform to accelerate the mortgage approval process this year on the heels of its massive $70 million seed round.

The startups services are currently available in Washington and Texas. Tomo has 125 employees nationwide.

— Lyft hired Elaine Paul, previously CFO and VP of Finance for Amazon Studios, as its new CFO. Paul joined Amazon in 2019 and previously worked at Hulu and Disney.

— Social media management tool Hootsuite appointed four new board members:

  • Angel investor and HubSpot board member Julie Herendeen, who will serve as board chair.
  • Savage x Fenty co-President and Chief Merchant Officer Christiane Pendarvis.
  • Tucows CFO Dave Singh.
  • Interlock Partners Managing Partner Carl Sparks.

As part of the changes, Twitch COO Sara Clemens and BroadbandTV Corp CEO Shahrzad Rafati are stepping down from the board.

The 13-year old Vancouver, B.C.-based company is planning for a 2022 IPO, according to a report by BetaKit.

Sudhir Reddy. (Esper Photo)

— Bellevue, Wash.-based DevOps platform Esper hired Sudhir Reddy as SVP of engineering.

Reddy was most recently the global vice president of engineering at Chef, which was acquired last year. Prior to Chef, he was an engineering leader at Intuit, Oracle. He also co-founded Clidentity.

Founded in 2018, Esper raised $90 million this year over two funding rounds. Its customers include healthcare providers, educators, retailers and restaurants that manage fleets of company-owned Android devices.

The startup currently has more than 180 employees, up from 100 in May, split between the United States and India.

Rebecca Warner. (Leafly Photo)

— Former Zillow Director of Rental Sales Rebecca Warner is now SVP of sales at online cannabis marketplace Leafly.

Based in New York, Warner previously worked at Australian real estate marketplace Domain. Kimberly Boler, also based in New York, recently joined Leafly as general counsel.

Seattle-based Leafly went public via SPAC merger in August. The following month the company launched an in-app marijuana ordering option after Apple made changes to App Store rules.

— Tanium Chief Revenue Officer W. Thomas Stanley is leaving the company, according to Insider. He will be replaced by Tyker Fagg, who is currently SVP of the Americas at the Kirkland, Wash.-based cybersecurity company.

— Amazon veteran Cameron Janes joined REI as its new senior vice president, chief commercial officer. Janes previously spent more than 14 years at Amazon, most recently as a vice president working on the company’s physical retail stores. He departed last month. Read more.

Kerry Person. (Gopuff Photo)

— Gopuff continues to tap the Seattle region for talent with the addition of Kerry Person as VP of global supply chain, engineering and delivery operations. He is the sixth executive the Philadelphia-based delivery service has hired this year, and one of several former Amazonians now at Gopuff.

Person was most recently head of operations at Convoy. He previously spent more than a decade at Amazon where he was most recently VP of North American Amazon logistics.

In a post on LinkedIn, Person mentioned former colleagues he’ll be reuniting with at Gopuff saying he’s “thrilled [to] rejoin many folks I’ve loved working with in the past, including Tim Collins, Steven Harman, and Sanjay Shah, amongst others.”

Gopuff is an on-demand delivery service for convenience store items. Its latest valuation was $15 billion.

Padma Kodukula. (A-Alpha Bio Photo)

— University of Washington spinout A-Alpha Bio announced Padma Kodukula as chief business officer. Based in California, she was most recently chief business officer at Precision NanoSystems.

Kodukula previously held business development roles at Human Longevity, Life Technologies, and Prometheus Laboratories.

“The potential unlocked by A-Alpha Bio’s ability to measure, understand, and engineer protein-protein interactions can hardly be overstated,” said Kodukula.

Founded in 2017, A-Alpha Bio closed a $20 million Series A round in September. The early-stage biotech company has partnerships with three large pharmaceutical companies and is also partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

— Computational biologist Robert Bradley was named the scientific director of Fred Hutch’s Translational Data Science Integrated Research Center, a program that applies data science to cancer and disease research. He has been a scientist at the Seattle-based cancer research center for more than a decade.

Joe Braidwood. (TraceMe Photo)

— Scener co-founder Joe Braidwood departed the virtual watch party platform to join San Diego-based Vektor Medical. Braidwood will help the 4-year old company establish a new subsidiary business out of its Bellevue, Wash. offices.

Vektor Medical’s vMap technology recently received FDA clearance. vMap uses electrocardiogram (ECG) data to non-invasively detect sources of cardiac arrhythmias, or an irregular heartbeat.

Prior to Scener, Braidwood was VP of marketing at Seattle startup TraceMe and previously CMO at SwiftKey, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.

—Vancouver, B.C.-based BioHarvest Sciences appointed astronaut Chris Hadfield to its board of advisors. The biotech firm plans to expand its plant bio-cell technology for applications in space exploration and settlement.

From left: Al Cave, Laurie Martin and Lisa Wallace. (Apprenti Photos)

— Apprenti, a nonprofit program of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), announced three additions to its leadership team:

  • Al Cave promoted to COO. Based in Sacramento, Calif., Cave joined Apprenti in 2019 as national practice leader. He was previously an officer at Northern Trust.
  • Laurie Martin hired as chief sales officer. She is based in San Francisco and was most recently SVP of global sales at management consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison.
  • Lisa Wallace joined as VP of program operations. Based in Austin, Texas, Wallace previously was the regional vice president of nonprofit sales for Salesforce.

Apprenti runs a year-long technology apprenticeship program in 16 states or metro areas around the country. Launched as an initiative of the WTIA in 2016 and expanded nationwide soon after. Since the start of the pandemic, the WTIA has increasingly looked beyond its home state for talent.

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