Groupon hires ex-Amazon GM to lead Seattle office

Groupon is the latest tech giant to plant a flag in Seattle, opening an office in Seattle’s International District with room for 20 to 30 employees. The arrival of Groupon follows engineering offices from companies such as Hulu, Splunk, eBay, Facebook, Zynga and others, a trend we’ve talked about in great detail over the past few months.

The new office will be led by Vinayak Hegde who joined Groupon as vice president of technology in February. Hegde previously worked as general manager of worldwide markets and manager of global payments services at Amazon. The news was reported Wednesday by All Things D.

Hegde

We first learned about Hegde’s involvement in Groupon last month when he reached out about an open house for the new office. At the time, we were unable to track down more details.

Hegde tells GeekWire that they are excited to be in Seattle.

“We are recruiting in Seattle because we are serious about building a world-class technology team and the city has emerged as a key player in the West Coast tech scene,” he said. “There are many industry leaders in the area from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Zynga and eBay, not to mention Microsoft. Seattle is also home to the University of Washington where a lot of great engineers graduate from their computer science program.”

All Things D’s Tricia Duryee notes that Hegde will be in charge of both the Seattle operation as well as the company’s Palo Alto facility. The new office — located at 505 Union Station — will be in charge of Groupon’s marketing technologies that are used to acquire customers.

“The primary function of the Groupon Seattle office will be to develop technology to support our marketing initiatives, aiming to increase the amount of relevant customers we acquire while decreasing our spend to acquire them,” Hegde said.

Groupon at one time had a base of operations in Seattle, going back to its acquisition of mobile app maker Pelago last year. Jeff Holden, a former Amazon.com exec who co-founded Pelago, continues to work at Groupon as senior vice president of product. His LinkedIn bio indicates a location of Chicago where Groupon is based.

Hegde says that the Pelago team will not be part of the new office.

FOLLOW UPFrom Facebook to Zynga: A guide to the tech giants establishing Seattle outposts

 

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Vinayak and welcome, Groupon, to Seattle! It’s great to see all the current web titans setting up presences in America’s second-most-vital Internet company metropolitan area.

  • http://twitter.com/srinipenumaka Srinivas Penumaka

    Congratulations to Vinayak and a great hire for Groupon. 

  • Peter H

    Sorry, but hard to count Group-On in the list of serious tech companies that have opened office here.

    What is the Big Mission you join when you join Group On?  Bringing more half price donuts to the masses?  The business model is still not proven out, as many merchants have had negative financial results.

    Out of so many awesome tech companies to work for, why choose Group On ?  What is your life about when you do?