Kal Raman

Kal Raman, the former Amazon.com and drugstore.com executive who stepped down as CEO of Bellevue-based GlobalScholar last September, has been named senior vice president of Groupon overseeing operations in ten countries in North and South America.

“Kal brings e-commerce and operational experience to Groupon which will benefit our customers and our merchants as we set out to become the operating system for local business,” said Groupon CEO Andrew Mason in a statement.

Raman will relocate from Seattle to Chicago as part of the appointment. Tricia Duryee at All Things D reports that Raman is the first big-name hire at Groupon since the company restated fourth quarter earnings. The stock has lost nearly a third of its value in the past month.

In addition to serving as CEO and CIO at drugstore.com, Raman worked in executive positions at Amazon.com and Walmart.

Just five months after joining Microsoft as general manager of Windows Phone product marketing, former Samsung exec Gavin Kim has moved on to a new job at NQ Mobile. Kim, the former vice president of consumer and enterprises services at Samsung Telecommunications Americas, will serve as chief product officer of the Dallas-based mobile security company. “User privacy and mobile security are significant concerns for both businesses and consumers alike,” Kim said in a press release. “NQ Mobile has the leadership and global distribution to be able to address these issues head on – protecting us and our loved ones by developing solutions that keep our smart device data and content secure.”


Jennifer Armstrong-Owens, the former senior vice president of global human resources at RealNetworks, has been hired to lead human resources at Seattle digital image company Corbis. In the role, Armstrong-Owens — who previously spent 13 years at Real — will help guide the human resources efforts of the Bill Gates-owned company. Interestingly, her hiring follows the appointment of two other former RealNetworks execs who joined Seattle area tech companies this week. Apptio named former CEO Bob Kimball as executive vice president of operations and business development, while INRIX named former RealNetworks legal chief, Tracy Daw, as general counsel.

And speaking of ex-RealNetworks employees who are on the move, The Atlantic just hired software engineer Michael Donohoe as product engineering director. He joined RealNetworks last June, and before that worked as a developer for The New York Times.

GraphOn, a 16-year-old publicly-traded Santa Cruz, California company specializing in cloud application delivery, has named Michael Brochu to the board. Brochu is the former CEO of Global Market Insite; Loudeye; and Primus Knowledge Solutions. He’s also the former president and COO 0f game maker Sierra On-line.

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  • Former Employee of Mr. Raman

    I noticed that Kal’s tenure as CEO at GlobalScholar was omitted from his list of past executive positions. It’s most noticeable because it was his last job. He made a graceful exit when the startup was bought, but he was a slave driver and fostered a hostile work environment. 

    • Guest

      I’d like to know more. What did Kal make you do?

  • Guest

    Not like GlobalScholar has any name recognition sexy-ness as Drugstore or Amazon does outside of the education circles.  I doubt the writer of the article could share many of the stories with GS whereas Amazon, there is buzz.  Kal made the team commit, drive to the prize and deliver a product.  He’s all about performance and as such those he thought performed stayed on, those he thought didnt, went on.  

    I for one wish he had stayed around the Seattle market.  He had 2 good exits – DrugStore and GlobalScholar.  It would be great to see him join the investor pool in the tech startup world here.  He’s not one that is out glad handing people nor does he look for recognition but he does know how to get a startup going and into that next phase toward success.  

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