Tech Moves: MSN vet joins Zumobi; Siri co-founder leaves Apple; and more

John Flinn

Ad executive John Flinn has been hired as vice president of publishing and operations at Zumobi, the Seattle mobile app development company. Flinn has spent 15 years in the technology and advertising businesses, including stints at MSN and MSNBC.  In the new role, he will oversee Zumobi’s Brand Integration platform, an advertising service designed to help company’s better monetize on mobile. The former reporter for AdWeek joined Microsoft as part of MSNBC in 1997, moving on to serve as director of monetization for MSN’s properties.

“Being at the heart of the publishing industry when it made the transition to the online world, I saw first hand the challenges publishers face when trying to adapttheir established platforms to a new medium,” said Flinn in a release. “Today, mobile is the future and many publishers are finding themselves in the same boat they were in the late 90s.”

Siri co-creator Adam Cheyer has reportedly left Apple, a move that comes the same week that Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5. Cheyer is the former vice president of engineering at Siri, a company that Apple purchased in 2010. Former Siri CEO Dag Kittlaus previously left the company.

FlexMinder, a Seattle startup that helps people manage the reimbursement process for flexible spending accounts in health care, has named Lowell Ricklefs as CEO. A TechStars 2011 graduate, FlexMinder says it can reduce costs in the industry by as much as 50 percent. The startup’s co-founder, Deepak Kumar, is transitioning to CTO with the hiring of Ricklefs.  The former COO for Toluna, Ricklefs helped grow that company from $15 million to $120 million in revenue. Before that, he served as an executive at GMI.

Former Microsoft marketing manager Nicole Rikkinen has been named vice president of marketing at PlayNetwork, a Seattle area startup that provides programmed music to retailers. At Microsoft, Rikkinen led the company’s business marketing strategy and directed marketing for the Strategic Alliance team. She also served as the vice president of business development at the marketing firm CSG Channels and Object Management Group. The company also named Robert Kamp as vice president of global sales.

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