Ian Shafer has joined Yabbly, a new social decision making app created by former Marchex exec and Google product manager Tom Leung. A 2001 graduate of the University of Washington’s computer science and engineering department, Shafer worked at Amazon.com as a software engineer before moving on to lead Web development for Pearl Jam’s online storefront. He later worked as an engineer at Seattle online travel startup Off & Away, which was acquired late last year by Lockerz. Shafer and Leung met at a Founder Dating event in Seattle earlier this year. Yabbly has yet to launch, but the startup is setting out to help people make decisions like: “Should I get the $500 Williams Sonoma blender?” or “Nike Fuel versus Fitbit?” It plans to launch a beta product this fall.
Nintendo of America has hired Duncan Orrell-Jones as senior vice president of network business, a newly created position designed to spark the development of the company’s digital strategy the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U video game systems. Orrell-Jones will be based in Redmond, and report to Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime.“By creating this new position we’re demonstrating our commitment to the expansion of our online business, and Duncan is the perfect person for the job.” Orrell-Jones worked at The Walt Disney Company for the past 19 years, holding a number of roles in the Disney Interactive Media Group.
David Rosenthal has left his associate post at Madrona Venture Group to attend Stanford University’s MBA program. Rosenthal is a former analyst at Dow Jones and UBS Investment Bank. Madrona plans to add two new associates this summer, additions that follow the Seattle firm’s announcement of a $300 million venture capital fund.
John DesRosier has been promotedto the position of executive director of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, a state-funded investment firm designed to spark new biotechnology and medical device innovations. DesRosier has worked with the fund since 2006, noting in a press release that he’s excited “to develop and execute initiatives to move research discoveries out of the lab to benefit both human health and the economy in our state.” He replaces Lee Huntsman who retired last month.
Medio Systems has brought on Andy Palmer, the founding CEO of Vertica Systems, which was sold to HP last year, as an adviser in the big data and analytics arena. In a blog post, Palmer said that Medio is “creatively tackling some of the most pressing challenges” revolving around “Big Data. CEO Rob Lilleness called Palmer “an incredible visionary” with “unmatched experience in the big data/analytics space.” The addition of Palmer comes amid a hiring spree at Medio, which transitioned from mobile search to mobile analytics in recent years. Lilleness tells GeekWire that they’ve hired six employees in the past two weeks, including staffers from Amazon.com, InfoSpace (Blucora), Microsoft and others.
Neal Long has been named CEO of Cardiac Science, a Bothell maker of automated external defibrillators and electrocardiograph devices. Cardiac Science is a unit of Opto Circuits India Ltd. Long is the former CEO of Draeger Medical Systems’ North American medical devices business. He’s also worked for GE Marquette Medical Systems. The native of Iowa plans to be based in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Jason Bedford, a former executive at Blackboard Connect and Alert Now, has joined Bellevue-based DreamBox Learning as vice president of sales and client success. He will report to President and CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson, overseeing sales teams in Bellevue as well as a new sales operation in Raleigh, North Carolina. “(Jason’s) extensive experience in K-12 sales will be instrumental in further expanding DreamBox Learning’s reach and positive impact among students, teachers and administrators in schools across the nation,” said Woolley-Wilson. DreamBox is backed by Reed Hastings, John Doerr, Deborah Quazzo and others.
Tahzoo, a Washington, D.C.-based digital marketing firm, has opened an office in Seattle under the direction of newly-appointed chief marketing officer John Kottcamp. Kottcamp is the former CMO at Ascentium, and has worked with companies such as T-Mobile, Gateway and Lufthansa. Tahzoo’s clients include Costco, HP, KeyBank and others.
Richard Mander has joined Seattle-based Visualant, a maker of anti-counterfeiting security products, as vice president of product management and technology. Mander previously worked at Contour, a Seattle maker of sports video cameras. Before that, he held engineering roles at Apple.
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