Serial entrepreneur David Bluhm returns to Medio

David Bluhm, President and CEO of Z2Live, speaks at the GeekWire Summit. (© Karen Ducey 2012)

David Bluhm, President and CEO of Z2Live, speaks at the GeekWire Summit. (© Karen Ducey 2012)

Typically, when founders leave companies, they never return. Or, if they do, they come back as CEO as was the case with Steve Jobs at Apple or Howard Schultz at Starbucks.

But serial entrepreneur David Bluhm, the co-founder of mobile analytics startup Medio, is returning to the company in a new role as chief marketing officer. He’s bringing a few others with him, including Beau Ross as director of marketing and John Maffei as general manager of new business ventures.

Bluhm is one of Seattle’s most accomplished entrepreneurs. In addition to Medio, he was a co-founder of Z2 (in the news earlier today for its latest game); Handson Mobile; and 2Way.

He most recently was serving as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Washington. Given that role, I always thought that Bluhm would use his entrepreneurial talents to start something new, perhaps with technology from his alma mater. After all, the UW grad told me last year:  “I’ve always sought to learn and build something new.”

Originally started as a mobile search company, heavily-funded Medio has morphed and changed over the years. So, in that regard it is a new adventure.

Both Ross and Bluhm previously worked at Z2 (formerly Z2 Live), the mobile gaming company that has grown to more than 150 employees in the past four years. Maffei previously worked with Playsino and Xfire. The appointments follow the addition of Ken Lawrenece, who joined as vice president of sales last December.

“The shift to mobile is accelerating and businesses are increasing their investment in technology and analytics to support their growing mobile traffic,” said CEO Rob Lilleness in a statement. “This opportunity calls for additional leadership to accelerate both our product roadmap and ability to take these products to market.”

Medio’s backers include Accel Partners, Trilogy Equity Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures.

We’ve reached out to Bluhm about his new gig, and we’ll update this post as we learn more. Medio’s analytics tools help mobile app developers gain better insights into how their applications are performing, offering analysis on where titles can be improved or more revenue can be earned.

UPDATE: We heard back from Bluhm, who said that he wanted to rejoin Medio because it represents a “great, timely opportunity to build a huge success.”

“Medio is very much an entrepreneurial opportunity — the market has really swung towards mobile apps and the need to apply predictive models to improve both the personalization and the overall user experience. You’ll see some new, especially timely initiatives from Medio soon,” he said.

  • ellipsis

    Given the way Medio has been shedding engineers and executives, it’s not surprising they had to fall back on bringing back the old hands and cranking the marketing machine again. An ingenius move!

  • jennifer

    Does Rob know how much Bluhm trash talks him?

  • Buck stops dare

    John, you made the statement “Bluhm is one of Seattle’s most accomplished entrepreneurs.” Is that based on # of companies formed or company wins? If the latter, would you mind clarifying? Thanks! Buck

    • Transparency seeker

      Great question — I was thinking the same thing!

      • martin

        snark alert:
        if you polled the start-up community for seattle’s most accomplished entreprewould, would bluhm even make the top 100?

  • Glen

    Great move for Medio. I’ll be keeping my eye out for those timely initiatives.