—Online marketing whiz Joanna Lord has left her VP job at SEOmoz to become chief marketing officer at BigDoor, the Seattle gamification startup. In her new role Lord will oversee branding, content, community and other functions for the Seattle-based company. Keith Smith-led BigDoor raised $5 million last year, bringing total funding to $13 million.
“The first thing that struck me about BigDoor was their passion for connecting big brands to their consumers,” Lord tells GeekWire. “They’ve built an incredible technology that helps power those relationships in an extremely unique way. It’s an amazing team and I am honored to be joining them.” Lord previously served as vice president of growth marketing at SEOmoz, and called her time at the company “an amazing adventure for me.”
—Brian Arbogast, the former Microsoft vice president and Seattle angel investor, has been named director of the water, sanitation and hygiene program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Arbogast, who started at the foundation last week, previously spent more than 25 years at Microsoft.
“I have been fascinated with the importance of water since my youth, from the perspectives of sustainability, global development, and geo-politics,” said Arbogast in his LinkedIn profile. “From my time involved with Water1st International I learned of the related importance of sanitation and the fact that over 2.5 billion people worldwide lack the level of sanitation necessary to keep them healthy.” (More on Arbogast here).
—Seattle’s Visualant has named Dr. Toshihiko Ochi to its scientific advisory board. Ochi is the manager of business development at Sumitomo Precision Products.
—Digital Intelligence Systems, a McLean, Virginia-based IT staffing and consulting firm with more than $100 million in annual revenue, has opened a new office in Seattle under the direction of Patrick Yaguchi. “The region shows a lot of potential and has already emerged as an essential component to our growth strategy. We already have several large clients in the Seattle market, which will serve as a great foundation for our success,” said CEO Mahfuz Ahmed.
—Precor president Paul Byrne has announced his plans to retire from the fitness equipment maker on September 1 after 28 years. He will be replaced by vice president Rob Barker. “Over the past 35 years, I have been fortunate to have been part of an industry that has contributed to the well being of so many people, and to have spent 28 of those years at Precor has been beyond fortunate,” said Byrne. “It has been an immeasurable gift. I will retire with great pride in what we have accomplished and with eager anticipation of what lies ahead.”
—Following its acquisition by Amazon.com for $110 million, several former employees and executives at daily deal site Woot have left the company, reports TechCrunch. Among the departing execs are president Darold Rydl; CTO Luke Duff; CFO Rene Gonzalez and others.
—OneOcean has named Prasad Saripalli as its new CTO, with former CTO Don Davis taking over the CEO duties. Davis replaces Don Pickering who has left the company. Saripalli most recently worked at IBM where he served as Chief Architect of the SmartCloud Enterprise Cloud Platform. Prior to IBM, he spent 14 years at Runaware. “OneOcean is a great fit for Prasad’s deep understanding of cloud services and applications, said Davis. “We are thrilled to have him join our team and extend our platform into various enterprise domains while expanding the work we are doing with our visualization and analytics partners.” (More on OneOcean here).
—Gibberin, a Kirkland mobile messaging startup, has named Gary Beyer as CEO. Beyer previously worked at Oracle, Compaq, HP and Boeing. He also led Micro-Frame Technologies. “Gary’s experience with transforming startups into fast-growing market innovators is a perfect fit for Gibberin. With his vision and leadership, we expect Gibberin’s spoken messaging to join texting and tweeting as a preferred method of communication in the next five years,” said Dave Ferguson, Gibberin co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. (More on Gibberin here).
—Portent, a Seattle digital marketing firm, has named former Microsoft managing editor Sandra LeDuc to the position of director of content. Portent’s revenues have grown more than 50 percent since 2012, and its employee count has increased 30 percent. “Sandra’s experience at Microsoft makes her an excellent resource for our employees and our clients,” said Steve Gahler, president of Portent. “With her at the helm, I have no doubt the content Portent generates for clients will continue to excel both creatively and strategically.” LeDuc helped transform Microsoft’s news channel and helped build the company’s presence on Twitter.
MSNBC.com founder Merrill Brown has joined venture capital firm DFJ Frontier as a venture partner. Brown will be based in New York, and will work both on the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest.
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