Tech Moves: Changes at SEOmoz; Polaris picks CEO-in-residence; Microvision names CFO; etc.

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Jamie Steven

Jamie Steven has stepped down as chief marketing officer at SEOmoz, taking on the same role at Speedtest.net operator Ookla.

“I’ve been flabbergasted by the amount of data these guys have and I’m thrilled to begin sharing it,” said Steven, noting that Ookla’s Speedtest is running about five million tests per day. “Put simply, broadband and wireless network performance for almost almost any square block on the planet.” Ookla is led by Mike Apgar, the entrepreneur who previously led Speakeasy where Steven worked 10 years ago.

Steven said that he’s enjoyed his work at SEOmoz, and that the company is “primed for some serious success.”  Matt Brown of AudienceWise has stepped into the CMO role at SEOmoz on an interim basis as the company searches for a full-time replacement.

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Cyrus Shepard

Speaking of SEOmoz, Cyrus Shepard has rejoined the company to help lead a newly-formed content team.  Shepard plans to shut down his consulting business, and focus on SEOmoz full time where he worked as a strategiest from November 2010 to November 2011. In the new role, Shepard said his goals are not about “content” but about empowering, educating and expanding the audience. “I’m super excited about the new opportunity and joining forces once again with the most awesome marketing software company in the galaxy,” he says.

Former Free & Clear CEO Tim Kilgallon has been named CEO-in-Residence for Polaris Venture Partners, helping the venture capital firm identify opportunities in the health IT arena. Seattle’s Free & Clear, a former Polaris portfolio company, sold to Inverness Medical Innovations for up to $130 million in 2009. Prior Free & Clear, Kilgallon He will be based in the firm’s West Coast offices. Polaris shut down its Seattle office in May 2011. A former attorney, Kilgallon previously led Seattle area companies Applied Discovery, until its acquisition by LexisNexis, and Pointshare Corporation, until its acquisition by Siemens Medical Solutions.

Frank Catalano

Frank Catalano

Seattle ed-tech veteran Frank Catalano has joined Professional Examination Service as chief marketing officer. He had served as acting CMO for the past year. Catalano, who previously served as vice president of marketing for Pearson’s U.S Assessment & Information Group and CMO at MetaMetrics and Boxer Learning, is a GeekWire columnist.

Microvision has named Stephen Holt to the position of CFO, replacing James Johnston who had served in the role on an interim basis. Johnston will continue as controller and principal accounting officer. Holt, 51, previously served as CFO of PixelOptics. A graduate of California State University, Chico and Santa Clara University, Holt will receive a base salary of $205,000.

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Phil Neiswender

UIEvolution has named Phil Neiswender as its chief legal officer and executive vice president of corporate development. He will be based in the company’s Seattle office, and will oversee legal and business operations. Neiswender previously worked as chief operating officer and general counsel at Garagiste, and before that served as general counsel at Bsquare Corp. and worked with the law firm Riddell Williams.  “I am very impressed with UIEvolution’s products and its roadmap for future developments.  The potential market is immense and I am excited to be a part of the team that will help deliver on this potential” said Neiswender in a statement.

Fell Swoop, a Seattle user experience design agency which has worked with companies such as Glympse, Wetpaint and BevyUp, has hired former Hornall Anderson vice president of design Mark Popich. With the addition of Popich as creative director, Fell Swoop will add brand development to its mix of products. Popich has worked with companies such as AT&T, HP, REI, T-Mobile and Expedia in the past.

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David Rostov

David Rostov has been named CFO at fast-growing Bainbridge Island-based tax automation software company Avalara. Rostov is a former executive at Lighthouse eDiscovery, Infospace, Apex Learning and Drugstore.com.  “David’s extensive business experience will go a long way as we continue to shape the company and set a new standard for compliance automation,” said Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane in a release.

Domain7, a Vancouver, B.C.-based Web design agency, has opened an office in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood under the direction of managing director Phil Gallo. “Seattle is one of the most influential tech cities in the world,” says Gallo. “It was a natural next step. There’s a richness and depth of technological insight and creativity in this city—we’re excited to build on the amazing work that’s already come out of this market.”

Buddy, the Kirkland mobile startup, has named Shawn Burke to the position of vice president of engineering. He previously worked at Microsoft for 14 years, working on products such as Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and Azure SDK.

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