—Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin officially handed over the CEO reins to COO Sarah Bird this week, a move that comes about a month after Fishkin announced his plans to step aside from the top post at the Seattle maker of marketing software. With the appointment, Bird becomes one of the top women executives at a Seattle technology company. (Moz ranks #6 on the GeekWire 200 list of the top privately-held startup companies in the region).
“I’m excited and humbled by the opportunity. Moz has consumed the majority of my waking hours since 2007. I love the company. I’m honored to be asked to take the helm,” said Bird, an attorney by training. “Rand is a close friend and inspiration to me. I look forward to continuing to partner with him, although in a different way, to guide Moz through its next phase of growth.”
Moz raised $18 million from Foundry Group and others in 2012, and just last summer inked a lease for 50,000 square feet of space in downtown Seattle.
—Haiku Deck, the fast-growing Seattle company that helps people create visually-interesting presentations, is bolstering its technical team with the addition of Dan Gerrity as vice president of engineering. Gerrity previously was the founder and CEO of flight safety systems startup Naverus, now a part of GE Aviation. Before that, he was the CTO of publicly-traded Coinstar, now known as Outerwall.
“From his time at Coinstar to Naverus, Dan brings to Haiku Deck a wealth of experience in building world-class teams that deliver world-changing technology,” said Haiku Deck Adam Tratt. “In the past year and a half, we’ve gone from zero to almost a million customers, so as we look to supporting our community we saw a need for finding not only a solid engineering leader, but one who has supported the kind of growth we’re experiencing here.”
In addition to Gerrity, Haiku Deck also recently hired Clinton Fowler as senior product manager. He previously co-founded Project 529, and before that spent 10 years at Microsoft working on XBox.
—Rightside, the Kirkland-based domain name business unit of Demand Media, has named Tracy Knox as Chief Financial Officer and Kelly Johnson as Senior Vice President of Marketing. Rightside is in the process of being spun off from Demand Media, with the new company to be led by Taryn Naidu. Knox most recently served as CFO for A Place for Mom, and before that served as CFO of drugstore.com. Johnson previously served as the owner of Vela trio, a marketing consulting firm. Before that, Johnson spent 13 years at Microsoft.
—Seattle startup Socrata is bolstering its East Coast presence with two new hires in Washington D.C. It has named Kenneth Melero, a former senior director at Pixia Corp. and vice president of SPADAC, as the Director of Federal Sales. In addition, the company tapped Stu Rabinowitz as Director of Federal Markets and Channel Partners. He was previously Chief Technology Officer at Creative Computing Solutions, Inc.
“We’re taking our company – and open data – to the next level,” said Kevin Merritt, Socrata’s Founder and CEO. “Ken and Stu understand better than most how to provide government agencies and non-governmental organizations in and around Washington, DC with the best service, the most innovative products, and the most thoughtful insights.”
—The Experience Music Project has promoted Patty Isacson Sabee to the role of CEO and director. Sabee had served as the museum’s acting CEO for the past year and as deputy director of external relations and advancement since 2007. “Patty has demonstrated exceptional leadership, boundless energy and a tireless commitment to move EMP forward,” said Jody Allen. “She has the right combination of knowledge, depth and experience to further elevate EMP’s position as a world-class arts and cultural institution.”
—Euan Menzies, the former CEO of Vertafore, has joined Insight Venture Partners as a venture partner. Insight invested in Vertafore in 2000. “I am excited to re-join my colleagues at Insight and support their commitment to building high-value technology companies worldwide. The team at Insight has a track record of success and I am eager to contribute to their efforts,” he said.
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