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Martin Plaehn

Control 4, a Salt Lake City, Utah maker of home automation technologies, has named former RealNetworks and Bungee Labs executive Martin Plaehn to the position of CEO. Plaehn previously served two separate tenures at RealNetworks — most recently as senior vice president of product & service development. He also worked at the company from 1999 to 2004, serving as executive vice president of technology products and services and leading the casual games group.

He’s one of a number of executives to have left RealNetworks in recent months, including the departure of CEO Bob Kimball and Chief Strategy Officer Hank Skorny.  Founded in 2003, Control 4 is backed by Frazier Technology Ventures of Seattle, Best Buy, Mercato Partners and others. It is expected to top $100 million in revenue this year.

Some big changes at thePlatform, the online video publishing unit of Comcast. The Seattle company today announced that Mike Horwitz has joined as vice president of engineering, while Tina Santos has been named in-house general counsel. Horwitz spent five years at Comcast in engineering roles, most recently as senior director of engineering for converged products. Santos most recently worked at StreamServe, a London-based software company, and before that the graduate of Seattle University’s School of Law worked for Perkins Coie and LoneWolf Technologies.

Darren Huston, who previously worked at Starbucks and Microsoft, has accepted the CEO post at online hotel reservation firm, reports BusinessWeek. A unit of Priceline, attracts about 30 million visitors per month. Huston most recently served as Microsoft’s corporate vice president, consumer & online. From 2005 to 2008, he served as president and CEO of Microsoft Japan, the company’s largest subsidiary outside the United States. At Starbucks, he was responsible for acquisitions and new product development. [Hat tip to Tnooz].

Seattle supercomputer maker Cray Inc. has changed the titles of the following execs: Brian Henry is now executive vice president and CFO; Margaret Williams is now senior vice president of HPC Systems; and Wayne Kugel is now senior vice president of customer service. The company’s CTO, Steve Scott, departed last month.

Wibe Wagemans, the former senior vice president of global brand advertising at Angry Birds maker Rovio, has stepped down, according to a report in All Things D. Wagemans was just in Seattle for the Mobile Future Forward conference, and was just quoted in a Bloomberg story about a partnership between Starbucks and Rovio.

Tom Hughes, the founder of PhotoDisc and a venture capitalist at Cedar Grove Investments, has been named to the board of photo book and greeting card company RPI. “Tom’s experience in facilitating company growth coupled with his extensive market knowledge will play a critical role in further enabling RPI’s rapid growth,” said Rick Bellamy, CEO of RPI.

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