Fast-growing Amazon.com continues to gobble up talent from the Seattle tech community. The latest addition is Scott Blanksteen who just left his gig as CEO of Founder’s Co-op-backed AppStoreHQ to become director of product management for Amazon Digital. That’s the group responsible for delivering the Kindle and Kindle Fire. (Just last week we reported that RealNetworks vice president of engineering Simon Poile joined Amazon’s Kindle group). Blanksteen says that he’ll be leading a team that will deliver a new product and its ecosystem of media and services.
“It’s a great opportunity to work on a groundbreaking product at a company that’s doing all of the right things,” he tells GeekWire. As for AppStoreHQ, Blanksteen said that the upstart is continuing with a focus of helping app developers optimize how their apps are found in various marketplaces. That effort, dubbed MobileDevHQ, is being led by Ian Sefferman.
Prior to AppStoreHQ and Amazon.com, Blanksteen worked for a number of years at Amdocs and Qpass where he led business and corporate development.
Mark Warner, the former vice president of engineering at Seattle’s Imperium Renewables, has joined publicly-traded South San Francisco biofuels company Solazyme as vice president of engineering. At Imperium, Warner was responsible for overseeing the design, permitting and construction of the massive Grays Harbor biodiesel plant, a facility that was built in 14 months under budget. In a statement, Warner said that he’s looking forward to “put steel in the ground and rapidly build out the renewable oil production capacity to meet the demands for these breakthrough tailored oils as the company reaches its next phase in commercialization.” Solazyme, which went public last year, posted a net loss of $14.1 million on revenue of $8.9 million for the third quarter.
Maveron, the Seattle venture capital firm founded by former investment banker Dan Levitan and Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, has promoted Jason Stoffer to partner. Stoffer, described as the firm’s “resident animal lover and college football fanatic,” serves on the board of Gigi Hill and Latimer Education. He’s also a board observer at Zulily, General Assembly, Altius Education and Livemocha. Stoffer, who graduated from the University of Michigan, previously senior director of strategic operations for Career Education Corp.
It must be promotion season in the venture capital industry, as Seattle-based Madrona earlier this week promoted three investment professionals (Len Jordan, Tim Porter and Scott Jacobson) to partner. But here’s what we really want to know: Does this mean that Stoffer now has to don a superhero suit for the firm’s holiday card next year?
Warren Jenson, the former chief financial officer at Amazon.com, has joined Little Rock, Arkansas-based Acxiom Corp. as chief financial officer and executive vice president. Jenson joins another former Seattle area technology executive on the team. Last year, Scott Howe — the former corporate vice president of the Microsoft Advertising Business Groups — was named CEO. In addition to Amazon.com, Jenson previously served as CFO of Electronic Arts, Delta Air Lines and NBC.
“Acxiom is undergoing a significant transformation and Warren joining our team is part of our commitment to lead the way towards more effective marketing practices,” said Howe. “Warren’s ability to transform companies at important inflection points in their evolution will be instrumental in our push to drive innovation, build a strong partner ecosystem and advance our client-focused culture.”