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Buster Benson

Sometimes people announce new jobs with an email, or a LinkedIn update. Seattle entrepreneur Buster Benson, the former developer who co-founded Rob0t Co-op, announced his new gig by posting photos of the office space of the tech giant he was joining on Instagram and having his followers guess.

Facebook? Nope. Nope. Starbucks? Nope.

In fact, Benson is joining Twitter’s platform team as an engineer. He’s working from his home base in Seattle at this point, following news that the social networking powerhouse recently opened an office here.

“Twitter’s values and vision for the future are most closely aligned with my own,” Benson tells GeekWire. “They also haven’t figured everything out yet and I love the opportunity to help solve difficult problems.” Benson most recently led the charge at Habit Labs, a Seattle startup which he shut down last month.

Deirdre Runnette, a senior attorney at T-Mobile, is leaving the wireless carrier to become general counsel at fast-growing daily deal site Zulily, GeekWire has learned. Runnette plans to start at the Seattle startup company, which raised $43 million in venture capital financing last summer, in September. Zulily has been on an amazing growth path in recent months, and now employs more than 300 in Seattle alone.


Coinstar has promoted Carole McCluskey to the position of chief technology officer, responsible for creating a single technology platform for the Bellevue retail kiosk operator. The 49-year-old joined the company in October 2010, previously working at EttenAj Consulting, Schemalogic and CapitalStream. The company also announced that Redbox founder Gregg Kaplan, who had served as president and chief operating officer, will leave the company next year in order to pursue other opportunities. Anne Saunders, the former executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Knowledge Universe, has been appointed president of Redbox.  Saunders previously worked in executive roles at Bank of America, Starbucks and AT&T.  She will report to Coinstar’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Davis.

3Tier, the Seattle company that specializes in energy risk analysis, has expanded its operations in China with the opening of a new office in Beijing. The new office is led by Dawei Zhang, a six-year veteran of Boeing who will oversee the company’s east Asian operations. “3TIER has worked with the most sophisticated renewable energy developers, operators, and investors in the world, and interest in its modern methodology is very high in China and throughout East Asia,” said  Zhang in a release. “3TIER is uniquely positioned to satisfy the demand for greater accuracy and a more complete understanding of risk, for both wind and solar development in China and for Chinese companies developing projects abroad.”

Orlena Yeung

Vitals, a New York-based physician review and rating service that competes with Seattle’s Avvo, has named Orlena Yeung as Chief Marketing Officer. Orlena previously served as VP of Product at CBS Interactive Music Group, overseeing the brand strategy and launch or and the relaunch of Before that, she served as Global Brand Manager for Microsoft’s Xbox unit. In addition, Vitals named OpenTable exec and ex-Amazon employee Douglas Boake to the board.

NanoString Technologies has named Dale R. Levitzke to the position of vice president of global sales at the Seattle life sciences startup. Levitzke will help expand the company’s research products business and associated nCounter Analysis System. He most recently worked at Illumina, and before that headed global sales for Helixis. “Dale brings a wealth of experience and an impressive track record in global sales growth and channel development,” said Barney Saunders, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Life Sciences for NanoString Technologies. is bolstering its intellectual property efforts, hiring former RealNetworks general counsel Kelly Jo McArthur as vice president of IP Acquisitions and Investments and Bill Way, also a former general counsel at RealNetworks, in an IP attorney role, Reuters reports.

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