Robert Wise has been named chief innovation officer at MTN Satellite Communications, charged with building up the company’s product and technical team in Seattle. Wise most recently served as an engineering vice president in HP’s public cloud computing business, and before that served as an executive at Seattle mobile music startup Melodeo and as a vice president of engineering at Vsys.
In the new role, Wise said he plans to bring some of Seattle’s innovative spirit to MTN, a company backed by Ignition Partners that specializes in bringing mobile communications to ships at sea. Board members include Seattle area venture capitalists John Zagula, Rich Tong, Steve Hooper and John Chapple. Wise said he’s yet to determine how many employees he plans to hire in Seattle, but he assures us the technical team will be growing in the near future. MTN’s Seattle office also includes marketing, sales and legal employees.
Brian Aker — an open source database legend known for his work on systems such as Apache and MySQL — has taken over from Wise as the head of HP’s Seattle cloud computing office.
RealNetworks continues to transform its executive offices under the new leadership of CEO Thomas Nielsen. Today, the company named Tim Wan — a 12-year veteran of the Seattle software and digital media services firm — as chief financial officer. He previously served as vice president of finance at the company. Wan will earn a base salary of $285,000 in the job, with the ability to earn a bonus of 75 percent of his salary if certain performance goals are met. He also will receive 16,000 in restricted stock units.
John Holdcraft has been named vice president of sales and business development at Highlighter, a Seattle startup and TechStars grad that’s developing new technologies that allow students and professors to highlight, comment and share content. Holdcraft previously worked Amazon, O’Reilly Media, Pearson and Cengage, and he becomes the first sales executive at the company. While at Amazon, he oversaw efforts related to the textbook category.
“I love how we are right in the middle of the disruption in the industry as professors and students look for online software and tools that are simple and have a clear benefit to use,” said Holdcraft in a blog post.
Seattle outdoor gear retailer REI has promoted Bill Baumann to senior vice president of Information Technology and Brad Brown to the position of senior vice president of eCommerce and Direct Sales. “Bill and Brad’s promotions recognize the strategic importance of the Information Technology and eCommerce divisions to provide the infrastructure required to support REI’s growth over the next five years,” said Brian Unmacht, REI’s executive vice president, in a release. Baumann joined REI in 2008 as vice president of Information Technology, while Brown joined the company in 1998.
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