—Uber is zooming ahead with a new chief product, one who helped drive Amazon.com’s growth in the early days. Jeff Holden, who earlier this week announced his intentions to leave Groupon, has landed at the fast-growing transportation company which also happens to be backed by Jeff Bezos.
“He will be a strong strategic thought partner for the executive team and someone with whom I can spar to solve Uber’s hardest problems and invent our future. Having experienced Amazon’s hyper-growth from the very early days, Jeff knows how to think big while building for the long-term and scaling a world-class product organization,” wrote Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a blog post.
Holden joined Groupon after selling his Seattle startup, Pelago, to the daily deals site in 2011. He started his career at hedge fund D.E. Shaw in New York, reporting to Jeff Bezos. He later joined Bezos at Amazon. In the blog post, Kalanick cited Holden’s entrepreneurial past as the “force multiplier” and the “icing on the cake.” Holden called Uber a “magical experience,” and used an Amazon metaphor — noting that it is “day one” for the company — to describe the opportunity. Bezos invested in Uber in 2011.
—San Francisco-based online real estate company Trulia has hired Kira Wampler as chief marketing officer to lead a $45 million national advertising campaign, following in the footsteps of its bigger rival Zillow. Just this week, Zillow said it would spend $65 million on advertising this year, up from $40 million in 2012. Seattle-based Redfin also is looking to hire a marketing veteran to lead an advertising campaign, which means we are going to be hearing a lot about online real estate offerings on the airwaves in the coming months.
“We’ve built a fantastic real estate search experience for buyers and sellers. After thorough research and testing, we feel confident that we can extend our brand, drive even higher levels of engagement and deliver a more compelling ROI to our subscribers through a national marketing campaign,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. “With the addition of Kira as Trulia’s first CMO and Steve Hafner of Kayak joining our board, we have the experienced team in place to extend our brand through a national advertising campaign.”
Wampler previously led product and marketing at camera maker Lytro, and before that worked at Intuit. Based in San Francisco, Trulia also maintains a large presence in the Seattle area from last year’s acquisition of Market Leader.
—Seattle construction software company Dexter + Chaney has named Norbert Orth to the position of president. He had previously served as vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “Norbert brings to Dexter + Chaney the leadership that helps keep focus on our two priorities: earning satisfied customers and developing leading-edge technology,” said CEO and co-founder John Chaney.
Prior to joining Dexter + Chaney in 2011, Orth worked at Procter & Gamble. Founded more than 30 years ago, Dexter + Chaney is profitable and growing, with more than 1,000 companies using the construction management software.
—Gaming veteran Jason Holtman is leaving Microsoft after about six months at the company, reports Polygon. Holtman, who oversaw PC gaming and entertainment strategy at Microsoft, is the former director of business development at Bellevue game maker Valve.