—LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy will be stepping down from the Amazon-owned daily deal site, the Washington Business Journal reported today. O’Shaughnessy will remain at the company until a replacement for him can be found, which the company expects will take place in the first half of this year.
“Like you, I have given my all to the mission of this company. And I remain 100% convinced the ingredients for success are here,” O’Shaughnessy wrote in a letter to LivingSocial employees obtained by the Washington Business Journal. “Additionally, I’ve given much thought to the many opportunities that stand in front of us and the benefits that could come from a new perspective and a new voice and approach at the top to lead us there. My responsibility is to recognize that now is the best time to transition leadership – when that full set of ingredients is available to be used most effectively to shape the company’s future.”
The company’s investors include Amazon.com. 2013 was a rough year for the once-hailed daily deals industry. LivingSocial saw a pair of serious outages, including one that resulted in the theft of 50 million customers’ personal information, including names, emails, birthdates and encrypted passwords.
Andrew Mason, O’Shaughnessy’s counterpart at Groupon, was fired last year, and went on to make a poorly-reviewed business rock album.
—The Experience Music Project named Patty Isacson Sabee its CEO, effective immediately. Isacson Sabee had been serving as the museum’s acting CEO for the past year, and before that was its Deputy Director of Advancement and External Relations. Prior to her work at EMP, Isacson Sabee served in a number of leadership positions with the Seattle Symphony, including Interim Executive Director, and Managing Director of Benaroya Hall.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead this unique institution, representing the very best of creativity and innovation in American popular culture,” Isacson Sabee said in a press release. “I am privileged to build on the visionary work of its founders, Paul and Jody Allen, in infusing EMP with dynamic and inventive exhibitions and programs that inspire an understanding of the extraordinary possibilities that exist within ourselves.”
—Adrian Cockcroft, the architect of Netflix’s move to using Amazon’s cloud services for its streaming product instead of its own internal servers, will be taking a job as a technology fellow with Battery Ventures. Prior to his work at Netflix, Cockcroft worked at eBay and Sun Microsystems.
“In my new role at Battery Ventures I will be continuing my conversations with large enterprise companies planning a move to cloud native, and SaaS vendors who are re-architecting for scale, to understand the gaps and demands of this market,” Cockcroft said in a post to his blog discussing the move. “With that context I will work in the Battery Ventures team that is looking for opportunities to fund companies who are enabling the transformation of enterprise IT, and I will also provide advice and mentoring for portfolio companies.”
—Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has joined the board of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, according to his LinkedIn page. In addition to Children’s, Rascoff also sits on the boards of TripAdvisor, Zulily, Julep and Zillow.
—Blue Nile said in a Form 8-K filing with the SEC that Dwight Gaston, its Senior Vice President of Operations, will be leaving the company on July 2 for other ventures.
“Dwight Gaston has decided to leave Blue Nile in July to pursue other endeavors,” a Blue Nile spokesperson said in an email statement to GeekWire. “Since 1999, Dwight has played an integral role in making Blue Nile the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry. Among his many achievements, Dwight built Blue Nile’s efficient operations, world-renowned customer service, and an experienced team to manage both. Dwight’s contribution to the company’s success cannot be overstated, and we wish him the very best.”
—Speaking of Blue Nile, Engle Saez, an Executive Vice President & CMO at FundersClub and former CMO at Blue Nile, has joined the Advisory Board of Mountain View-based ShopSocially, a social commerce platform that helps brands use social media to boost consumer engagement.
—Tara Newton will be joining Admosis Media as its managing director. Prior to her work with Admosis, Newton was an Account Manager at Banyan Branch and Deloitte Digital, where she worked on campaigns for Bath and Body Works, the Gates Foundation, Porsche North America, and others.
“Precision targeting delivers efficient spend and unprecedented insights. Successful campaigns require part art, part science, and the right team behind it,” Admosis Founder and President Brooke Anglés said in a press release. “The time is right for us to bring in a star like Tara to help us build out the infrastructure to support exponentially increasing demand.”
—Wells Fargo announced that it will be expanding its Technology Banking Division into Seattle from Silicon Valley, and will be bringing on former U.S. Bank Portfolio Manager and Team Leader Derek Watanabe to work alongside John Flemming, who has been with the company since 2007.
—PhaseRx announced the appointment of Michael Houston as its Vice President of Theraputics Development. Houston is joining the Seattle-based RNA theraputics company from Marina Biotech, where he served as its Vice President for Chemistry and Formulations. Prior to his work at Marina, Houston held leadership roles at Ascent Therapeutics, MDRNA and Nastech Pharmaceuticals.
—Jim DeBlasio, the former CEO of Internap, will join Yorktel as its Executive Vice President of Operations, the company said this week. DeBlasio will be among a number of new executive hires at the video communications company.
“We are very excited to have someone with Jim‘s tenure and experience onboard; his extensive track record speaks for itself,” Yorktel CEO Ron Gaboury said in a press release. “During his time as President and CEO of Internap Network Services Corporation, Jim initiated a new set of Cloud Technology, IP and Video products and was instrumental in helping the company achieve a doubling in revenue, a dramatic increase in new customers, two of the largest multi-year deals and the first year of Net Income profitability in the company’s history”
—Nintex named Eric Johnson its Chief Financial Officer this week. Johnson previously served as Jive Software’s Vice President of Finance, where he helped shepherd that company through its IPO. Prior to his work at Jive, Johnson spent seven years in a number of financial and leadership positions at Serena Software.
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