—Billionaire Paul Allen has a new confidante in the ranks of his private investment arm Vulcan Inc. Allen has named Barbara Bennett as president and COO of Vulcan, a new role in the organization. Bennett starts Sept. 22, and will report to Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen. She will be based in Seattle.
“I am incredibly pleased to have Barb join our team,” said Paul Allen. “The unique combination of her environmental protection, media industry and operations background make her the ideal choice to help Vulcan achieve its vision.”
Bennett previously served as vice president and CFO at Digital First Media, and before that spent three years in a presidentially-appointed role as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chief Financial Officer. Before the EPA, she spent 17 years in executive roles at Discovery Communications —parent company of Discovery Channel.
“Since its founding, Vulcan has always been on the forefront of innovation in a number of fields,” said Bennett. “I’m eager to join the company and apply my experiences in the environment, media and business to help Paul, Jody and the entire Vulcan team achieve their vision of changing and improving the way we live, learn, operate in business and experience the world.”
Through Vulcan, Allen’s holdings are vast, from real estate (South Lake Union) to sports teams (Seattle Seahawks, Portland TrailBlazers) to research institutions (Allen Institute of Brain Science) to cultural landmarks (EMP, Cinerama).
—Groupon named Parker Barrile as its Senior Vice President of Product, leading the company’s global product teams focused on web, mobile and design. He will report to CEO Eric Lefkosky, who says Barrile will bring “tremendous value” to Groupon as an entrepreneur and product leader. He previously worked at LinkedIn as vice president of product development. Before that, he was CEO of Predictify. He will be based in Groupon’s Palo Alto office.
—Apple hired Musa Tariq to help lead the charge on social media efforts. He previously oversaw social media at Nike and Burberry.
—Limeade appointed technology veteran Jeff Dirks to the position of COO, Dirks graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of Washington, before moving into a software development role at IBM. He’s a former executive at kiosk maker Outerwall, formerly Coinstar where he held roles such as vice president of information technology and senior vice president of technical delivery. Before that, he was the CEO of SchemaLogic and president of CapitalStream.
Based in Bellevue, Limeade develops health and wellness programs for companies. It employs more than 100 people.
“We are pleased to welcome Jeff to Limeade’s executive team. I’m confident that his remarkable professional and personal background will make him a great asset to our business, culture and mission,” said Limeade CEO Henry Albrecht.
—Former Decide.com vice president of product & marketing Michael Paulson is leaving eBay’s Bellevue offices after a year to take a new role at Bazaarvoice in Austin. Paulson, who prior to Decide.com worked on MSN Shopping, said the new role represents a fantastic opportunity to help set the product vision at Bazaarvoice.
“Their mission of facilitating authentic conversations between consumers, brands and retailers resonates with me and is a natural fit with my experience,” said Paulson. “There’s an exciting opportunity here to leverage data to build disruptive products, with over 400 million people using Bazaarvoice’s network every month.”
—Concur CEO Steve Singh joined the board of San Francisco-based Castlight Health, a cloud-based health company with second quarter revenue of $10.5 million. “It’s an honor to work with Gio and the other Castlight Board members at a time when enterprises seem ready to embrace technology to control spiraling healthcare costs,” said Singh in a release. “The potential is enormous for cloud-based solutions to address the challenges big business’ face when optimizing healthcare investments for their employees and employees’ families.”
—WISErg, a Redmond clean tech startup which helps restaurants and grocery stores convert meal scraps and other food products into useable fertilizers, named Jonathan Alford as chief finance officer. The appointment comes after the company secured an additional $5 million in private funding.
“WISErg is fascinating in that we are driving the convergence of a new food waste capture platform, rich organic fertilizer production and cloud-based ‘Internet of things’ technology that solves key perishable inventory and regulatory challenges for food retail customers, while also taking on critical societal issues as our population growth and emerging economies require more efficient crop yields for consumption and animal feedstock production,” said Alford.
Alford, who holds a Master of Business Administration from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, has worked at Expedia; the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics Organizing Commite and operated his own consulting company.
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