—Yammer co-founder David Sacks has been named the Chief Operating Officer at Zenefits. As COO, all operations, finance and product teams will report to Sacks. The news comes a little more than four months after Sacks left Microsoft, which acquired Yammer for $1.2 billion in 2012.
Sacks told TechCrunch in an interview that although he has done some angel investing, and spent time off work, he really wanted to get back to building companies. Zenefits’s hyper growth is a good fit for him. Parker Conrad, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said that he views Sacks as a partner in the business.
Sacks has a long history in tech, having joined PayPal as its first COO in 1999. He left the online payments company in 2006, joining the vaunted “PayPal Mafia” alongside figures like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and Max Levchin.
In addition to his hiring, Sacks will also be making a significant investment in the company. While he didn’t disclose the dollar amount, he told TechCrunch that his cash infusion into the company will be the largest he has made to date.
—Front Desk announced that it has hired Nathan Cowan to serve as its Vice President of Worldwide Sales, and Amy Ellis as the Head of Product Marketing. Ellis joins the company from Mailchimp, where she was among the first 25 employees working at the email newsletter company. While there, she was charged with forging strategic partnerships for the company’s API, and handled integrations with Magneto, Shopify, Google Apps and other products. She will be responsible for marketing functions including content marketing and partnerships.
Cowan, who served most recently as the Director of Corporate Sales for DocuSign, will oversee global sales efforts for the business management and payment processing company. Cowan, who holds 20 years of experience in global sales, previously held leadership roles at Hubspan and Diligenz.
“We’re excited to add two outstanding executives with great track records for expanding global sales, marketing and partnerships at innovative and industry-leading SaaS companies,” Front Desk CEO and co-founder Jon Zimmerman said in a press release. “In our first year, word-of-mouth brought us paying subscribers in more than 40 countries, and now we’re ready to take it to the next level.
—Concur CFO Frank Pelzer joined Limeade’s Board of Directors as the Bellevue-based wellness startup looks toward an IPO. Pelzer joined Concur in 2010, and helped with the company’s $8.3 billion acquisition by SAP, which completed earlier this month. Prior to his work at Concur, Pelzer served as a Director and Vice President in the Software Investment Banking group at Deutsche Bank.
“Mr. Pelzer has guided some of the premier companies in the HR SaaS space to IPO and beyond, and brings immeasurable expertise in governance, finance and mergers and acquisitions,” Limeade CEO Henry Albrecht said in a press release. “With our rapid growth and recent $25 million investment, we are forging a similar path. We welcome Mr. Pelzer and look forward to his leadership as we continue to improve the health, well-being and performance of enterprise workforces.”
—Ryan Waite has been named Cray’s Senior Vice President of Products. In his role, Waite will be charged with managing the high-performance computing company’s line of compute, storage and big data analytics solutions. Waite joins Cray from Amazon Web Services, where he served as the General Manager for the Data Services division. Prior to his work at Amazon, Waite spent two decades working for Microsoft in a variety of roles, including as the General Manager for its High Performance Computing division.
“With the convergence of big data analytics and supercomputing that we continue to see in the market, Ryan adds a perfect blend of skills to our team and to this new role at Cray,” Cray President and CEO Peter Ungaro said in a press release. “As we look to develop integrated products that offer a unique value proposition for our customers, Ryan’s experiences in cloud, analytics, high performance computing and software will help us transform our innovative technologies into industry-leading solutions for a broader customer base.
—Coding Dojo named Richard Wang to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Wang will be charged with growing the Bellevue-based computer science education program’s business to a larger office in Bellevue with additional plans to expand to Southern California and Dallas.
Prior to his work at Coding Dojo, 29-year-old Wang served in a number of roles at Boeing, including as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Managing Director of the company’s Asia division, as well as a Senior Product Manager on the Supply Chain Predictive Analytics team. Wang is also a former student of the company’s web development bootcamp.
—SHOEme has named Peter Lee its new Chief Information Officer. In his new role, Lee will be charged with advancing information technology capabilities for the online footwear retailer. Prior to his work at SHOEme, Lee served as the CEO and Managing Director of LensWay, a subsidiary of Costal Contacts. Prior to that, he also served as the firm’s Chief Technology Officer.
Lee will be rejoining a number of former Costal colleagues at SHOEme, including CEO Roger Hardy, CFO Nick Bozikis and CTO Dominic Uly.
“OnlineShoes.com and SHOEme.ca continue to grow at a rapid pace and we need someone who understands our needs from a technical standpoint to help guide the way,” Hardy said in a press release. “Peter was very successful in spearheading and creating a leading technology platform for Coastal.com and will be invaluable as we look to enhance the leading technology and information platform in the $125 billion athletic and comfort categories.
—Frontier Communications promoted Frank Aff to the position of Director of Operations for its West Region. As a part of his new role, Aff will report to Melinda White, Frontier’s West Region Area President, and oversee the company’s Fiber Service Center, Dispatch Resource Center and Network Operations. He began working with GTE in 1997 as a Network Span Technician, and continued on with the company as it became Verizon and was subsequently bought by Frontier.
“We’re very pleased to announce the promotion of Frank,” White said in a press release. “With more than 20 years of experience, he brings extensive telecommunications skills and knowledge to this position.”