—Rob Wilk, who previously served as vice president of sales at Foursquare, has joined Microsoft as vice president of search sales and service for North America, GeekWire has learned. Prior to Foursquare, where Wilk worked for the past three years, he was in a key sales role at Yahoo.
Microsoft and Yahoo just extended their search alliance, and Wilk will help to drive that partnership ahead in his new role on the Bing Ads sales team. Under that extension, Yahoo’s salesforce will no longer have an exclusive lock on premium search advertising for both companies, as it did under the original agreement. Microsoft’s salesforce will sell Bing ads, and Yahoo’s salesforce will sell Yahoo ads.
“We are focused on hiring the best talent to continue building our search organization and supporting the Yahoo managed customers as they transition to Microsoft over the coming months,” said Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President, Advertising & Consumer Monetization at Microsoft, in a statement.
—Seattle startup VoloMetrix named former SAP general manager and vice president Mani Gill as chief technology officer.
“We are thrilled to have a leader of Mani’s caliber join our team,” said Ryan Fuller, CEO and co-founder of VoloMetrix, in a statement. “Mani brings vast knowledge of not only the technology of analytics but the real-life applications of its power.”
Gil most recently served as SAP’s vice president of enterprise customer strategy, platform solutions.
VoloMetrix raised $12 million last October, bringing total funding in the business analytics company to $17 million.
—VoiceBox Technologies hired Dr. Philip Cohen and Chiwei Che to help lead the company’s speech recognition technology offerings.
Cohen is serving as Vice President of Advanced Technologies in the Office of the CTO. He is one of the founders of the field of human-computer dialogue, natural language processing and multimodal interaction. He has five patents, and previously served as founder and CEO of Adapx.
Che — who spent the past 10 years at Microsoft in Beijing and Redmond — is serving as Senior Director, Special Assistant to the CTO. At Microsoft, Che produced speech recognition acoustic models and built the Chinese, Japanese and Korean software keyboard for Windows phone. Che has 12 patents and has published more than 30 articles in the field of speech recognition.
—Public relations veteran Dawn Lyon has been named vice president of corporate affairs at Glassdoor, the San Francisco Bay Area company that specializes in hiring data at companies. In the role, Lyon will oversee corporate communications, government affairs, social media and a new economics bureau.
Most recently, Lyon has worked as an outside PR consultant, including working for Seattle-based Zillow. Both Glassdoor and Zillow were co-founded by former Expedia CEO Rich Barton.
“Dawn is passionate about Glassdoor and driving necessary and positive change in the jobs space,” said Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman in a statement. “We are fortunate to have her join the team – her commitment to the company and our mission has been evident from day one.”
—Waggener Edstrom Communications named Kass Sells as the Bellevue-based agency’s new president of North America. Sells most recently worked at Wunderman, a WPP company. He will oversee business development for the communications agency, which represents companies such as Allrecipes, Amgen Foundation, T-Mobile and Microsoft.
“Technology is disrupting markets and creating opportunities like never before — every company is a technology company now. With our deep expertise and insights into how brands can reinvent themselves in today’s ever-evolving digital world, WE is in a unique position to help our clients navigate this change,” said Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO, president and founder of Waggener Edstrom. “I am thrilled to have Kass as a part of our agency’s leadership team to partner with our clients in building brands to compete in today’s environment.”
Sells, who started May 28, will report to Waggener Zorkin. At Wunderman, Sells was the global client lead for the Microsoft account that included the Xbox, Surface, Office and Windows brands. Previously, Sells served as senior vice president and director of business development at Omnicom’s DDB Seattle.