— Ossia, a Bellevue, Wash.-based company that makes wireless charging technology, has appointed Didier Le Lannic as CEO. He will take on leadership of Ossia in its Bellevue offices and help the company bring its technology, which debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, from concept to commercial reality. The appointment will allow the company’s founder, Hatem Zeine, to focus on the development and expansion of Ossia’s product as its CTO and chief scientist.
Le Lannic is the former president and chairman of AEPX Animation, a Silicon Valley tech startup. While there, he oversaw the development and marketing for a photo compositing solution. Prior to that, he was the vice president of R&D and innovation for Areva Nuclear Measurement business unit, where he worked on nuclear detectors and measurement instruments. Before that, he served as CEO of Cap Epsilon, a big data search and cloud computing company.
“I am thrilled to welcome Didier to the company as he begins leadership of Ossia’s team,” Zeine said in a statement. “There is tremendous market response to the Cota technology, and Didier’s background, track record and experience will be invaluable. He knows how to take technology from concept to commercial reality, which will be repeated again in the coming months as we work with our business partners to integrate our wireless power technology into their products. Didier’s decisive leadership, personal style, and deep experience across many B2B businesses uniquely qualifies him to step into this role.”
Currently, Ossia employs 35 people and has raised $26 million to date for its wireless power technology.
— Avvo, Inc., the Seattle-based online legal marketplace that connects lawyers and consumers, has hired Kevin Goldsmith as its CTO. Goldsmith replaces Sendi Widjaja, who is moving on to become the company’s chief data officer, where he will oversee all data and advertising business operations. As CTO, Goldsmith will focus on scaling up Avvo’s technology, recruitment efforts, and engineering execution as the company grows.
Before Avvo, Goldsmith worked at Spotify as VP of engineering on the consumer side. He led a team of 130 engineers for the company’s mobile, desktop and web platforms. Prior to Spotify, Goldsmith was the director of engineering for Adobe Systems.
“Maintaining a culture of innovation is essential at Avvo,” founder and CEO Mark Britton said in a statement. “Kevin’s ability to bring remarkable consumer experiences to life by building world-class engineering teams is unparalleled. His talent will help further establish Avvo as a top-notch tech company that’s changing the face of legal.”
Most recently, Avvo raised a $71.5 million round in July of 2015 led by Technology Crossover Ventures, with participation from Vulcan Capital and Coatue.
— Janrain, a Portland, Ore.-based maker of consumer identity software, has expanded its management team with two new vice presidents and a new director of marketing. Darryl Nicholson is Janrain’s new vice president of engineering; Mayur Upadhyaya is its vice president of customer experience; and Liz Martin is its director of marketing communications.
Prior to Janrain, Nicholson was the vice president of IT at Vesta, a payment company. He was responsible for the company’s global production operations, information security and corporate IT. At Janrain, Nicholson will oversee development and operations for its consumer identity software. He will work in the Portland headquarters.
“His entrepreneurial spirit, clear leadership ability and passion for technology aligns with our mission and where Janrain sits in the marketplace today,” CEO Larry Drebes said in a statement.
Upadhyaya, an internal candidate, was promoted to vice president of customer experience. He was previously a general manager at Glow Labs, a spinoff of the innovation media agency Magic Lantern Productions. There, Mayur advised clients like Channel4, BBC, Guardian, United Nations and Nigella Lawson on technology and marketing. At Janrain, Upadhyaya will be responsible for boosting customer loyalty and expanding partnerships with agencies. He will work in both Portland and the London office.
“Mayur’s unwavering enthusiasm for building exceptional customer experiences is second to none,” Drebes said in a statement. “Leveraging his vast expertise in the space has been critical to our customer success.”
Finally, Janrain has added Liz Martin as director of marketing communications. Most recently, Martin served as senior director of marketing and communications for Webtrends. At Janrain, she will oversee all global marketing and communications programs and public relations.
At the end of last year, Janrain raised a $27 million round led by California-based HighBar Partners, and currently serves customers including Pfizer, Samsung, Whole Foods, Fox News, Mattel and Dr. Pepper.
— TimeXtender, a Danish company with offices in Bellevue, Wash. that specializes in data warehouse automation for the Microsoft SQL server, has announced the appointment of Ginny Erickson as its new VP of marketing. Erickson will work in TimeXtender’s Bellevue offices and will manage all marketing staff and their efforts across the U.S. and global markets.
“Ginny is an experienced marketer with a real strength at thinking about scale and success without diluting the uniqueness of the brand and history of our company,” TimeXtender COO Romi Mahajan said in a statement. “Ginny has an incredible background of connecting technology to audiences and in scaling the business without losing the fundamental uniqueness and élan that characterizes companies like ours in a phase of hyper-growth.”
Before TimeXtender, Erickson was with Deloitte Digital as its marketing lead, helping build its creative digital consultancy. Before that, she worked at Microsoft, running global marketing for the Xbox LIVE advertising business. Erickson was also a principal product planner for Microsoft’s interactive TV efforts.
TimeXtender has over 2,600 customers on six continents who use its data warehouse automation product.
—Lighthouse eDiscovery, the Seattle-based legal consulting and e-discovery company, has announced that Paul Hiteshew will serve as its new director of infrastructure services. Hiteshew will lead Lighthouse’s IT team in providing infrastructure services for its clients.
“Paul brings a great deal of leadership experience to Lighthouse, with a particular focus on leading high performance teams and seamlessly scaling large technology infrastructures with exceptionally demanding availability requirements,” Lighthouse eDiscovery CTO Mark King said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have Paul on board and driving our long-term infrastructure strategy, managing our growing technology footprint and delivering exceptional availability to our clients.”
Prior to Lighthouse, Hiteshew worked as the principal service operations engineering manager at Microsoft, where he designed and deployed solutions for their online service desk. During his tenure, Hiteshew reduced both manual effort and human error.
— F5 Networks, the Seattle-based company that develops application delivery and security services, has announced two new additions to its sales leadership team. Peter Brant will serve as senior vice president of North America sales and David Helfer will serve as vice president of worldwide channels. The two will join the sales team, which is moving into a new building this summer, and will be responsible for customers and channel partners across all segments of F5’s application services, with a special focus on security and cloud services.
“We welcome Pete and Dave, two well-known and highly respected global sales executives, to the F5 team,” John DiLullo, executive VP of worldwide sales, said in a statement. “Their deep understanding of the security and cloud markets and their experience with the traditional and emerging channels make them uniquely qualified to help F5 supercharge our sales efforts. The F5 innovation engine continues to produce powerful application delivery, traffic management, and security solutions for our customers, and with Dave and Pete at the helm of these two critical markets, I have full confidence that our customers and channels will be very well served.”
Prior to F5, Brant served as Head of Americas Sales at Fortinet, a Silicon Valley cyber security company, where he led a team of more than 800 people. Before that, Brant held senior sales and management positions at Breach Security, AdmitOne, and SonicWALL. At F5, he will be responsible for the ongoing development and execution of go-to-market strategies and day-to-day operations for all North America sales.
Most recently, Helfer was with cybersecurity company Lookout, where he served as the VP of worldwide channels and managed direct sales for the Asia Pacific region. Before working at Lookout, he was a senior executive at Juniper Networks. At his new role with F5, Helfer will be responsible for global channel strategies, partner engagement, and the expansion of channels operations capabilities worldwide.
— VoiceBox Technologies, the Bellevue-based voice and natural language understanding technology company, has announced a new scientific advisory board. The board is currently made up of four members, but is expected have 10-15 members by the end of the year. The initial members are Luke Zettlemoyer, Shri Narayanan, David Traum, and Dan Weld.
“Our vision of a common, intelligent interface — multi-device, cross-device and multi-user – integrates exciting new technologies to supplement our comprehensive, advantaged voice offerings,” said Voicebox CEO Mike Kennewick in a statement. “By integrating world-renowned talent regardless of location, we are able to build a team the expertise of which rivals the largest companies in our industry.”
The new advisory board will provide strategic advice to Voicebox as the company grows, and also will provide hiring recommendations. The company views the scientific advisory board as an investment in its broader strategy to become a unifying interface for the Internet of Things.
Zettlemoyer is an assistant professor in the computer science and engineering department at the University of Washington who researches natural language processing. His particular focus is empirical computational semantics.
Narayanan is a professor in the departments of electrical engineering and computer science, among others, at the University of Southern California. He researches human-centered information processing and communication technologies.
Traum is the director of Natural Language Research at the Institute for Creative Technologies, leading their Natural Language Dialogue Group. He is also a research faculty member of the department of computer science at the University of Southern California, where he researches dialogue communication between human and artificial agents.
Weld is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington and an entrepreneurial faculty fellow. His research focuses on intelligent control of crowdsourcing. He is also a partner at Madrona Venture Group.