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Adrianna Burrows

Stack Overflow, the popular online community and Q&A site for programmers, has hired Adrianna Burrows, a former Microsoft general manager, as its new chief marketing officer.

“The team and mission at Stack Overflow is truly amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better role or fit right now,” Burrows told GeekWire via email. “The opportunity ahead for the developer community is exploding and being a part of that — both the developer engagement and expanding outreach to the corporate community — is exciting.”

Burrows was previously a Microsoft GM in Windows consumer and retail marketing. She had most recently been consulting for Stack Overflow and other companies. As chief marketing officer, she will oversee areas including branding, communications, digital marketing and demand generation, joining the company’s executive team.

“We believe developers are writing the script for the future,” said Joel Spolsky, Stack Overflow CEO and co-founder, in a news release announcing the hiring of Burrows. “Adrianna Burrows shares our passion for helping developers and brings a wealth of expertise, experience, and leadership to the company.”

Burrows will remain based in the Seattle area, commuting periodically to Stack Overflow headquarters in New York and other company offices. She notes that Stack Overflow is “very progressive and very effective in terms of having a distributed workforce,” using video conferencing and virtual conference rooms.

“I don’t even feel like I work remotely,” she said. “In fact, I was in NYC last week in a meeting with a few folks and it wasn’t till the end that I realized I hadn’t actually met them in person. The virtual world had felt just as real.”

Amazon is putting more power behind its AI assistant, Alexa, by hiring former Xerox PARC AI researcher Ashwin Ram. He will lead the AI research and development team for Alexa.

According to his LinkedIn page, Ram was the chief innovation officer of the interactive intelligence and augmented social cognition group at Xerox PARC. In that role, he focused on healthcare technology, especially pertaining to behavior changes. He also worked on a conversational AI coach for obesity in a partnership with Kaiser Permanente. Before his time at Xerox, he was a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and directed the institution’s cognitive computing lab.

Galvanize Seattle general manager Tracy Aiken
Galvanize Seattle general manager Tracy Aiken

Galvanize hired Tracy Aiken as general manager of its Seattle campus for startups and technical education. She will provide strategic direction and improve the experience of members while driving employee performance.

“The Galvanize team thrives on fast paced, dynamic and collaborative work and is deeply passionate about coalescing local tech hubs,” said Galvanize CEO Jim Deters. “That’s why we are so excited to have an energized and visionary leader in Tracy to scale and grow our community in Seattle.”

Prior to Galvanize, Aiken developed the shared services model as a director at Oxygen Learning. She also worked in client management at Xerox and Intrepid Learning.

ScaleOut Software director of sales for advanced products Kevin Lasswell
ScaleOut Software director of sales for advanced products Kevin Lasswell

ScaleOut Software announced IT sales veteran Kevin Lasswell is joining the company as director of sales for advanced products. He will be based out the Denver offices of the Bellevue, Wash.-based operational intelligence company.

“Operational intelligence and real-time data analytics were once ‘nice-to-have’ functions. Today, they are mission critical, ‘must-have’ capabilities that enterprises require to succeed in our competitive economy,” said ScaleOut founder and CEO William Bain. “Adding Kevin as a strategic member of our sales team will allow us to scale and meet the growing demand for these services.”

Lasswell previously served as director of business development for Software AG, overseeing channel initiatives across North America. He also held leadership roles with MoneyGram International, TIBCO Software, Arcot Systems, NetApp and Cisco Systems.

Usermind CRO Forrest Hobbs
Usermind CRO Forrest Hobbs

Usermind made three executive hires after a $14.5 million funding round. The new appointments include Forrest Hobbs as chief revenue officer, Loreen Milbrath as chief financial officer and Zohar Gillai as vice president of customer success for the Seattle-based business operations productivity company.

“An experienced team of executives is key to building a meaningful, enduring software company. We’re adding executive leadership in customer success, finance, and go-to-market,” said Usermind CEO Michel Feaster. “Hobbs and Gillai will make sure we stay laser-focused on the customer as we capitalize on this enormous market opportunity, and Milbrath brings deep operational experience in balancing growth and governance.”

Hobbs is a longtime senior vice president of sales and business development at TeleSign, building a sales organization with a $100 million run rate. He also helped grow Frontbridge before it was acquired by Microsoft in 2005.

Milbrath was most recently the CFO at Swype before joining Usermind, helping to eventually sell the company to Nuance in 2011. She also co-founded Melodeo and served as its vice president of finance before it was acquired by HP.

Gillai also has experience at a company acquired by HP; she led the services and support teams at Mercury Interactive before its acquisition. She ran similar teams at Tropos Technology. Most recently, she was vice president of global services and support at ForeScout Technologies.

Kate Kemp
HackerAgency group creative director Kate Kemp

HackerAgency made two new hires to expand its North American footprint. Kate Kemp is coming on as group creative director and the company promoted Carrin Johnson to vice president of operations for the global digital and direct marketing agency.

Kemp has a history with strategy and execution for clients like Amazon, Heineken, AT&T, Nintendo and Pepsi. She previously worked at Tribal DDB, The Marketing Arm and Geometry Global before coming to HackerAgency.

Johnson is moving up from her role as director of operations, where she helped define the company’s agile product management philosophy.

The company also announced that Julie Rezek will be joining HackerAgency as North American President in June, coming over from rival agency Wunderman Seattle.

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