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Satoshi Nakajima. Photo via UIEvolution.

UIEvolution confirmed with GeekWire today that founder Satoshi Nakajima has returned to the company’s executive team and is replacing Chris Ruff as CEO. Ruff was CEO for the past decade and talked about UIEvolution’s “phenomenal 2015” when GeekWire wrote about its $10.2 million funding last month.

Nakajima, known as the architect behind Microsoft products like Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 3, originally founded UIEvolution back in 2000. The chairman will take over as interim CEO while the company finds a permanent leader.

UIEvolution develops software that helps Fortune 1000 clients in the automotive, hospitality, cruise, and retail industries deliver customizable connected experiences and services to their own customers inside cars, hotel rooms, and more. Here’s a statement from the company on Ruff’s departure:

“Satoshi Nakajima, industry recognized engineering architect of successful products such as Windows 95 and 98, IE3 and 4 and founder of UIEvolution, has rejoined the executive management team as Interim CEO replacing Chris Ruff. We thank Chris for his leadership in establishing UIE in the market and are very excited to start the next chapter of UIE which will call upon Satoshi’s proven track record of creating world class technology and his vision for a connected world that will re-define the company allowing us to deliver engaging and innovative end user experiences through UIE products and services.”

Concur President Elana Donio at the 2015 GeekWire Summit.
Concur President Elana Donio at the 2015 GeekWire Summit.

Concur President Elena Donio has joined the board of Twilio, the San Francisco-based cloud communications company that has raised more than $230 million to date. Donio, who arrived at Concur 17 years ago and was named president last year after the Bellevue company was acquired by SAP for $8.3 billion, also sits on the board of Payscale.

“Twilio powers communications so many of us rely on today and what I love the most is what lies ahead; new clients, new geographies, and new use cases yet to be discovered,” Donio said in a statement. “To accomplish this, while building a growing, sustainable company with a talented, engaged workforce is something truly special. I look forward to being a part of the journey with them.”

Donio, also a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Champions Council and an MBA mentor at the University of Washington, joins former Amazon executive Rick Dalzell on Twilio’s board.

Anthony Banbury. Photo via Vulcan Inc.
Anthony Banbury. Photo via Vulcan Inc.

Vulcan Inc., the investment arm of Paul Allen, named Anthony Banbury as its chief philanthropy officer. Banbury, who will join Vulcan in March, is currently a U.N. assistant secretary-general for field support and has experience working in the White House and Pentagon.

In his newly-created role, Banbury will be responsible for pushing forward Allen’s global philanthropic efforts across wildlife conservation, climate change, education and arts and culture.

“In my role at the United Nations, I’ve had the privilege of serving those in need, advocating for a better world, and working for large-scale, system-level change,” Banbury said in a statement. “Leaving such a role requires that the new role provide a truly unique opportunity to make the world a better place. I am excited to have found just such an opportunity working to support Paul Allen and his vision to change the world by improving the way people live. His approach to philanthropy is defined by a limitless vision of what is possible when we view the future with optimism, determination and a collaborative spirit.”

Luis Cifuentes.
Luis Cifuentes.

— Former Amazon Head of Sales for North America Luis Cifuentes has joined Seattle startup Sirqul as its new chief operating officer. Cifuentes, a veteran of companies like Dell and a graduate of West Point and Harvard Business School, will lead all B2B and customer-facing departments at his new company.

Sirqul, which was launched in 2013 by Amazon Web Services co-founder Robert Frederick, has spent the past couple of years building a platform that helps developers launch apps faster.

“The Internet of Things is already changing how we live, work, serve, protect and play,” Cifuentes said in a statement. “Sirqul will shape the future of connected devices, smart communities and autonomous services. It is an exciting time to be at the bleeding edge of the next industrial revolution and to join a talented group of Amazon alumni.”

Brent Hieggelke. Photo via Hieggelke.
Brent Hieggelke. Photo via Hieggelke.

— After spending four years as chief marketing officer at Portland-based Urban Airship, Brent Hieggelke is joining Vadio, another Portland startup that helps streaming music companies utilize video content.

Hieggelke will take on the role of senior vice president of marketing at Vadio. Before his time at Urban Airship, Hieggelke founded vacation rental site Second Porch, which later sold to HomeAway.

“Vadio is offering the perfect service at exactly the right time,” he said in a statement. “Digital video advertising is drawing the most interest for brands and advertisers today, predicted to grow from $9 billion to over $14 billon in the next four years. Brands need engaging media outlets to place those investments, and we are working with the media leaders to capitalize on these trends with the most sought after video content there is—music videos.  Our platform is turnkey, customizable and has the analytics to optimize the monetization opportunity today, which is massive.”

— Seattle-based CleanTech Alliance, the nation’s largest state-level clean technology industry association, named seven new board members and a board chair. Steve Klein, CEO and founder of Klein Tech Advisors Group, will head up the board and replaces Stephen Gerritson. The new members include: Allumia Principal Aaron Block; J.P Morgan Banker Meeka Charles; A&R Solar CEO Reeves Clippard; Distributed Energy Management CEO Jimmy Jia; Kane Environmental CEO John Kane; EnerG2 CEO Rick Luebbe; and Oscilla Power CEO Rahul Shendure.

CleanTech Alliance also elected eight new board officers.

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