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Ian McKerlich. (Zonar Systems Photo)
Ian McKerlich. (Zonar Systems Photo)

Zonar Systems, a Seattle-based company providing automotive fleet tracking systems, announced the appointment of T-Mobile vet Ian McKerlich as its new CEO and president, following the acquisition of a majority stake in the company by German automotive group Continental.

McKerlich replaces the company’s 15-year CEO and President Brett Brinton, who will stay on in an advisory capacity. 

McKerlich most recently served as a vice president of product at mobile research firm Root Metrics, and has also spent time advising early-stage tech companies over the past five years. He previously served a seven year stint as VP of product management for wireless giant T-Mobile.

“The entire team at Zonar is focused on continued innovation and modernization of connected intelligence solutions for commercial transportation so that we meet fleets’ evolving safety, efficiency and compliance needs,” McKerlich said in a press release. “With an expanding leadership team and support from Continental AG, we’ve dramatically improved our ability to do just that.”

As part of the shift, Zonar has also made changes to several leadership positions: tech veteran Larry Jordan, previously of Nuance Communications and T-Mobile, was promoted to senior vice president of product management;  Disney and Hewlett-Packard vet Arun Jacob was added as vice president of software development; and Microsoft and Zonar-Continental vet Chad Maglaque was hired as vice president of program and partner management.

Pearl Chan. (NetMotion Photo)
Pearl Chan. (NetMotion Photo)

— Seattle’s NetMotion, a mobile performance management software company, announced the addition of several new leadership positions this week.

Financial tech veteran Pearl Chan —who formerly worked at Isilon, Cheezburger, and Pioneer Square Labs — was appointed as NetMotion’s Chief Financial Officer; prior Sophos CEO Steve Munford was appointed to the company’s board of directors; and AT&T sales alum Dan Pagel was promoted to VP of sales for North America.

“Ms. Chan, Mr. Pagel and Mr. Munford are all incredibly experienced executives who understand how to help companies scale,” NetMotion CEO Christopher Kenessey said in a press release. “There is an urgent need among enterprises for solutions that can help them compete and better serve their customers in an increasingly mobile world. Ms. Chan, Mr. Pagel and Mr. Munford bring unique skills and a depth of knowledge that will help us as we accelerate our growth and expand our market presence.”

“I am excited to join NetMotion as it moves into its next phase of growth,” Chan said in the release. “The quality of their product, strength of their leadership team and passion for serving customers is second to none.”

NetMotion was sold to The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C., based firm, in August, for an undisclosed sum. It was previously owned by the Clearlake Capital Group.

(Nohla Therapeutics Photo)
Dr. Shelly Heimfeld. (Nohla Therapeutics Photo)

Nohla Therapeutics, a biotech startup that raised $43.5 million in venture funding last week, announced the addition of Dr. Shelly Heimfeld as executive vice president of research and manufacturing. Heimfeld will maintain his positions at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where he has been directing cellular therapy programs for over a decade.

“We are delighted to welcome Shelly to our executive management team overseeing the critical activities of manufacturing and research in support of our lead clinical programs and research pipeline,” Colleen Delaney, a scientific founder and Chief Medical Officer of Nohla, said in a press release.

“Dr. Heimfeld has been a critical partner in the bench-to-bedside development of this product while it was under development at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and we are excited to have him continue in this capacity in his new role at Nohla Therapeutics.”

Nohla spun out of the Fred Hutch last year, and is developing a universal stem cell transplant procedure to treat patients with Leukemia. It could work better than traditional bone marrow transplants.

Justin Baker. (Photo via LinkedIn)
Justin Baker. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Context Relevant, a predictive analytics startup fueled by machine learning, announced Seattle tech marketing vet Justin Baker as its new head of marketing. He is the first dedicated marketing employee in the company’s four-year history and brings a wealth of experience to the job.

He comes to Context Relevant from a six-year stint at IT operations and data analytics startup ExtraHop, and held a global marketing role at F5 Networks before that. He has also worked in marketing for a variety of early-stage tech startups.

Context Relevant has been heavily funded and backed by Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, including in a $21 million funding round in 2014. The company cut staff in a shakeup late last year, following the departure of CEO and co-founder Stephen Purpura.

Brian Ma. (Photo via LinkedIn)
Brian Ma. (Photo via LinkedIn)

— Brian Ma, a previous program manager at Microsoft and Zillow and a longtime Seattle entrepreneur and investor, is embarking on a new journey.

Now based in San Francisco, he is an entrepreneur in residence at HVF labs, where he is thinking about startup ideas that fit HVF’s “hard, valuable, and fun” mission, Ma told GeekWire in an email. Ma said he is working on a startup idea in the real estate space, inspired by his time at Zillow.

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