Buchanan joins Ada from Consulting Engagements, where she spent four years as a technology marketing consultant and executive. She has formerly held leadership roles at Microsoft, AT&T and Motorola, among others.
She will head a unique program: Ada is a tuition-free coding school for women, particularly women with diverse backgrounds.
“I am excited to join such a motivated team that are so intentional about creating and promoting healthy tech environments,” Buchanan said in a statement.
“Being in the tech space for as long as I have I am resolute in my belief that inclusive and diverse teams are healthier and more productive, deliver products and solutions that are more innovative and many times at faster speeds, meeting the real needs of the customer. Economically it makes sense, it’s great for our communities, our businesses and so on. It’s just a big win all around. Being involved with the work of this organization is a privilege,” she said.
“Playfab is a powerful backend that makes it easier to build games — and not just pure games, but game-ified experiences that engage and connect customers,” Tee said. “My kids use games. Their friends use games. It’s a connector and can be used to teach and build connections in a positive way. I’m excited to be part of enabling that.”
She also said the position is a good opportunity to bring more diversity to games leadership.
“Games, in general, is an area that needs more women and people of color in leadership positions. That’s another thing that drew me to this area. We’re all aware the diversity and inclusion in this particular segment needs a lot of work, and I want to make an impact here,” she said.
— Identity management startup Auth0 announced a slate of new additions to its executive board, including former leaders at Nike, Winshuttle, and Tableau. The additions come just a few months after the Bellevue, Wash.-based company raised a $30 million Series C and announced plans for two new international offices.
Joan Pepin joins the company as its chief information security officer. She comes from Nike, where she served as the business information security officer, and she was formerly a VP of security at machine data analysis provider Sumo Logic.
At Auth0, Pepin will oversee the holistic security and compliance of Auth0’s platform, products and corporate environment.
She is joined by longtime Winshuttle CEO Lewis Carpenter, who joins Auth0 as its CMO. Carpenter spent over eight years at the helm of ERP data management company Winshuttle, and formerly spent seven years as the COO of Seattle-based remote access company Aventail which was acquired by SonicWall.
Kendal Callison joins the company as VP of people. She was most recently the international HR director at data visualization company Tableau, and will now oversee Auth0’s company culture as well as talent acquisition and engagement.
And finally, Jeremy Freeland joins Auth0 as its general counsel. He was formerly an independent legal contractor and previously worked as the general counsel of Aventail, alongside Carpenter.
“Our tremendous success over the past year has been fueled by the amazing people who work at Auth0,” CEO Jon Gelsey said in a press release. “The addition of Joan, Lewis, Kendal, and Jeremy provides us with deep expertise in each of their respective areas, and bolsters an already outstanding leadership team that will manage the next stage of growth for Auth0. We’re thrilled to have them on board for the journey.”
— Seattle startup Talentful was founded with a grand vision: Use machine learning to help tech companies quickly find the most qualified candidates.
Now the company has grown significantly, and the company has added a new CEO: Longtime Seattle startup exec and entrepreneur Michael Matthies. The company’s founder, Jia Chen, will transition to heading up product efforts and the development of its machine learning platform.
Matthies joins the company from management consulting group Ockham Partners and is the founder of integrated web analytics platform Groundswell.
“I’m taking on the role of CEO for Talentful to help guide our team’s growth and expand our footprint in the marketplace while Jia will focus on continuing to develop our ‘game-changing’ ML platform,” Matthies told GeekWire in an email.
Gomez served as the SVP for finance and strategy at Salesforce for six years. She is now the CFO of customer relationship software company Zendesk.
Her appointment comes six months after Smartsheet raised a whopping $52 million in a Series F round. The company is now valued at over $850 million.
“Smartsheet is among a small handful of true SaaS innovators; they face both a rapidly growing and constantly evolving landscape,” Gomez said in a press release. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with Mark, the rest of the board, and the senior leadership team to help guide the company’s next stage of growth.”
“Elena combines significant knowledge of the SaaS business model with a proven ability to partner with senior business leaders,” Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader said in the release. “Her experience in optimizing growth across enterprise sales and multiple products will serve us well as we continue our rapid growth in the work management and automation market.”
Redman has a long history as a leader in Seattle’s tech and startup world. In addition to her role as a managing parter at Flying Fish, she’s also the vice chair of the Washington Technology Industry Association board and the chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce board of trustees, among other roles.
“I’m honored to have a chance to serve the WSU community,” Redman said in a press release. “Cutting-edge research, great educators and ambitious, talented students are the backbone of world-leading innovation and great young companies. WSU is a powerful force for innovation today and is poised to achieve even greater impact in the coming years. I can’t wait to be part of the team.”
“We are delighted to welcome Heather to the board,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said in the release. “Incorporating a mindset of entrepreneurship and innovation more fully into the WSU culture is critical to the University’s future, particularly as we pursue our goal of becoming one of the country’s top 25 public research universities. Heather’s expertise and knowledge will be invaluable to advancing our efforts.”
Redman is not an alumnus of WSU — she holds a bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, Ore., and a law degree from Stanford University.
Hulman joins the company from video conferencing provider Polycom. At GCI, he will spearhead the company’s growth and development strategy in the Pacific Northwest. GCI offers a variety of managed and professional communications services.
“Matt’s experience developing customer relationships will shape our growing team as GCI expands our footprint in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation,” Justin Burgess, GCI VP of new markets, said in a press release. “At GCI, our priority is to recruit expert staff and invest in the latest technology to deliver the best possible solutions to our customers. Matt understands the needs of our customers and will help ensure they make the right investments that will make their business operations more efficient and improve outcomes.”
— Nauto, a San Francisco-based automated vehicle startup, has made some big acquisitions recently. It raised $159 million in July, and just last month it hired away former Microsoft VP of global enterprise sales, Sanket Akerkar.
Akerkar joined Microsoft in 2003 and spent over a decade in leadership roles, including serving as the director for Microsoft India.
He will now serve as Nauto’s SVP of global fleets and insurance. He was recruited at the same time as the former Waymo head of business Jennifer Haroon, who will serve as Nauto’s VP of business development and operations, according to Recode.
Akerkar’s LinkedIn profile says he is based in Seattle, although the company doesn’t have a publicly listed office in the city. Nauto’s job page lists one opening that could be based in Palo Alto, Calif., where the company’s headquarters are, or in Seattle.