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Twerdahl (Via LinkedIn)

—Apple and Amazon are on a collision course in many industries, but the battle for tech talent looks to be heating up in the TV space. According to a report in Bloomberg News, Apple has reportedly hired Timothy Twerdahl, who previously helped lead Amazon’s Fire TV unit.

He worked for Amazon since 2013, with Bloomberg noting that Twerdahl will report to Apple’s Greg Joswiak.

The hire looks to be a key move by Apple, with Business Insider noting that Twerdahl will be tasked with saving Apple’s “struggling” TV business. Ars Technica, meanwhile, says that the hiring could “at least help Apple stay abreast of its competitors.”

Prior to Amazon, Twerdahl worked at Roku and Netflix, according to his LinkedIn profile, which shows him joining Apple earlier this month.

Dan Koch. (Photo via Tune)

— Tune, the fast-growing Seattle-based mobile marketing analytics company, has announced the promotion of Dan Koch to Chief Technology Officer. Koch had previously served as Tune’s director of engineering and in-app marketing.

He joined Tune in 2015, following the company’s acquisition of Philadelphia-based Artisan Mobile, where Koch had served as the director of product development. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova School of Business, Koch also previously served as chief Agile Project Management Coach for the Best Buy Technology Group.

As CTO, Koch will oversee the entirety of Tune’s product and engineering teams.

“Marketers are in a constant struggle with the gap between what they need to do to succeed and what their marketing technology makes possible,” Koch said in a press release. “By aligning the world-class product and engineering talent we have at Tune, we can deliver something that obliterates this gap: the ultimate marketing stack that ties a comprehensive understanding of the user into everything a marketer needs to do to win.”

Tune, formerly known as HasOffers and founded by twin brothers Lee and Lucas Brown in 2009, raised $27 million in venture funding in 2015.

Omri Gazitt (Via LinkedIn)

Puppet, a 12-year-old Portland-based company that specializes in IT automation software, announced the addition of two new executives this week: Omri Gazitt will serve as the company’s chief product officer, and Sandra Hamilton joins the company as vice president of customer success. 

Gazitt joins the company from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, HP’s cloud unit. He had served as VP and GM of the company’s cloud-native platform for four years, and is also currently on the board director for the Cloud Foundry Foundation. At Puppet, Gazitt will oversee the company’s engineering and product management operations.

“We’re in the midst of a sea change as enterprises deploy new workloads into public clouds such as AWS, Azure and the Google Cloud Platform,” said Gazitt. “It’s a great honor to be joining Puppet, an iconic company in our industry which has played an essential role in helping customers manage through the complexity of running ever-larger and more heterogeneous IT footprints. As our customers adopt DevOps practices and increase their agility, Puppet has an excellent opportunity to be their trusted partner on that journey.”

Hamilton joins Puppet after over a decade at Dell’s cloud branch, EMC, where she served in a variety of leadership roles, most recently VP of global services. At Puppet, Hamilton will focus on customer relationships and expanding its global services practice.

“I’m very passionate about the total customer experience,” Hamilton said in the release. “My entire career has been about the customer, in one way or another. Even in the age of technology, I recognize the value of personally engaging with them. At Puppet, I’m looking forward to elevating the customer connection even further.”

Nohla Therapeutics, a biotech startup spun out of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is off to a roaring start.

The company raised $43.5 million in venture funding last November, bringing their total funding to over $65 million, and now the startup has appointed a permanent CEO: pharmaceutical vet Kathleen Fanning.

Fanning joins the company from biopharmaceutical company VentiRx, where she served as the Chief Operating Officer and formerly the VP of business development. She previously held leadership positions at a number of biotechnology companies and spent thirteen years in various roles at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, now AstraZeneca.

Fanning replaces interim CEO Michael Sistenich, who remains on the company’s board of directors.

Nohla is developing and commercializing an alternative to bone marrow transplants: stem cell transplants from donated umbilical cord blood. The procedure means it’s much easier to find a donor, and could have better outcomes for patients with advanced Leukemia. Nohla’s work is based on the work of Fred Hutch researcher Colleen Delaney, Nohla founder and Chief Science officer.

“I am very excited to join a true next generation platform biotechnology company that is transforming the application of universal donor stem cell therapies to decrease side effects and improve patient survival after cancer treatment,” Fanning said in a press release.

“The Company has made significant progress in advancing its lead programs into clinical development and I look forward to working with the talented team at Nohla to build upon this promising foundation and to pioneer the delivery of best-in-class cellular therapies to patients.”

Brian Neirby. (TimeXtender Photo)

— Data automation provider TimeXtender, a Danish company with a North America headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., has announced the addition of Brian Neirby as VP of North American channels and alliances.

Neirby joins the company from Redmond-based browser management provider Browsium, where he served as SVP of global field operations. At TimeXtender, Neirby will be responsible for developing a partner network across North America and will oversee the North American sales team.

“I believe making the accessibility of data that is easy to interpret by any user, in any organization, is of extreme importance for all companies, given the need for making decisions predicated on data-driven analysis,” Neirby said in a press release. “I am excited to be part of the TimeXtender team and look forward to growing the channel network and working with its impressive roster of existing channel partners.”

Elliott Waldron. (Placed Photo)

— Location-based data startup Placed announced two additions to its leadership team this week: Elliott Waldron was promoted to VP of research, and Jeremy Tryba was promoted to VP of data engineering.

Waldron has been with the company for five years, and formerly served as Director of Analytics. He has served in leadership roles at a variety of companies, including financial firm L1 partners.

“As part of the data science team, I have the privilege of working with a fantastic team and a fascinating dataset.  The challenge of turning raw smartphone sensor data into physical-world measurement for brands involves so many facets of data science from big data to more traditional statistical modeling.  We’re like kids in a candy shop of location data! It’s a privilege to help lead the effort,” Waldron said in a press release.

Tryba previously served as the director of engineering for Placed, and formerly worked as a software engineer and in other technical roles.

“At Placed the Data Engineering team is building tools to bring data science to production as quickly and reliably as possible. I’m honored to be working with such a talented team of engineers and data scientists. It’s their creativity and insight in building solutions that makes this job so much fun,” Tryba said in the release.

Daniel Kisner. (Nativis Photo)

Nativis, a clinical-stage bioelectronics startup, is continuing to expand its board of directors with the appointment of healthcare vet Daniel Kisner.

Kisner is currently an independent consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as an advisor and investor. He was previously the president and CEO of medical device company Caliper Life Sciences, and served as the President and COO of Isis Pharmaceuticals for eight years.

“I am pleased to be joining the board of Nativis as they push towards a breakthrough with the Nativis Voyager system to battle glioblastoma and other cancers,” said Kisner said in a press release. “I look forward to using my experience in drug development and the pharmaceutical industry to advance their proprietary ulRFE technology. I am also excited to work with the industry leaders that have joined the board to help guide the company to further success.”

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