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Doug Hebenthal. (Axiom Photo)

Axiom, a private, New York-based legal technology company, caught the eye of many in Seattle when it recruited former Concur President Elana Donio as its new CEO.

Now the company is making a big move into the Seattle area with a new research and development center led by Microsoft vet Doug Hebenthal, who will also serve as the company’s chief technology officer.

The company hasn’t shared many details on the new office, only saying that it will be located in the Seattle area and “will play a key role in expanding Axiom’s industry-leading technology vision, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and contract automation tools and will also focus on building new technology-driven legal solutions that solve customers’ most pressing legal needs.”

The company said the new office would open in early 2018.

Axiom employs 2,000 people, including hundreds of lawyers who work on legal projects on behalf of large Fortune 500 companies. It has offices in ten North American cities, including one in San Francisco, and has seven international offices in Europe and Asia.

Hebenthal is a familiar face to the Seattle tech scene: He spent more than 20 years at Microsoft, many of them in the upper reaches of the company’s corporate structure. During his time there, he helped found the company’s Xbox division and oversaw a variety of its products.

He then went on to serve as Director of Engineering for Amazon’s e-commerce payments platform for a year, and later served as an SVP for health tech company Challange Healthcare.

“Doug is an innovator. He’s worked on disruptive technologies from the beginning of his career and values leadership as much as he values architecture and code,” Donio said in a press release. “Doug’s deep, global technology expertise, in addition to his wealth of experience in product development, product marketing, data science, and passion for the client, make him uniquely equipped to accelerate Axiom’s mission to modernize the legal industry. His talents and leadership will be instrumental to our continued growth at the forefront of innovative legal technology services.”

“I have spent my career working on, and leading, technology innovations that have led to sea changes in our lives. I believe Axiom has a similar opportunity and I’m thrilled to join the team,” Hebenthal said in the release. “Axiom has demonstrated remarkable success in challenging the status quo and forging a new frontier in the legal industry and I look forward to helping bring their technology vision of the future of law to life.”

Hebenthal also addressed the new Seattle office: “As a 25-year veteran of Seattle’s technology community, I am excited to lead the development of Axiom’s new R&D center in the Seattle area to help drive this vision. In recent years, the Seattle area has emerged as an epicenter for some of the world’s best tech-talent and is now an international hub of technological innovation, making it a natural home for our efforts,” he said.

Axiom builds technology for the legal industry, and currently has platforms for hiring legal talent, handling M&A deals and helping companies with regulation adherence.

Here’s the company’s full release on the new office and Hebenthal’s addition:

NEW YORK/SEATTLE- October 2, 2017 – Axiom, a leading provider of technology-enabled legal and contracting solutions, today announced Doug Hebenthal has been named the company’s Chief Technology Officer, effective October 2, 2017. Based in Seattle, Hebenthal will play a key role in expanding Axiom’s industry-leading technology vision, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and contract automation tools and will also focus on building new technology-driven legal solutions that solve customers’ most pressing legal needs.

Hebenthal will oversee the creation of an industry-pioneering research and development (R&D) center. Axiom’s new R&D center will be based in the greater Seattle area and is slated to open in early 2018. In leading the center, Hebenthal will build an agile team of engineers and data scientists, furthering Axiom’s technology vision and providing its clients with access to the most advanced solutions in the legal industry.

“Doug is an innovator. He’s worked on disruptive technologies from the beginning of his career and values leadership as much as he values architecture and code,” said Elena Donio, CEO of Axiom. “Doug’s deep, global technology expertise, in addition to his wealth of experience in product development, product marketing, data science, and passion for the client, make him uniquely equipped to accelerate Axiom’s mission to modernize the legal industry. His talents and leadership will be instrumental to our continued growth at the forefront of innovative legal technology services.”

“I have spent my career working on, and leading, technology innovations that have led to sea changes in our lives. I believe Axiom has a similar opportunity and I’m thrilled to join the team,” said Hebenthal. “Axiom has demonstrated remarkable success in challenging the status quo and forging a new frontier in the legal industry and I look forward to helping bring their technology vision of the future of law to life. As a 25-year veteran of Seattle’s technology community, I am excited to lead the development of Axiom’s new R&D center in the Seattle area to help drive this vision. In recent years, the Seattle area has emerged as an epicenter for some of the world’s best tech-talent and is now an international hub of technological innovation, making it a natural home for our efforts.

A 30-year veteran of the technology industry, Hebenthal most recently served as Chief Network Engineering Officer at Change Healthcare, a top healthcare analytics and software provider. Prior to his work driving cloud adoption at Change, he served as Director of Engineering for Amazon’s e-commerce payments platform. Hebenthal spent more than 20 years at Microsoft, where he worked on the early-stages of development of networking and the Internet. He then went on to serve as a founding member of the team that developed the Xbox.

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