For the past six years, Paul Stephen has held leadership roles in Zillow Group’s corporate technology department so the rest of the company could focus on shaking up the real estate listings industry. Now, he’s poised to do the same thing for Impinj, where he’ll support the RFID technology company as it builds solutions for the Internet of Things as vice president of IT.
“What Impinj is doing – using RAIN RFID to deliver information about physical items to the digital world – excites me,” he said in an email. “As an IT professional, I’ve been watching technologies develop around the Internet of Things (IoT) with great interest. It’s a fascinating space and I believe the Impinj platform is truly transformative. I see the role as a perfect match for me – both from a career perspective and as a technology leader.”
Stephen starts his new gig today and he says his main objective is to “position IT in a way that frees up the team to focus on what they do best.”
Most recently, Stephen was Zillow’s vice president of corporate technology. Before that, he was a senior IT director at the real estate data powerhouse.
— Emmanuel Marot has left LendingRobot, the peer-to-peer lending company he co-founded in 2013. He served as CEO of the startup for the past four years, navigating LendingRobot through a merger with NSR Invest in August.
“While I’m a bit sad to leave the company … I’m excited about what this acquisition means for LendingRobot’s future,” Marot said in an email.
Before LendingRobot, Marot co-founded dynamic pricing marketplace Valu Valu and served as director of Microsoft’s mobile search department.
Marot isn’t sure what his next career move will be but remains General Manager of Zenvestment.com, according to LinkedIn.
— Starbucks today announced Rosalind Brewer will take over as chief operating officer, beginning Oct. 2. Brewer is leaving her role as CEO of Sam’s Club — the members only branch of Walmart. Brewer will report directly to Kevin Johnson, who was named Starbucks CEO last year. Brewer was already a member of the Starbucks board of directors before landing the COO position.
As COO, Brewer will lead Starbucks’ global operations, including supply chain management, product innovation, and store development.
“As a passionate customer of the brand and recently elected board member, I have a deep love and admiration for the Starbucks brand and its people,” she said in a statement. “I am so honored to have the pleasure of working with the Starbucks leadership team to realize our highest of aspirations for the company and I look forward to working closely with the astute and talented leaders across the enterprise.”
— STRIVR, a Bay Area company that makes immersive virtual reality experiences, has lured key employees away from Microsoft and Apple. Brian Meek is joining STRIVR as CTO, after 13 years at Microsoft. Most recently, Meek served as general manager of development for Skype. He joined Microsoft in 2003, when the Redmond software giant acquired Placeware. Meek was chief architect at the time.
Nathaniel Jewell is leaving a leadership role in financial strategy at Apple to take over as STRIVR’s CFO. Jewell was an executive consultant for Deloitte before joining Apple three years ago.
STRIVR has made its mark among pro sports teams, where players use the immersive software in training. This summer the company also announced a deal with Walmart which will use STRIVR’s platform to train employees at more than 200 of its Walmart Academy learning centers.
— Hichem Garnaoui is leaving his role as head of Google Fiber to take over as Tupl’s new COO. He’ll be managing business operations of the Seattle startup, which helps telecom companies make their networks more efficient.
Tupl is in the process of raising a $7 million funding round, which it will use to help clients better understand customer data using artificial intelligence.
Garanaoui has been with Google for the past three years. Prior to that, he was a VP for T-Mobile and held leadership roles at Telus and U.S. Cellular.