Trending: 5 things no one tells you about starting a startup

Former Porch COO Asha Sharma.

Asha Sharma, who served as the COO of home services startup Porch since its inception, is leaving the company for a new position at Facebook, GeekWire has learned.

Fittingly, Sharma shared the news on her personal Facebook profile, where she said she will be working on the company’s social good efforts. She also said former Expedia exec and Hired CMO Juney Ham will take over the COO role in her absence and that she will continue to be involved with the company as a board member.

GeekWire has reached out to Sharma and Porch for comments and we will update this story when we hear back.

Here’s the full text of Sharma’s Facebook post:

I am thrilled to share that I have started a new adventure with Facebook, working on Social Good!

I’ve spent the past 4.5 years helping to build Porch since its birth in Matt Ehrlichman’s basement. The team and mision are deeply important to me and I’m excited to continue to help build the company as a Board Member!

I’m also honored to welcome an admired friend and great leader, Juney Ham, to the Porch family as our new COO :)

Here we go!

Once a rising star in Seattle’s startup scene, Porch has scaled back operations in recent months. The company has raised close to $100 million since it was founded in 2012.

Dara Khosrowshahi
Dara Khosrowshahi speaking at the 2016 GeekWire Summit in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

— Ride-hailing giant Uber may have found a new chief executive in former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, but after several tumultuous years at the top levels of leadership, the company still has dozens of openings that need to be filled.

Among them is the COO position, likely to be Khosrowshahi’s right-hand person, along with a CFO — a position that’s been open for two years — top legal executives and positions that were left open as execs were pushed out during a set of scandals earlier this year. Recode reports that Khosrowshahi is also planning to clean house as he settles in at the company, opening even more positions to be filled.

As Khosrowshahi sets out to fill those roles, he may look beyond Silicon Valley and turn to Seattle-area connections that he knows from his twelve plus years at Expedia.

A few names have already been rumored: Recode also reported that former Orbitz CEO Barney Harford has appeared on Uber’s short list for the CFO position. Harford, who worked at Expedia from 1996 to 2006, holding roles such as President of Expedia Asia Pacific, joined Orbitz as CEO in 2009, and he eventually sold the travel company to Expedia in 2015.

When Khosrowshahi was first announced as Uber’s new executive, there was also widespread speculation that Expedia CFO Mark Okerstrom would move to the company with him, although he ended up staying on as Expedia’s new CEO.

Several other Expedia names have popped up in Uber’s search for new leadership, among them its former general counsel Burke Norton and chairman and media mogul Barry Diller. While it looks like those rumors weren’t accurate, it’s clear that Khosrowshahi is looking for new and trusted leaders as he performs a massive course correction at the company.

We’ll keep tracking new positions at Uber, as well as changes at Expedia.

Paul Major. (Ad Lightning Photo)

— Advertising services company Ad Lightning is on a roll. The company was accepted into a new Verizon Ventures incubator last month, raised $1 million the month before and now it has announced the addition of former Microsoft vet and startup tech exec Paul Major as the company’s new VP of product.

Major started off his career with a 20-year stint in product development at Microsoft and went on to serve as the VP of product strategy at MSNBC for two years. He later served as the VP of product at Cheezburger — working alongside Ad Lightning CEO Scott Moore — and Svorn Holdings before joining Ad Lightning.

The startup is a Pioneer Square Labs spinout that helps publishers and advertising exchange platforms monitor bad ads that slow down sites and disrupt engagement.

Major told GeekWire in an email that he’s excited to take on new challenges at the programmatic advertising space, i.e. using tech and software to buy ads.

“[Ad Lightning CEO and founder] Scott [Moore] and team have done some great work building a powerful ad quality intelligence platform, and I think my years building and leading product teams will help us focus our efforts as we continue to grow,” Major said.

“What gets me most excited is that we are solving a huge problem in the chaotic programmatic ad space. We shine a light on the black box that is programmatic advertising and empower publishers and exchanges with the tools they need to track bad ads (and actors) to the source.  I firmly believe that the long term health of the digital ad industry depends on the ability to solve this problem and I am incredibly excited to be joining the team,” he said.

Steven Rozanski. (The Stable Photo)

— Minneapolis-based consumer brand agency The Stable announced it is opening a Seattle office to focus on helping clients sell products on Amazon.com.

The Seattle office will be led by Steven Rozanski, an Amazon vet who just joined the company as its VP of retail and GM of Seattle operations.

Rozanski joins the company after a three-year stint at Amazon, most recently serving as the senior technical business development manager for the Alexa Platform. He formerly worked in business strategy at digital marketing platform Quikly.

The Stable’s Seattle office will be based in WeWork’s Westlake office, with 6-8 initial hires and plans to expand the team to 20 people by the end of 2018. The company employs 25 people, and just announced $4 million in funding from Gen7 Investments. “With the retail landscape changing, we are seeing brands make considerable shifts towards new and emerging distribution platforms to reach the consumer,” said The Stable’s co-founder
and CEO, Chad Hetherington in a press release. “Our role over the next few years is to position the agency to
support our brand partners across all platforms.”

Ravi Angadi. (Promethean Photo)

— Promethean, an educational technology company owned by Chinese Internet powerhouse NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited, announced the addition of Ravi Angadi as its chief products and strategy officer.

Angadi is based in the company’s global headquarters in Seattle, which opened in April.

Angadi joins the company from IT company Agylysys, where he served as VP of product management and marketing for over four years. He formerly founded and led his own business intelligence tech company, BizLogix, served as a tech executive at a variety of companies and spent time as an engineer at Amazon and Motorola.

“Ravi Angadi brings to Promethean significant global technology leadership spanning his 20-year career working in large, medium, and start-up technology companies,” Promethean CEO Vin Riera said in a press release. “His expertise and strong strategy and visionary skill sets will ensure that Promethean continues to develop transformative technologies that motivate students to learn.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline

Comments

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.