Smartsheet has some serious momentum.
Fresh off a $52 million funding round, the Bellevue-based collaborative work management technology company brought in Gene Farrell to be its senior vice president of product. Farrell has spent the last five years at Amazon Web Services, where he rose to the level of vice president of enterprise applications. During his time at Amazon, Farrell led teams that built tools like Amazon Chime and Amazon WorkSpaces, among others.
Before joining Amazon, Farrell was an executive at The Coca-Cola Co.
Farrell told GeekWire at Wednesday’s Cloud Tech Summit that he has spent his whole career at large, mature companies. He had always wanted to join a company that is still in its early stages. Smartsheet is far from a young startup, with a valuation topping $850 million and $120 million in lifetime funding, but it is still continuing to refine its mission and offerings.
It was a tough decision to leave Amazon, but Farrell said Smartsheet is re-defining how people and companies work, and he wanted to jump on that trend.
“It was really more for me about an opportunity to do something I always wanted to do in my career with a company and a product that is game changing for a lot of companies going forward,” Farrell said
Borrowing from his Amazon roots, Farrell’s approach at Smartsheet will be to start with the customer and work backwards from there. Smartsheet, Farrell said, does so many different things that it can be difficult to succinctly tell the company’s story. Getting a concise, crisp explanation of Smartsheet’s capabilities is another priority of his.
Smartsheet has more than 560 employees in its Bellevue headquarters and a new office in Boston. Its revenue rose by more than 60 percent year-over-year for the past five years, and it has a customer base of 69,000 brands in more than 190 countries.
Jacobs most recently served as president of services at messaging app Kik Interactive. Prior to Kik, he served as the president of the Omnicom Media Group and global CEO of Accuen Media, Omnicom’s media-buying platform.
“Given my background working with publishers and agencies, it was easy to see how impressive the plan for Maven is, and how the platform and business model is a revolutionary and needed solution for elite content creators looking for a sustainable future,” Jacobs said in a press release.
“Today’s marketer needs true consumer attention, and passion-driven media creates high-value audiences, with real scale. Maven’s technology platform makes it easy for us to produce the inventory and engagement that is becoming increasingly scarce,” he said.
Lehman was formerly the VP of North America Sales and Channel at cybersecurity provider FireEye and has held sales leadership positions at companies including Dell EMC and Salesforce.com.
Lehman joins ExtraHop as the company is growing quickly, and will lead its global sales and channel strategy.
“ExtraHop brings a differentiated approach that has already proven to be a market disruptor in IT operations and network analytics,” Lehman said in a press release. “With their advanced analytics and machine learning, I see tremendous opportunity for expansion as everyone from security teams to business stakeholders seek to take advantage of the insight ExtraHop provides. I look forward to joining ExtraHop at this time of rapid growth, and to playing a role in the company’s success.”
— Western Governors University (WGU), a nonprofit, online university that aims to increase access to higher education, announced that former Amazon executive Boyd Bischoff is joining the school as its CIO and SVP of technology.
Bischoff has held leadership roles at Amazon for over nine years, most recently as director of software engineering. He previously held leadership positions in the company’s Kindle and Amazon Webstore divisions. Before joining Amazon, he spent over a decade in tech leadership roles at Massachusetts-based software company Aspen Technology.
Washington, home to Amazon’s headquarters, is one of several states that has partnered with WGU to develop local branches. The university is based in Salt Lake City. In his new role, Bischoff will lead the university’s information technology efforts.
“WGU’s mission to provide low cost, high-quality online education lends itself well to disruptive technology innovation. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with the outstanding team at WGU to continue leveraging technology to truly redefine higher education and improve the overall student experience,” Bischoff said in a press release.
Ripsher was the co-founder and CEO of Kikker Interactive, a Singapore-based startup that was the country’s largest wireless technology providor. He joined Microsoft in 2008 after it acquired Kikker, and went on to lead projects including Bing’s UX, Microsoft OneApp and most recently an internal startup called LOOP.
In his new role at Pinterest, he will be in charge of all the company’s consumer products, including its home feed and visual search. The platform is growing steadily with 175 million monthly users.