Former Google director Darcy Nothnagle has started a new role at Facebook, GeekWire has learned. Facebook confirmed Nothnagle’s new role and GeekWire has reached out to the company and to Nothnagle for further comment.
Nothnagle is now serving as Facebook’s director of data center community development, and according to her LinkedIn page, she will remain in Seattle in the new role.
Before the move, Nothnagle spent six years at Google, where she held a variety of roles. She was most recently the head of data center community affairs and external affairs for the company’s Northwest division. She previously worked as head of government relations and affairs. Prior to working at Google, Nothnagle worked in public service as the district director of former U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott.
Facebook’s growing Seattle office is home to much of the company’s platform team, along with a growing presence in artificial intelligence. The company opened a new building in the city in March, giving it space for almost 3,000 employees.
— Seattle-based AI-fueled marketing startup Amperity appointed Ralph Robertson as its new senior vice president of sales and chief revenue officer. In this role, Robertson will be working on revenue growth and building relationships with Amperity’s partners.
Robertson was most recently the chief revenue officer at marketing intelligence company Visual IQ, which was acquired by media company Nielsen during his five-year tenure there. He was previously a VP of sales at Adobe, where he worked on Adobe’s digital marketing products, and Adobe Omniture, where he was a senior director of sales.
“Ralph’s proven track record of growing and driving sales performance for some of the fastest growing companies, coupled with his knowledge of CDPs, is precisely what we need at Amperity,” Amperity CEO Kabir Shahani said in a press release. “Every large brand today needs to understand who their target customers are — and we are committed to helping marketers make this a reality through our platform. We are thrilled to welcome such an accomplished leader to help us scale that vision and take our business to the next level.”
Amperity is still an early-stage company, but the startup has gained major hype in the past year along with $37 million in investment and top hires from around the country. It uses artificial intelligence to aggregate customer data from disparate sources and unifies the data into one profile.
— Paul Allen’s space company, Seattle-based Stratolaunch, has expanded its executive team. Hanna Kubiak joined as the vice president of business development and Melanie Preisser was promoted to vice president of government relations.
Kubiak is an industry veteran, with more than 20 years of experience in the commercial space sphere. She was the U.S. commercial director of business development at RUAG Space, a European space industry supplier prior to taking on her role at Stratolaunch. Prior to that, Kubiak was a business development manager for Virgin Orbit, working on commercial launch customers for the company’s LauncherOne vehicle.
Preisser was Stratolaunch’s national systems director prior to her promotion, where she secured and managed contracts with U.S. government agencies, particularly national security and NASA. In her new role, Preisser will direct the company’s D.C. strategy. She has 25 years of experience in both corporate and government settings, including having worked in the Pentagon in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
Stratolaunch, which aims to build a giant plane to launch payloads and possibly people into space, is planning its first launch in 2020. The company said it’s conducting the first flight test for the plane, which has the longest wingspan in the world at 385 feet, later this summer. The plane has already completed two runway taxi tests, with three more on the agenda.
— Bellevue, WA-based financial tech startup Center named Eugene Kuerner as its first chief technology officer. Center, which produces a smart corporate debit card and budgeting software, is currently in beta and launching in 2019. In his new role, Kuerner will lead the team focused on the debit card, connected app, and software.
Most recently, Kuerner was the CTO and vice president of software development at telemedicine company Carena, which was acquired by health tech company Avizia last year. Prior to that, he was the vice president of engineering at mobile analytics company Medio Systems, which was acquired by Nokia’s mapping division Here. Kuerner had stints at Microsoft, specifically with MSN and Bing. He was also a software engineer at Sun Microsystems from 1990 to 1995, and was part of the team that developed the Java programming language.
“His expertise will contribute so much to the team at Center, where we’re building connected business software to bring together data, people, and applications that deliver actionable insights,” Center co-founder and CEO Naveen Singh said in a press release.
The smart corporate debit card and connected budgeting software are Center’s first products. Singh founded the company with his father, tech veteran and Docker CEO Steve Singh, in 2014. Naveen Singh became the company’s CEO in 2017, after serving as its VP of product management for two years.
— Seattle-based agriculture biotech company Phytelligence has appointed Todd Raasch the new executive vice president of global sales. Raasch’s new role puts him in charge of Phytelligence’s sales team. According to the company, Raasch’s hire is the fifth executive level hire in the past year. Phytelligence has also doubled its employee count in the past year.
Raasch has worked in sales for more than 20 years. He was most recently the vice president of North American sales at True North Seafood. Prior, he was a sales manager at Kelley-Clarke Seafood and then a senior director at Icicle Seafood when the companies went through a series of acquisitions.
“With Phytelligence’s growers-first approach, Todd’s expertise in building and retaining successful relationships with both internal and external customers will help scale operations,” Phytelligence CEO Ken Hunt said in a press release. “His extensive North American and international sales expertise will be instrumental in managing our growing sales pipeline around the world.”
Phytelligence uses a tree cultivation process to grow trees quickly and reach the size needed to be planted in orchards. The company, which was founded by Washington State University professor Amit Dhingra, is in a legal dispute with WSU over its rights to grow and sell a new type of apple called Cosmic Crisp. The startup just raised $9.85 million to bring its Series B round to $16.8 million.
— Tableau, the Seattle-based analytics platform, has permanently appointed Damon Fletcher the chief financial officer. Fletcher had been serving as the interim CFO since February. He was formerly the senior vice president of finance and has served in a variety of other positions since starting at the company in 2014.
“Over the last few months, Damon has proved without a doubt that he is the right person for the job of CFO,” Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky said in a press release. “We are pleased and excited to be able to fill this role from within the Tableau family and look forward to Damon’s continued expertise and leadership at the company.”
The software company has been migrating to a subscription model for its data visualization products in an overhaul of its pricing structure, which has largely been hailed as a success. Since the transition began, Tableau stocks have soared.