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John Besteman. (Photo courtesy of Karat)

Karat has named John Besteman as its senior vice president of sales. Besteman earlier ran sales teams at Forrester Research and Gartner.

Karat, which conducts first-round technical interviews for software engineers on behalf of enterprise and startup clients, raised $11.3 million last year and said it is on track to triple bookings by the end of 2018. The Seattle-based firm said it expects to conduct more than 30,000 technical interviews in 2019.

In a LinkedIn post, Besteman said, “I appreciate that Karat’s solution provides an even playing field for all software engineering candidates, regardless of their background or pedigree.”

Karat said it now has 40 employees, up from 16 when it raised the series A funding in May 2017.

David LeBreton. (Photo courtesy of Phytelligence)

David LeBreton is joining Seattle-based agricultural biotech company Phytelligence as its vice president of operations. In the new role, the company says LeBreton will lead its lab, greenhouse and pre-production teams in North America.

LeBreton had been working with Phytelligence for much of the past year evaluating research functions and developing an operational strategy for pre-production.

“We are thrilled to have his support managing and advancing the company’s growth,” said Ken Hunt, Phytelligence CEO in a statement. “His experience in strategy development, performance and operation management, coupled with his drive for service improvement will be extremely valuable as we continue to expand and provide growers with the highest quality food crops.”

Lené Russell. (Photo courtesy of SigmaDesign)

—   Camas, Wash.-based product design and engineering services company SigmaDesign is opening a Seattle-area office in Kirkland, Wash. to support what it says is its “consistent growth.”

Lené Russell joins the company in its Kirkland office as operations manager. Russell earlier worked with Amazon as principal operations program manager for Amazon Go. Before that, she was with Microsoft as a senior technical program manager.

Craig Baerwaldt is the new business development manager. Previously, Baerwaldt was with Delphi Precision Imaging.

Craig Baerwaldt. (Photo courtesy of SigmaDesign)

“SigmaDesign already has a strong presence in the UAV industry, so increasing development within the local aerospace market is a natural fit,” Baerwaldt said in a statement. “In the product development market, confidentiality when developing and prototyping hardware is paramount. As companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Boeing continue to develop in Seattle, it makes sense for us to provide services that match the growth of major players in the region.”

The new SigmaDesign office is scheduled to open on Nov. 15. The company, founded in 1994, said it has more than 300 employees worldwide, including the offices in Camas and Kirkland, plus facilities in Vancouver, Wash. and Singapore.

“Our expansion into Seattle supports part of our long-term vision which includes purposeful growth along on the West Coast,” said Bill Huseby, SigmaDesign’s president and CEO.

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