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Dr. Junmei Zhong. (Photo courtesy of Marchex)

Marketing analytics company Marchex is upping its focus on artificial intelligence.

Dr. Junmei Zhong, a longtime AI researcher and former Pitchbook leader, is joining the company as its chief AI scientist. The company also announced the launch of the Marchex Innovation Development (MIND) Lab, a new research and development group.

Zhong was the chief data scientist for natural language processing at Chinese IT company Inspur and also served as the principal data scientist at Pitchbook. He was previously an assistant professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and has published studies about using natural language processing on electronic health records.

“Marchex has an exciting AI platform with a strong team of data scientists and applied researchers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the next evolution,” Zhong said in a press release. Marchex develops technology that aims to help companies convert incoming calls into customers.

“In an era of digital transformation, I believe Marchex is uniquely positioned to help businesses transform sales and marketing with personalized, AI-driven solutions that extract the voice of the customer from huge volumes of conversational data,” Zhong said.

Jeremi Gorman. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Jeremi Gorman, the head of global advertising sales at Amazon, is leaving the company to become the chief business officer at Snap, according to a report from CNBC.

Gorman has spent more than six years at Amazon, progressing through increasingly senior ad sales roles. Last month, a study found that Amazon is on track to surpass Microsoft and become the third largest digital ad publisher in the U.S.

Snap is also reportedly hiring former Huffington Post CEO Jared Grusd to serve as its chief strategy officer.

Snap, best known as the maker of photo messaging app Snapchat, went public in 2017 before facing a rocky year that saw it missing earnings for three quarters in a row. In February, the company beat analyst expectations for the first time and its stock rose noticeably.

Clara Wu Tsai. (Photo courtesy of the Institute for Protein Design)

— The University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design appointed investor and philanthropist Clara Wu Tsai to join its board of directors. Tsai has served as an executive at China’s largest online shopping website, Taobao, as well as holding positions at American Express in both the U.S. and Hong Kong. She is a Stanford graduate and holds and MBA from Harvard Business School.

She and her husband Joseph Tsai, the co-founder of Alibaba, also engage in philanthropy through their foundation and have a history of giving to innovative scientific research. Earlier this month, the foundation made a leading gift to the Stanford Neurosciences Institute that led the school to rename the research organization the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.

“The Institute for Protein Design at UW Medicine is generating completely new protein-based technologies that have the potential to revolutionize several industries. I believe the Institute for Protein Design will make a positive difference in the health of people around the world,” Tsai said in a press release.

The institute designs new proteins complex biological molecules, for use in medicine and health as well as a variety of other industries.

Tammy Perkins. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Perkins)

Pacific Market International, the Seattle-based parent of beverage container brands Stanley, Aladdin and Migo, added Tammy Perkins as its chief people officer. Perkins joins the company from marketing consultant Fjuri where she was the chief people officer and managing partner.

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