Trending: Here’s everything Amazon announced Thursday, from microwave to subwoofer to Alexa capabilities

Cooper Helfet. (Photo courtesy of Cooper Helfet)

Amperity, the Seattle-based customer data platform, has hired a sports star for its sales team. NFL tight end Cooper Helfet has joined the company to lead its efforts in sports and entertainment, Amperity CEO Kabir Shahani told GeekWire in an email.

“Cooper is extraordinarily talented and brings to Amperity the championship mindset that has allowed him to achieve at the highest levels in the NFL,” Kabir Shahani told GeekWire in an email. “That mental game is a huge asset both for his professional success in a post-NFL career, and for our organization broadly.”

Helfet played football at Duke University before joining the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent in 2012. He remained with the team until 2016, when he signed with the Oakland Raiders. Helfet was released by the Raiders in September of last year.

In 2016, Helfet founded The Nature Project, a group that connects mentors and professional athletes with outdoor education programs to encourage young people to engage in outdoor activities.

“I knew Amperity was the right company to kick-start this new chapter in my professional career from the moment I set foot in their office,” Helfet told GeekWire in an email.

“The environment in an emerging tech company reminds me of my time with the Seahawks — you have to hustle to win and be able make quick decisions on the fly. Like the NFL, there is no room for second place,” he said. “I’ve seen the impact Amperity has already had working with the Seattle Sounders. I am excited to build on that and help grow their professional sports & entertainment practice.”

Amperity helps large companies, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, aggregate customer data across different platforms. The company launched from stealth mode in September and raised $28 million the next month. It has also been growing rapidly, adding its first chief revenue officer just last month.

Andrew Reid. (Photo courtesy of Rival Technologies)

— Canadian tech entrepreneur Andrew Reid has started on a new project. Reid just launched Rival Technologies, a new startup working in the market research and engagement space.

Rival lets its clients use chat features in popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messager to engage with customers, opening it up to younger markets that are traditionally underserved in market research. The company’s clients so far include the NFL and Warner Bros.

Reid spent the past sixteen years at customer intelligence software company Vision Critical, which he also founded. Rival Technologies is based in Vancouver, Canada.

— Amazon is saying goodbye to another high-level executive, continuing a string of departures spread over several weeks. Peter Faricy, the longtime vice president that led Amazon Marketplace for the past nine years, joined entertainment network Discovery as its first CEO of global direct-to-consumer work.

His departure follows shake-ups in entertainment and gaming leadership at the company.

Rob Strickland. (CENTRI and Atonomi Photo)

— Longtime tech executive and former T-Mobile Senior Vice President Robert Strickland is taking on a new role as the CEO of internet of things security companies CENTRI and Atonomi.

He replaces the founder and former CEO of both companies, Vaughan Emery, who will remain an evangelist and advisor to the companies on a day-to-day basis.

Strickland formerly spent three years as the SVP and CIO of T-Mobile’s U.S. operations and has held a number of executive roles across the tech industry since leaving the company in 2010. He was most recently the COO and president of mobile phone service textPlus.

Patrick Knorr. (Photo courtesy of Wave Broadband)

Patrick Knorr, formerly the executive vice president of business solutions for Wave Broadband, will now serve as the chief commercial officer and executive vice president of commercial services for Wave, RCN Telecom Services and Grande Communications. His new role comes after the three companies were combined in January to create the sixth largest cable provider in the U.S.

“At a time when innovation in technology is thriving, the security and reliability of fiber connectivity has become fundamental to economic growth for enterprises of all sizes,” Knorr said in a press release. “As an organization, we are committed to making fiber infrastructure more accessible and affordable to support today’s technological marketplace.”

Boeing tapped aerospace industry vet Brendan Curran to serve as the first president of AvionX, the company’s avionics and electronics division that was formed last year. Curran joins the company from Lynnwood, Wash., based Crane Co. and will be based at Boeing Global Services headquarters in Plano, Tex.

— Data center storage company Igneous Systems tapped data management vet Shaun Walsh to serve as its vice president of channels and strategic alliances. Walsh was most recently the senior vice president of marketing at artificial intelligence fueled cybersecurity company Cylance.

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