Entrepreneur Joshua Reich, the co-founder of Portland-based financial tech startup Simple, is stepping down from his role as CEO of the company. Reich made the move so he could spend more time with family and will remain an active board member and advisor, he said in a blog post announcing the move.
Simple board chairman Dickson Chu will now serve as the company’s interim CEO and executive chairman until a permanent CEO is selected. Reich will continue in a day-to-day role for the next two months to help the company transition.
“A decade ago I quit my safe job and decided to venture out to build my own business,” Reich wrote in the post. “The time has now come for me to move on from Simple and focus on new adventures. There’s never a great time to make these changes, but Simple is in a wonderful spot as a business and we’re on the right track as a product company.”
Reich, a longtime tech and finance expert, recounted the hardship of founding a financial startup in 2008. During the midst and aftermath of a giant recession for which big banks took much of the blame, investors weren’t too keen on a financial startup.
Today, Simple prides itself on its tech-integrated, customer friendly products and not charging fees. It has more than 325 employees, including a satellite office in Seattle, and was acquired for $117 million in 2014 by banking giant BBVA.
Chu is BBVA’s global head of portfolio management. He is a longtime finance executive with years of leadership experience at PayPal, Citi, and Yahoo, among others.
“Over the past decade, Simple has been my surrogate family. And more frequently than I’d like to admit, work has come ahead of my personal life,” Reich said, adding that he and his wife are working on sprucing up a rural property they recently bought. “Working with my hands has been cathartic and I’d like to see more proudly earned calluses in my future.”
— Stealth-mode experience personalization startup Osmosis tapped two new leaders as it continues to grow its team. The company raised $1.7 million in 2016 for technology that blends the digital and physical world at live events but has kept details of its work under wraps.
Now it has tapped former Amplero VP Bruce Woolsey to serve as the company’s new COO. Woolsey recently spent a short stint as Amplero’s VP of strategic accounts. He formerly spent four years as a VP at digital agency Avenue A | Razorfish, then spent four years at Microsoft following Razorfish’s acquisition by the tech giant.
Osmosis also added longtime Razorfish CEO Clark Kokich to its board of directors. Kokich led Razorfish for more than 14 years, leaving the company in 2013. He then spent two years as the chief strategy officer of call analytics company Marchex and now serves as an advisor to several Seattle area companies and nonprofits.
“We’re taking our company – digitizing physical engagement with sports audiences – to the next level,” Osmosis CEO Russ Stromberg said in a press release. “Bruce and Clark truly understand how to build the right applications and platforms for global brands seeking to provide consumers with the best content and most innovative products and offerings. Osmosis and our customers are fortunate to have their expertise.”
— Cyber threat intelligence company DomainTools added two new faces to its leadership board: Cisco executive Michael Jones joins the company as VP of product and former Microsoft GM Gunawan Herri joins as VP of engineering.
Jones was most recently the head of product management for Cisco subsidiary OpenDNS, a cloud-delivered security solution. He spent more than 17 years at Cisco, holding a variety of senior leadership roles in the security arena. In his new role, Jones will lead DomainTools’ product management, product marketing, UX and business development functions.
Herri joins DomainTools from financial security company G2 Web Services, where he was the VP of technology and chief information officer. He was formerly the chief technology officer of financial tech group Lifestory interactive and also spent six years at Microsoft, helping the company reboot its MSN strategy in the late 2000s.
“The addition of Mike and Gunawan to our team could not come at a better time to serve the needs of our expanding customer base,” DomainTools CEO Tim Chen said in a press release. “Their security and technology expertise will help guide us through a phase of rapid innovation and will result in faster time to market with purpose-built solutions that address the evolving needs of our customers.”
— Pivotal Commware, a startup that recently raised $17 million from the likes of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, added former AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations CEO Glenn Lurie to its board of directors.
Pivotal is developing and commercializing “Holographic Beam Forming” technology, a new high-speed communication technology that can more effectively connect to moving vehicles like planes, trains and autonomous cars. It relies on metamaterial technology developed at Bellevue, Wash., invention lab Intellectual Ventures.
“Beamforming is essential for delivering on the promises of 5G,” Lurie said in a press release. “But it comes at a high cost unless you can leverage breakthrough technology like HBF. Additionally, you need the right team to commercialize it with mobile operators. Based on my experience in this industry, Pivotal brings the best of both.”
Lurie spent more than two decades at AT&T, founding several important businesses for the company. He retired from his role there in 2017 and now serves as CEO of cloud, messaging and digital products company Synchronoss.
Stockdale most recently spent six years in senior executive leadership at Dell EMC and subsidiary VMware. His career also includes a decade-long stint at Microsoft, where he served in two different VP roles overseeing Microsoft Business Solutions and the company’s Knowledge Workers Solutions Group.
“Point B has 23-year track record of success in helping clients succeed in hyper-competitive, ever-changing environments,” Stockdale said in a press release. Point B offers a variety of business solutions aimed at tech companies alongside a venture investing arm. “The firm is taking bold steps towards the future, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the organization.”