Apple hired ex-Microsoft exec and entrepreneur Sam Jadallah to lead its smart home initiatives, CNBC reported. Jadallah founded high-priced smart lock startup Otto, which shut down at the end of 2017. He spent more than a decade at Microsoft and was co-founder of Seattle-based software company Medio Systems, which was acquired by Nokia in 2014.
GeekWire reached out to Jadallah for more details but he declined to comment. He confirmed his new role in a tweet.
Jadallah’s appointment was the second sign in a week that Apple may be renewing efforts inside the home. Axios reported that Apple agreed to buy Pullstring, a platform for developing voice-powered apps.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the appointment.
—The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce named former Washington state senator Joe Fain as president and CEO of the business advocacy group. Fain’s appointment comes after the Washington State Senate dropped an investigation late last year into accusations of sexual assault that were brought by Candace Faber.
In the role, Fain will be the public face of an organization that represents the interests of major public companies based in Bellevue, including Expedia Group, T-Mobile and Apptio.
“Joe has a proven track record of collaborative leadership in both government and business, and we believe he is uniquely suited to help lead the Chamber as we foster and advocate for a healthy business environment in Bellevue and the Eastside,” Josh Marti, Bellevue Chamber Board Chair, said in a statement.
Natalia Fandel, acting director at coworking space Impact Hub Seattle, lambasted the decision: “Well, this sucks. If your best CEO candidate was credibly accused of rape, what other resumes must have come across your desk?” she wrote in a newsletter.
“Anyone who alleges a sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect and fairness,” Josh Marti, board chair of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, said in an email. “In the absence of a conclusion from an official investigation, we did our due diligence via a thorough interview and reference process. This included interviewing and seeking feedback from a large number of people who have known or worked with Joe over the years. They consistently spoke to his track record as a very effective bipartisan leader, advocate, and problem solver – and to his character.”