— Axon landed former Amazon executive Jeff Kunins as chief product officer and executive vice president of software. Kunins was most recently vice president of Alexa Entertainment and previously was vice president of Kindle’s global reading experience. Prior to that, he helped to develop an early voice assistant at Tellme Networks, which Microsoft bought in 2007.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Axon makes products for law enforcement like tasers and body cameras. Kunins will work out of the company’s Seattle office, which employs more than 100 people.
“At this moment in history, Axon’s unrelenting mission to obsolete the bullet and uplift social justice in the world couldn’t be more relevant or more vitally important,” Kunins said in a statement. “I believe in the power of technology to radically improve transparency, accountability, and safety for both law enforcement and the citizens they protect.”
— Dave Smith left his role as chief product and strategy officer at PayScale, the latest in a long line of executive departures at the company. PayScale has lost its CEO, CFO, and chief sales officer since Francisco Partners took a majority ownership stake in the company in April. PayScale declined to comment on Smith’s departure. Smith, who ended his time at PayScale in August according to his LinkedIn, did not respond to a request for comment.
— Clothing rental startup Armoire named Berea Schaffer as its first head of product and technology. Schaffer was formerly a senior director of product and technology at Expedia.
“Armoire is truly on the cutting edge, leveraging the power of data and machine learning to reinvent how we discover and consume clothing,” Schaffer said in a statement. “Joining Armoire has allowed me to combine my passion for innovative technology with matters I care deeply about, empowering women and building a more sustainable future.”
Armoire recently completed a $3.9 million seed round and moved into a new 7,500 square-foot headquarters in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.
— Former Convoy executive John Hall signed on with DroneSeed as vice president of operations. Hall was a head of product at Convoy, the rapidly growing trucking startup that has raised $265 million to date and doubled its headcount to 750 employees in the past year. Prior to Convoy, Hall was a senior product manager at Amazon Logistics and served in the Marines as a captain and naval aviator.
DroneSeed uses swarms of drones to plant trees at a large scale for the commercial forestry industry and following devastating wildfires.
“DroneSeed has the opportunity to create a step change in how we scale forestry to address this problem. To me there is nothing more empowering than applying technology to hard problems to drive global impact,” Hall said in a statement.
York was formerly COO and chief innovation officer at tech consulting firm InRhythm. She spent much of her career in product development roles at the New York Times, Time.com and The NPD Group.
“I am excited to take on the role and spearhead Ookla in the next phase of growth and scalability. Ookla has an amazing brand, a great culture and an exciting road ahead,” York said in an email.
Steven traces his time at Ookla to 2013 and also teaches digital marketing at the University of Washington. He formerly served as chief marketing officer of Moz and led online marketing for Rhapsody.
“In my new role I’ll be focused on developing new technologies, products and business opportunities for Ookla, as well as leading our marketing and growth efforts. Ookla has grown rapidly in the last several years and we’re eager to invest in creating new technologies that will enable our next phase of growth,” Steven said.
— Seattle-based blockchain startup Dragonchain brought on Lawrence Lerner as president of consulting services. Lawrence, who has been working on digital money and cashless payments for decades, is the former CEO of Pithia, a firm that invests in blockchain startups. He also co-founded the Cascadia Blockchain Council within the Washington Technology Industry Association, which launched earlier this year.
“I’m joining Dragonchain because I believe our solutions born out of enterprise have enormous potential for rapid adoption in finance, identity, healthcare, supply chain, and more. We have a unique opportunity to educate businesses on the advantages that distributed ledger brings,” Lerner said in a statement.
— Tom Gotuzzo joined Telepathy Labs as senior vice president of business development. Gotuzzo was formerly global vice president of sales and business development at Seattle-based conversational AI startup Voicebox, which was acquired by Nuance Communications in 2018. He was also chief revenue officer at Speak.ai, a Voicebox spinout that was bought by Oracle earlier this year.
Telepathy helps companies and government agencies deploy digital assistants that use artificial intelligence. The startup has offices in Tampa, Boston, Singapore and Switzerland.