Tech Moves: Convoy grows its data science team; Seattle Genetics adds a chief commercial officer; and more

From left: Max Schmeiser, Aaron Terrazas, Kyle Foreman, Steve Brownell, Gwen Spencer, Casey Olives. Not pictured: Gaurav Sood. (Convoy Photo)

Trucking startup Convoy has been busy building out its data science team, which now counts more than 40 members — roughly four times larger than it was just six months ago. Here are a few of the new appointments:

  • Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research, was previously Zillow’s head of economics research.
  • Kyle Foreman, head of machine learning platform, was most recently director of data science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.
  • Stephen Brownell, director of analytics, was formerly Zillow’s data science director for emerging marketplaces.
  • Gwen Spencer, lead operations research scientist, came from Smith College, where she was a professor of mathematics and statistics.
  • Casey Olives, head of marketplace data science team, was formerly head of data science at Convoy.
  • Gaurav Sood, lead machine learning scientist, came over from Microsoft, where he was a principal data scientist.

“Like a powerful wave, this pace of rapid growth can sometimes feel destabilizing,” Max Schmeiser, head of data science at Convoy, wrote in a blog post. “One thing is certain: At Convoy, we’re sitting on oceans of data — data that are critical to fulfilling our mission of transporting the world with endless capacity and zero waste. We’ve experienced our share of challenges, for sure. But we’ve also recovered quickly.”

Seattle-based Convoy’s recent growth was helped by a  massive $185 million funding round that valued the startup at more than $1 billion.

Instacart hired a pair of former Microsoft engineers who also co-founded email app maker Acompli. JJ Zhuan and Kevin Henrikson joined the company as vice presidents of engineering. Acompli was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for a reported $200 million.

Robin Taylor. (Seattle Genetics Photo)

— Cancer biotech company Seattle Genetics brought on Robin Taylor as chief commercial officer. Taylor has held leadership roles at Genentech and AstraZeneca and worked on the marketing and strategy of several major drug brands.

“Seattle Genetics has an outstanding culture of innovation and scientific excellence with a broad late-stage pipeline focused on providing a significant benefit to cancer patients with high unmet need. I look forward to leading the Commercial organization to bring these exciting therapies to patients as the company transitions to a multi-product, global oncology company,” Taylor said in a statement.

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