Tech Moves: Ex-Concur marketing chief jumps from Accolade to Axiom, both led by former Concur execs; PopCap VP lands at eSports startup Taunt

Jerame Thurik. (Axiom Photo)

— Check out this Concur connection. Jerame Thurik, a former chief marketing officer at the Bellevue, Wash. expense management company Concur, just jumped from one company helmed by ex-Concur executives to another.

How’s that going to go over at the Concur reunion?

Thurik recently joined Axiom, a legal services startup whose CEO is former Concur president Elena Donio. He comes from Accolade, where he served as chief marketing officer for the health technology startup run by — you guessed it — Concur co-founders Raj Singh and Mike Hilton.

Thurik joined Axiom as the company’s chief commercial officer in a new role that will have him overseeing the company’s global sales, marketing and revenue operations.

“I’ve spent my career developing commercial teams and strategies that support industries undergoing transformation,” Thurik said. “I am thrilled to be joining Axiom and look forward to supporting the company’s disruption and reinvention of legal services with innovative commercial strategies.”

Concur sold to business software giant SAP in 2014 for $8.3 billion. Co-founders Singh and Hilton left Concur following the acquisition and joined Accolade in 2015. They then established a second headquarters in Seattle and brought Thurik on just a few months later.

Meanwhile, former Concur CEO Steve Singh is now at the helm of cloud software powerhouse Docker, a role he took over about a year ago.

Jon David. (Pioneer Square Labs Photo)

Jon David, former vice president at PopCap Games and later Electronic Arts, will become CEO of Pioneer Square Labs esports spinout Taunt. David was with PopCap for five years and served as executive producer of the Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies franchises at EA after it acquired the Seattle gaming company in 2011.

Taunt aims to be to esports what fantasy sports is to the NFL — a platform that lets fans compete against each other, using data and information from professional matchups. The company raised $1.75 million in seed funding last year led by Foundry Group, with participation from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital and other angel investors.

“The esports audience is overflowing with passion and competition. Taunt provides an outlet for that energy,” said David, who also spent five years at Microsoft. “It’s time esports fans had a place to be as competitive as the pros they’re watching.”

Mike Luebbers. (Lighter Capital Photo)

— Seattle-based investment firm Lighter Capital has added Mike Luebbers, a long-time Silicon Valley bank executive to be its chief credit officer.

Luebbers, a University of Washington grad, spent the last nine years as chief credit officer for Bridge Bank. He focused on small businesses and tech startups.

Lighter Capital bills itself as an alternative to traditional venture capital funding and bank loans. It says it was one of the first lenders to use revenue-based financing to fund tech startups. Since 2012, Lighter Capital has invested $100 million in close to 250 startups.

Jay Sreedharan. (Photo courtesy of Jay Sreedharan)

— Jay Sreedharan, a Microsoft vet and former Starbucks executive, has joined hotel and entertainment company MGM as its SVP of engineering, GeekWire has learned. He is now based at MGM’s global headquarters in Las Vegas.

Sreedharan joined the MGM from Starbucks, where he was the VP of engineering and led consumer-facing technologies and cloud services.

He previously spent twelve years at Microsoft where he was a founding member of several cloud initiatives, including Microsoft Windows Azure and Microsoft Cloud.

Al Castle. (Flowroute Photo)

Flowroute, a Seattle startup that provides cloud-based calling and messaging services for companies, hired Al Castle to be its vice president of engineering.

Castle has more than 15 years of experience in software engineering and he previously served as director of engineering at Motorola Solutions. Castle has also worked as an engineering leader at Seattle-area companies like and Evocalize.

In his new role, Castle will lead the way in building out the company’s infrastructure roadmap and manage engineering and product development teams.

Michael Stone. (Urban Airship Photo)

— Former Salesforce executive Michael Stone has joined Urban Airship, a Portland-based mobile marketing and engagement company.

Stone will serve as senior vice president of marketing for Urban Airship, which is used by companies like Zillow Group, Adidas, Alaska Airlines, The Home Depot, NBCUniversal and Sky Plc. Stone previously managed marketing efforts for Salesforce Community Cloud, an online platform connecting companies to customers, employees and partners.

“Urban Airship has created an open cloud platform that delivers personalized messages through any digital channel–all with incredible speed and at true global scale” Stone said in a statement. “We empower brands to reinvent how they interact with their customers every day, combining push notifications, email, SMS, digital wallet and other channels to create entirely new customer experiences.”

Wil Marquardt. (EMI Consulting Photo)

— EMI Consulting, a Seattle-based firm that advises electric and gas companies on strategy, appointed Wil Marquardt as the company’s director of finance and operations.

Marquardt joins the company from financial consultant SumBridge, where he was the manager of global finance reporting for client Expedia. He previously worked with financial consulting firms Strong-Bridge and Two Degrees, where he worked with clients including Microsoft, T-Mobile and Starbucks.

“EMI Consulting is in a really strong position – there is significant change stirring in the industry, great business opportunities, and this very committed and talented group of people I get to work alongside will help to realize the goals of a sustainable, clean energy future for utilities and their customers,” Marquardt said in a press release.

Tonya Drake. (WGU Washington Photo)

WGU Washington, the online, non-profit university for Washington state residents, tapped Tonya Drake as its new chancellor.

Drake joins the organization from Edmonds Community College, where she was most recently the vice president for college relations and advancement. She previously served as the special assistant to the president for equity and inclusion at that school and was formerly the VP of student success and dean of students at Shoreline Community College.

“The opportunity to provide leadership for WGU Washington, the state’s largest private, nonprofit university, is very exciting,” Drake said in a press release. “With its innovative, competency-based approach, the university offers personal support to ensure students succeed and delivers affordable, in-demand degree programs to meet Washington’s workforce needs.”

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