— What do you do with a billion-dollar valuation? Seattle’s newest Unicorn, sales automation startup Outreach, is celebrating by staffing up its executive ranks with former Microsoft employees:
- Margaret Arakawa now serves as chief marketing officer. Arakawa comes from Microsoft, where she worked for over nearly 20 years and most recently led the U.S. Windows and Surface businesses.
- Amritansh Raghav is Outreach’s new executive vice president of product and engineering. Raghav worked at Microsoft on Skype as well as at Google on the company’s compute engine.
- Abhi Abhishek leads the voice engineering platform team as vice president. Abhishek spent more than two decades at Microsoft, most recently in the AI and research division.
“Outreach has already experienced incredible growth, but we’ve been looking to add leaders who will help get us to that next phase,” Outreach CEO Manny Medina said in a statement. “Margaret, Amritansh, and Abhi are already proven leaders in their respective fields and their experience will be instrumental in shaping the growth of the platform. Under their leadership, we are continuing to scale our marketing efforts and further our technological capabilities in artificial intelligence as we deliver a complete system of action through a single pane of glass for all customer-facing reps.”
Outreach employs more than 350 people and plans to reach 450 by the end of 2019. The company raised $114 million in April.
— Marijuana discovery platform Leafly hired Leslie Grandy as chief product officer. Grandy founded the Product Guild, an advisory firm that partnered with large brands to provide product and innovation services. She also served in leadership roles at Apple, T-Mobile, Best Buy and Discovery Communications.
“I am excited to build upon Leafly’s position as the leading information source for cannabis during this expansive time for the industry globally,” Grandy said in a statement. “We have an enormous opportunity to extend our support for the industry with innovative products and services that can help them confidently and intelligently interact in this fast-moving market.”
Leafly recently leased an office space in Seattle that is more than three times the size of its current downtown office. The company expects to double its workforce by the end of 2019 to nearly 300 people, with a focus on engineering, design and product.
— The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center added Sean Boyle and Dr. Corsee Sanders to its board of directors. Boyle is chief financial officer at Amazon Web Services, and Sanders is a strategic adviser to the office of the chief medical officer at Celgene.
In addition to his work at Amazon, Boyle was formerly the CFO at Apptio as well as Blue Diamond, a trucking joint venture between Ford and Navistar.
Sanders was an executive at Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics before it was acquired by Celgene last year. She also worked at Roche and Genentech.
“Sean and Corsee are two of the most strategic, intelligent and hard-working people I know,” Matt McIlwain, managing director at Madrona Venture Group and chair of the Fred Hutch board, said in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have the best minds in technology, science and innovation in Seattle, working together to drive cancer research.”
In other Fred Hutch news, the Section on Statistics in Epidemiology (SIE) honored M. Elizabeth (Betz) Halloran with the 2019 Nathan Mantel Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in statistical methods for infectious disease epidemiology. Halloran’s work studying vaccine efficacy has influenced public policy.
— April Castañeda was named director of human resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Castañeda formerly held similar HR roles at Caltech as well as NASA’s Jet propulsion Laboratory.
“April is a valued and respected HR leader known for her strategic thinking and problem solving,” PNNL Director Steven Ashby said in a statement. “At PNNL, she will use her organizational skills to help us attract and develop the talent necessary to address some of the greatest scientific questions and technological challenges facing the nation and world today.”
— Frank Hodge officially took the helm of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business as dean this month, following the announcement of his appointment late last year.
Hodge has been with the school for 19 years and was most recently chair of the accounting department. He replaced James Jiambalvo, who began serving as dean of the business school in 2005.
— Former MightyAI senior product manager Joseph Sunga joined Uber in the company’s advanced technologies division, which works on self-driving cars. Uber acquired MightyAI last month, and a little more than 40 employees from Mighty AI will join Uber at its Seattle engineering office, operating as a team within Uber’s self-driving division.
— Madrona Venture Group principal Maria Karaivanova was named to the most recent class of Kauffman Fellows, a two-year program aimed at developing venture capital investors.
— Seattle-based online used books retailer ThriftBooks named Ross Mignoli as CFO. Mignoli is a former partner at Arthur Andersen and was CFO of aftermarket car part maker Performance Driven Brands.