Tech Moves: PayScale hires legal chief; Amazon’s first Distinguished Engineer departs; and more

Kristin Boraas. (PayScale Photo)

Compensation software provider PayScale named Kristin Boraas its new general counsel, responsible for the growth of the Seattle-based startup’s legal department.

Boraas spent more than five years in Tableau’s corporate legal department, most recently as senior director. She previously was senior corporate counsel at Expedia.

“PayScale is a values-driven company with a clear vision for helping businesses achieve fair and informed pay practices. I’m excited to join the dedicated leadership team to drive this vision forward as the company continues to grow and evolve,” Boraas said.

Peter Vosshall, Amazon’s first Distinguished Engineer, departed the Seattle tech giant after more than 21 years. Vosshall is “starting a new chapter devoted to all of the things I love but never had quite enough time for.” He was responsible for various technical duties, including “saving Christmas in 2004 when Oracle RAC couldn’t scale,” and leading Amazon’s Principal Engineer Community.

“As I told Jeff, ‘I’m looking forward to my next chapter, but I will miss Amazon. It will always be a part of me,’” Vosshall said on Twitter.

Chris Naismith. (LinkedIn Photo)

Portland, Ore.-based ZOOM+Care appointed retail veteran Chris Naismith to its board as a non-executive director. Naismith is currently CFO for Seattle-based Sur La Table and has held finance roles at The Gap and Williams-Sonoma. She was also general manager of finance for Microsoft’s retail stores.

ZOOM+Care provides on-demand and digital healthcare at more than 45 clinics located in urban and suburban centers throughout Portland and Seattle.

From left, Hannaneh Hajishirzi and Yin Tat Lee. (UW Photos).

UW computer science professors Hannaneh Hajishirzi and Yin Tat Lee were named 2020 Sloan Research Fellows. Hajishirzi is also a research fellow at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). Her research focuses on foundational problems in natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Lee is also a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research AI. His research combines mathematics and computing to develop new techniques and algorithms to optimize faster.

A total of 37 current or former UWCSE faculty members have been recognized by the Sloan Research Fellowship program, which is awarded to 126 early-career scholars in the U.S. and Canada each year.

Seattle-startup Proprio, which aims to bring computer vision to the operating room, named Dr. Alan Levy to its board of directors. Levy was previously CEO and chairman of Chrono Therapeutics. He also served as an advisor and venture partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners.

Alan Levy, PhD. (Proprio Photo)

“I enjoy the challenge and opportunity of building a product that will have a significant impact on the lives of patients and practitioners alike, and I’m excited about Proprio’s potential to transform the operating room, ” said Levy. “I have seen many innovations in healthcare and Proprio has great potential to make a substantial impact.”

The health-tech company, which came out of stealth mode in 2019, recently expanded its leadership team with three new additions.

From left to right: David Herman, John Raffetto, Matthew Mors, Hally Wax. (RH Strategic Photo)

RH Strategic, a PR agency based in Seattle and Washington, D.C. has acquired Seattle-based MIX Public Relations. RH Strategic is led by CEO John Raffetto and President David Herman. MIX PR’s 10 employees will join RH Strategic bringing the total headcount to 30. This includes principals Hally Wax and Matthew Mors who will become senior vice presidents at RH Strategic. The combined firm provides services to the healthcare, government and technology sectors.

Bellevue, Wash.-based infrastructure solutions firm HNTB continues to grow its transportation team. Michael Shannon returns to the company as project director of transportation after working for the Florida Department of Transportation. Tim Horton joins the company as senior project engineer for transportation and will work closely with the Washington Department of Transportation.

Aseem Badshah. (QuestionPro Photo)

— QuestionPro hired Aseem Badshah to build out the survey software company’s UK and Ireland business. QuestionPro CEO Vivek Bhaskaran said he is looking forward to Badshah bringing “entrepreneurial and operational experience to our UK operations.”

Badshah previously founded Socedo and Uptown Treehouse, two Seattle technology startups.

“I couldn’t be more excited to head up the QuestionPro effort in London for the UK and Ireland markets,” Badshah said. “Vivek and co have done a great job building a fantastic product suite and company culture. It was clear from our journey at Socedo that measuring customer and employee engagement is crucial to any company’s success. QuestionPro offers exactly that in an extremely comprehensive suite of software and services.”

QuestionPro was founded in Seattle in 2005 before moving to Austin, Texas. The company develops survey software and analytics, as well as a tablet-based platform for polling.

Drew Karpyshyn. (Twitter Photo)

Drew Karpyshyn has joined Archetype Entertainment, a new video game studio under the Wizards of the Coast umbrella, as lead writer. Karpyshyn brings 20 years of experience in the video game industry, most recently with BioWare. He announced the new gig — and hinted at a secret game he is working on with the team — in a blog post.

“I haven’t been this excited to work on a project in a long, long time,” he wrote.

Editor’s note: This post was updated to include Yin Tat Lee’s appointment as a Sloan Research Fellow.

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