SEEVA, a Seattle startup creating new technologies for autonomous vehicles, tapped Intellectual Ventures veteran Geoff Deane to serve as its first chief technology officer.
Deane is most well known as the general manager of IV Labs at the Bellevue, Wash.-based “invention lab” Intellectual Ventures. He founded and directed IV Labs, the company’s technology division, with support and funding from Bill Gates.
During his time there, Deane oversaw hundreds of technology products. IV Labs’ work has led to the spin-out of companies including mobile connectivity startup Kymeta and next-generation radar company Echodyne, along with the creation of the Institute for Disease Modeling.
SEEVA, for its part, has a unique niche and an even more unique story. The company was founded by a father-and-daughter duo, Jere and Diane Lansinger. They built a business around washing technology that Jere developed as a hobby in his garage, which they’re now using to clean the sensors and cameras on autonomous cars. The company raised $2 million, its first funding round, in February.
“From the minute Diane and I spoke, it was clear to me that SEEVA is doing something that’s truly innovative and will prove necessary as our industry continues ramping up autonomous vehicle deployment,” Deane said in a press release. “I couldn’t imagine being with any other company during this time of momentous change. Keep an eye on team SEEVA as we improve visibility for mobility across the globe.”
Deane joins SEEVA from L’Oreal, where he led strategy for new beauty device technology for two years.
— The Expedia Group, a travel technology giant that now includes more than 20 brands, has a new vice chair, GeekWire has learned.
The company confirmed that Peter Kern, a longtime member of the company’s board of directors, has taken up the role.
He replaces technology executive Victor Kaufman, who held the vice chair position for 13 years. Kaufman will remain a member of Expedia’s board of directors.
“Peter is a seasoned executive with significant financial expertise and experience analyzing investments and strategic transactions,” Expedia said in an emailed statement. “Through his years of service on the Expedia Group Board, including as a member of both Audit and Compensation Committees, and more recently as a member of the trivago Board, Peter has also accumulated significant insight into Expedia’s businesses and the travel industry generally.”
Kern has decades of experience in the financial world. In addition to his role on Expedia’s board of directors, Kern is a managing partner at InterMedia Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in the media industry.
He also serves on the board of TV giant Tribune Media and has served as the company’s CEO for just over a year. He advises several other companies as a member of their boards of directors.
— New-York based advertising platform my6sense tapped Seattle tech executive Ivan Braiker, best known as the president and CEO of Hipcricket, as its new chief strategy officer. He will remain in Seattle in the new role.
Braiker led Hipcricket, a mobile marketing and advertising platform, for more than 10 years. Shortly after he stepped down as CEO, the company filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by SITO Mobile. Since leaving Hipcricket, Braiker has served short stints leading companies including cash-back company Ominto and medical technology company Transbiotec, along with numerous advisory positions.
“We’re excited to have Ivan join our team as chief strategy officer, bringing to my6sense his 25 years of management experience in mobile and media, most notably from Hipcricket,” my6sense CEO and founder Avinoam Rubinstain said in a press release. “With our enhanced AI technology and strong growth in Europe and the Americas, my team and I are looking forward to using Ivan’s insight and experience to enable us to navigate the expansion my6sense is experiencing.”
— AI-fueled marketing startup Amperity has hired another executive as it continues to grow. The company announced Tuesday that Oracle veteran Scott Fehr joined the company as its SVP of customer success.
“Our customers are central to everything we do and bringing Scott on board will help make their journey with Amperity richer,” CEO Kabir Shahani said in a press release. “Scott brings a deep understanding of how modern brands define and execute customer success. He will help accelerate measurable results for our customers, which include some of the world’s most loved and well-known consumer brands.”
Amperity is still an early-stage company, but the startup has gained major hype in the past year along with $37 million in investment and top hires from around the country. It uses artificial intelligence to aggregate customer data from disparate sources and unifies the data into one profile.
Fehr was most recently the VP of customer success and professional services at B2B marketing company Engagio and previously spent five years at Oracle, including a stint as the VP of North America sales consulting for Oracle Marketing Cloud. At Amperity, he will lead solution delivery, customer satisfaction, retention and recurring revenue growth.
— Airfare and hotel price tracker Yapta hired Michael Smith as its first chief marketing officer.
Smith joins the company from enterprise software company Changepoint, where he served as the VP of global marketing. He previously held marketing positions at Cisco Systems and Microsoft, among others.
“It’s an exciting time to join Yapta and to introduce the brand to corporate travel managers in countries around the world,” Smith said in a press release. “There is a tremendous opportunity to save money on travel and we have an innovative portfolio of new products under development that we are excited to share with our business and consumer users.”
— GawkBox, a Seattle startup whose software helps game streamers make money, announced several additions, including the addition of Playfab COO Beth Birnbaum to its board of directors.
In addition to her role at Playfab, Birnbaum is an active startup advisor and director and formerly spent five years as the SVP of product at Grubhub. She also spent eight years at Expedia, including three years as the company’s VP of connectivity and product management.
“Live streaming is revolutionizing how consumers interact with games and spawning a new type of celebrity,” Birnbaum said in a press release. “GawkBox allows viewers to support their favorite content creators through donations, which, in turn, allows creators to invest in creating more compelling content. I look forward to working with the board to help GawkBox continue to achieve its potential.”
Gawkbox also announced the addition of e-sports law professional Bryce Blum and former Leafly and Microsoft employee Paul Campbell to its board of advisors.
— Healthcare executive and investor Jim Brady joined investment company Frazier Healthcare Partners as an operating partner.
While not technically a Frazier employee, Brady will work with Frazier partners to seek out possible platform acquisitions, a Frazier spokesperson told GeekWire. His area of focus is healthcare IT.
Brady was formerly the group president of healthcare for investment firm Marlin Equity Partners and has had a long career in the healthcare world. He spent nearly 10 years as the CEO of healthcare transaction company Payerpath, which he also founded.
— Window Snyder, a security technology executive best known for high-profile roles at Mozilla and Apple, has joined Intel as its chief software security officer.
Snyder was most recently the chief security officer at cloud computing company Fastly and formerly spent five years helping to overhaul Apple’s security and privacy work. She also spent several years as the “chief security something-or-other” at Mozilla.
Snyder joins Intel shortly after the company faced public scrutiny over two major security flaws, Meltdown and Spectre. The flaws had a wide-ranging impact on the cloud computing world, where vendors scrambled to fix the problem before hackers could take advantage of it.
— Seattle-based hardware design firm Product Creation Studio announced two additions.
Charles Kao will serve as a project manager. He is an electrical engineer who previously spent more than nine years at SPAWAR, the San-Diego based maker of “information warfare” technology, as a project lead and engineer.
Mechanical engineer Merritt Tennison joins the company from sports equipment maker Sandbol, where he was the lead product developer. He has previously held engineering roles at Stanley Black Decker and GE Aviation, among others.