Tech Moves: Vacasa adds chief financial and information security officers; Likewise hires UX director

Jim Grube (left) and Jeff Bryner. (Vacasa Photos)

Portland-based vacation rental company Vacasa named two new C-suite executives: Jim Grube is the new chief financial officer and Jeff Bryner was named Vacasa’s first chief information security officer.

Grube was most recently CFO for Chewy, the online pet retailer owned by Petsmart that recently raised $1 billion during its initial public offering. Grube also held executive roles at Amazon and Hilton.

“Jim’s experience … is exactly what we need at this stage of Vacasa’s life cycle,” said Eric Breon, founder and CEO of Vacasa. “His track record of bringing a disciplined and rigorous approach to the CFO role while driving profitable growth is very valuable to Vacasa.”

Before Vacasa, Bryner was the director of enterprise information security for Mozilla. Prior to that, he spent nearly a decade at Portland General Electric.

“As Vacasa continues to grow, our investment in industry-leading security practices is a priority, and given our size and scale, we now have an opportunity to bring specialization and senior talent to the role,” said Breon. “Jeff’s proven ability to bring enhanced data security practices at large corporations will ensure the highest levels of privacy for all Vacasa homeowners, guests and partners.”

Vacasa is an industry juggernaut that continues to grow. Now the largest vacation rental company in North America, Vacasa manages more than 14,000 homes around the world and employs more than 3,300 people.

Nathan Auer. (Likewise Photo)

Likewise, a Bill Gates-backed startup that helps people get personalized recommendations, hired Nathan Auer as director of user experience. Auer made the jump from Microsoft, where he was principal design director working on pen, touch and voice interfaces, including the Whiteboard app.

“Likewise is a natural fit for my own passions. I’m motivated by helping to grow teams and by developing user-centered cultures of design expertise,” Auer said in an email statement. “As I got to know the rest of the team at Likewise, it was clear that I’d found a tribe of like-minded, enthusiastic, and talented individuals who I was eager to partner with.”

Likewise, which launched last year, is the brainchild of former Microsoft communications chief Larry Cohen. The app helps people remember and find recommendations for restaurants, TV shows, movies, books and more, primarily from friends but also from in-house experts.

— Tech solutions firm Blueprint Technologies announced that Claudiu Barbura was promoted to director of engineering. In the new role, Barbura will oversee the company’s development team in Europe.

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