Tech Moves: Xnor.ai taps former Auth0 leader as CEO; Microsoft adds first CVP of retail; and more
Gelsey replaces Xnor founder and University of Washington professor Ali Farhadi, who will now transition to “CXO,” overseeing all aspects of Xnor’s engineering and technology efforts. The company aims to expand the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning onto devices with limited computing power, like smartphones.
“Jon is a strong fit for Xnor.ai because his hardware and software background are highly relevant to our business of enabling highly efficient AI on edge devices,” Xnor told GeekWire in a statement. “During Jon’s time with Xnor as a strategy consultant he worked closely with Xnor’s founders, and it was obvious that his skill in rapidly scaling companies, leadership philosophy and business acumen made him the obvious person to lead the company in this next phase of growth.”
Gelsey led Auth0, a well-funded startup creating single sign-on technology, for four years before stepping down in December. He previously held leadership roles at Microsoft, Intel and home technology company Home Network News, which he founded.
Gelsey’s addition follows a $12 million funding round for Xnor in May, led by Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group. Xnor spun out of AI2 in February of 2017.
—Microsoft tapped former Salesforce and GAP executive Shelley Bransten to serve as corporate vice president of retail and consumer goods, a new role for the company. Her addition comes as competition over retail heats up globally, particularly among players like Amazon, Walmart and Chinese retail giant Alibaba.
Bransten joins the company from Salesforce, where she spent nearly five years as a vice president overseeing the company’s work in retail and consumer goods. She previously spent almost 16 years at GAP, including positions at subsidiaries Banana Republic and Old Navy
“Despite all the headlines about the Retail Apocalypse, I passionately believe that there’s never been a more exciting time to be at the intersection of retail and technology,” Bransten said in a LinkedIn post announcing her move. “As part of this new role, I’ll be leading the charge to help retailers and brands harness technology that puts great customer experience at the heart of everything they do.”
Bransten will remain in the San Francisco area in her new role.
— Consumer-focused venture capital firm Maveron tapped investor Natalie Dillon to join its team. Dillon was formerly an investor with Susa Groups and previously held positions at Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank parent company SVP Financial Group.
Maveron was co-founded by venture capitalist and investor Dan Levitan and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998.
“Natalie is passionate about finding the best early stage consumer entrepreneurs, companies and brands,” Levitan told GeekWire in an email. “We’ve known her for a few years and admire the quality of the network of entrepreneurs she has cultivated and her intuition on spotting great consumer opportunities before they are obvious. All of us are excited to welcome her to Maveron.”
Oisin, which Scholz co-founded in 2014, is developing a biotechnology platform that manipulates the genes of aging cells, aiming to turn off the process that makes human bodies break down as they age.
“Oisin and Immusoft may have very different technologies, but they share a philosophy – that the essence of life is information, and that we can treat diseases and improve health by manipulating that information,” Scholz said in an email. “Oisin’s platform is a novel tool for killing or manipulating cells based on their genetic information.”
Oisin Subsidiary OncoSenX is applying the same technology to cancer treatments. Both companies are still in early lab stages and have not yet tested the technology in humans.
— Cyber threat intelligence company DomainTools added longtime human resources executive Gail Love as its vice president of people and talent. Love was formerly the director of human resources at AllRecipes and previously held HR leadership positions at Microsoft, aQuantive and Boeing.
— Lattice Semiconductor Corporation — the Portland, Ore.,-based maker of internet of things components — added semiconductor business vet Stephen Douglass to its executive team. Douglass will serve as the company’s vice president of research and development.