Tech Moves: USAFacts Picks Microsoft and Amazon Vet as CTO; Zillow CMO leaves; and more

Tanuja Korlepra is the new CTO for USAFacts. (Photo via LinkedIn)

— Tanuja Korlepra, former leader of product management at Amazon and Microsoft, has been named Chief Technology Officer of USAFacts, the Bellevue, Wash. based unbiased citizen data initiative founded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Korlepra has more than 20 years of experience in software engineering. She is involved with Global Fund for Women and the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology. In her new role, Korlepra oversees a team of 15 people and will lead the establishment of systems to analyze and record information.

USAFacts is a non-profit organization founded in 2017 that is committed to using technology to make unbiased data more accessible to the American public and to fuel factual debate. USAFacts has won the 2020 Webby Award for Government and Civilian Innovation.

“USAFacts empowers Americans with unbiased and unbiased facts, which I believe are incredibly useful in informing fact-based, data-based debates,” Korlepra said.

— Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Aimee Johnson is leaving the company after three years to spend time with her family and reevaluate her next career move. Prior to joining Zillow, Johnson held a variety of leadership and executive roles at Starbucks for 14 years. Zillow laid off a quarter of his staff in late 2021 after shutting down his home-buying department.

“What’s next? Most immediate, taking personal time after more than 25 years of work to re-energize, travel and spend quality family, friends and me time,” Johnson wrote on a LinkedIn- “Then, on to my next adventure, because, as Arianna Huffington said, this isn’t the big layoff, it’s the big re-evaluation.”

GeekWire contacted Zillow with a comment.

— Yves Leurquin is the new CEO of Redmond, Washington-based vaccine company Inventprise.

Yves Leurquin (Inventprise photo)

Leurquin was previously an executive in Takeda and Janssen’s vaccine programs. He succeeds previous CEO and Inventprise founder Subhash Kapre. Kapre is now executive chairman. Leurquin will retain his seat on the board of directors of Inventprise, which has added two new members: Stewart Parker, former CEO of Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute (now the Access to Health Institute); and Donna Ambrosino, who has held several leadership roles in biopharma, including as CEO of the nonprofit vaccine manufacturer MassBiologics.

Inventprise also recently received $30 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the first tranche of up to $90 million committed to support the clinical development of the company’s vaccine candidate for pediatric pneumococcal disease.
— Michael Cooley, former general manager for enterprise IoT at Kajeet, was named president for KONTXT, messaging and telecom at RealNetworks.

Mike Cooley (RealNetworks photo)

Cooley brings more than 20 years of ecommerce leadership experience at Fortune 500 companies such as Sprint and Deloitte and startups. He will join a new role to manage KONTXT, a software solution that uses machine learning-based natural language processing to detect and block fraudulent text, images and phone calls.

RealNetworks is a Seattle-based technology company that uses AI and computer vision to provide a variety of media and telecommunications solutions. RealNetworks had revenue of $58.2 million in 2021 with 14% growth in its AI-based business, KONTXT.

“In just a few years, KONTXT has become one of the most widely used NLP platforms in the US telecom industry, blocking millions of malicious spam and phishing SMS messages every day,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks, in a statement. press release announcing Cooley’s appointment.

Other personnel changes in the technology sector in the Pacific Northwest:

Phil Greenberg, a Fred Hutch researcher, was elected president of the American Association for Cancer Research. Greenberg will fill this position from April. Jeff Ross, design manager at NetherRealm Studios (part of WB Games), joined Crystal Dynamics, a game company based in Bellevue, Washington, as a design director. Karen Akinsanya, Schrödinger President of R&D for Therapeutics, joined the board of directors of Nautilus Biotechnology in Seattle. Maddie Clayton, a former software engineer at Microsoft and Meta, joins Proxi, a Bellevue, Washington-based mapping software, as the technical director. Laurel Buckner, formerly managing director at Seattle-based venture debt and equity firm, WestRiver Group, joined Riverstone Holdings, a Menlo Park, California-based wealth management firm. Mark Vasconi, director of regulatory services at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, was appointed director of the Washington State Broadband Office

GeekWire reporter Charlotte Schubert contributed to this story.

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