Tech Moves: Microsoft’s new executive VP; Puppet preps for IPO; Vacasa adds tech vets to board

Christopher Young. (Microsoft Photo)

— Microsoft added to its senior leadership team with the appointment of Christopher Young as executive vice president of business development.

Young previously served as CEO of cybersecurity giant McAfee and is a veteran of Cisco, VMware, RSA, and AOL. He’s also a board member at American Express and Snap Inc.

Young will be responsible for developing Microsoft’s global business development strategies, including assessing partnerships, alliances, venture investments, and joint ventures. He helped spin out McAfee from Intel in 2017.

He will report directly to CEO Satya Nadella.

“I’ve known Chris for many years and have admired his accomplishments as a leader. His experience and skills are an invaluable addition to our company and the senior leadership team,” Nadella said in a statement.

Chad Cohen (left) and Chris Terrill. (Vacasa Photos)

— Portland, Ore.-based vacation rental platform Vacasa added two new independent directors to its board: former HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill, and Adaptive Biotechnologies CFO Chad Cohen.

Terrill was previously CEO of HomeAdvisor for more than seven years and led a reverse merger of Angie’s List in 2017. He also worked at,, Blockbuster, and NutriSystem, and is currently a board member at Realogy Holdings Corp.

Cohen was CFO at Zillow Group for more than nine years before joining Seattle-based Adaptive in 2015. He’s a veteran of Ticketmaster and Ernst & Young, and is also an operating partner at Cota Capital in an advisory role.

Vacasa raised $108 million in June.

— Portland, Ore.-based cloud automation company Puppet named two new board appointments as it preps for an IPO next year. Michael Day, CEO at Topa Insurance Group, and Mark Hill, chief digital officer at CSL Behring, will join as independent members.

“As Puppet looks towards its next phase of growth and an eventual IPO, we sought out business leaders who could bring a specific set of skills and expertise to our board,” Puppet CEO Yvonne Wassenaar said in a statement.

Day previously held leadership roles at CSAA Insurance, MTV Networks, Disney, and Deloitte. Hill is a life sciences vet who worked at Gilead Sciences, Merck, and Schering-Plough before joining CSL Behring.

Puppet raised $40 million in July.

Minda Brusse.

— New York City early-stage investment firm 2048 Ventures has hired Seattle-based Minda Brusse as a venture partner. Brusse will help the firm find pre-seed investments in Seattle and Portland.

Brusse will continue in her role at First Row Partners, the Seattle-based venture capital firm she co-founded last year with Yoko Okano.

“2048 Ventures is the earliest stage, high conviction, lead investor,” Brusse said. “We aim to lead pre-seed and early seed rounds in companies that are differentiated through technology and data.”

2048 Ventures is the latest outside firm to invest in the Pacific Northwest, where venture capitalists are pouring money into tech startups at unprecedented levels. Read more here.

Other recent Tech Moves from across the Pacific Northwest tech industry include: 

  • Human resources technology company Limeade hired Padmashree Koneti as VP of product and Julie Nyberg as VP of people. The Bellevue, Wash.-based company also promoted Larry Colagiovanni to CTO; he joined the company as VP of research and development in April.
  • Bryan Dsouza departed Microsoft to join Grammarly as product marketing lead for its business offering.
  • Former WeWork VP Gina Phillips is now head of building operations and experience at San Francisco, Calif.-based real estate startup Juno.
  • Jeff Bezos-backed General Fusion hired Jay Brister as chief development officer.
  • Pizza-making robot startup Picnic added longtime Microsoft director Don Coyner as brand director and Amazon vet Tim Talda as VP of engineering.
  • Dave Bacon, former quantum software engineering lead at Google, is now VP of software at Maryland-based IonQ. The company has a Seattle-area office and is led by former Amazon exec Peter Chapman. 
  • Former Cambia Grove Program Director Jessica Hauflaire is now director of operations and finance at the Digital Therapeutics Alliance.
  • Elizabeth Frank, an applied planetary scientist at Seattle engineering firm First Mode, was appointed chair of the Commercial Advisory Board for NASA’s Lunar Exploration Analysis Group.
  • Portland, Ore.-based on-demand health care provider Zoom+Care appointed Beth Gumm as its chief product and marketing officer.

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