Tech Moves: Heavily-funded real estate tech startup Compass hires former Distelli and Amazon exec Rahul Singh; and more – GeekWire

Rahul Singh. (Compass Photo)

Former “Geek of the Week” Rahul Singh is now VP of engineering at New York real estate broker Compass, where he’ll report to chief technology officer Joseph Sirosh.

Singh was founder and CEO of Distelli, a startup that helped software engineers deploy code more efficiently and was acquired by Puppet in 2017. Prior to Distelli, Singh spent eight years at Amazon as a software engineer, working on the early stages of AWS and the company’s retail platform.

It is yet another sign of Compass’ growing tech talent appetite in the Seattle area, following the opening of an office in the region last year. In December, the company named Joseph Sirosh, who served as chief technology officer of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence efforts, with the goal of trying to simplify home buying and selling. That same month the company said it was hiring 100 engineers in the Seattle area, part of a plan to make the city its West Coast tech hub.

Real estate’s a hot area of technology development in Seattle, given that Redfin and Zillow also call the region home. Compass is growing fast, with a huge arsenal of cash. It raised $400 million — including cash from SoftBank’s Vision Fund and the Qatar Investment Authority — last fall that valued the company at $4.4 billion.

“I am excited to join Compass and build world-class teams working on challenging engineering problems at the intersection of cloud and AI, with the goal of positively impacting the world’s largest asset class, real estate, in a meaningful way,” Singh said in an email.

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Corey Casper. (IDRI Photo)

—The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) said that its founder and CEO Dr. Steve Reed is stepping aside from the top job and that Dr. Corey Casper will serve as interim president and CEO. Reed will stay on as a distinguished investigator.

Casper previously served as chief scientific and medical officer at IDRI, which he joined in 2017. Prior to that, he was co-director of the Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research.

“This shift in IDRI leadership came from conversations Steve initiated with the Board regarding new strategic directions, as well as avenues to diversify funding,” said Dr. Frank Prendergast, chair of the IDRI Board of Directors. “Steve’s success as an entrepreneur is being utilized, along with his unique skills in relationship building, while Corey’s skills as a physician-scientist and public health expert in infectious disease and oncology will continue to advance IDRI solutions through the clinical pipeline, while providing the foundation for IDRI’s oncology initiative.”

IDRI is a nonprofit that makes drugs, vaccines and diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases. The organization received $15 million from Eli Lily to work on its tuberculosis drug in 2016.

Michael Cote. (ExtraHop Photo)

—Secureworks CEO Michael Cote joined the board of directors at ExtraHop, a Seattle-based hybrid cloud security startup.

ExtraHop surpassed $100 billion dollars in customer contracts last year and said it could go public in 2020. If that happens, Cote will come in handy: he was CEO when Dell spun out Secureworks in 2016 through an IPO.

“ExtraHop has demonstrated the rare combination of boldness, exceptional innovation, and operational excellence that sets companies apart in the highly competitive security market,” Cote said in a statement.

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David Lampkin. (Wave Photo)

—The cable operator group RCNGrande and Wave announced a slew of leadership appointments to its business solutions team, including three in the Seattle area.

  • David Lampkin, Vice President, Business Solutions. Prior to joining Wave in 2014, Lampkin spent 12 years at T-Mobile in sales.
  • Bree Urban, Chief Legal Counsel, Business Solutions. Urban also began working with Wave in 2014, prior to which she was a deputy prosecuting attorney in Shohomish County, Wash.
  • John Mark Duncan, Vice President of Finance, Business Solutions. Duncan was a principal at Seattle-based venture investment firm Rally Capital before joining Wave in 2014.

“The creation of this leadership team shows we are dedicated to serving our business customers with a consistent approach across the nation,” Patrick Knorr, COO and EVP of the business solutions team, said in a statement.

TPG capital closed the $2.36 billion deal to acquire Wave last year, combining it with RCN and Grande to become the nation’s sixth-largest cable operator.

Ryan Hartman
Ryan Hartman is the new CEO of World View. (Insitu Photo)

—Former CEO of Boeing subsidiary Insitu Ryan Hartman made the leap over to World View‘s stratospheric balloon venture. Hartman led Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu for three and a half years as the company pioneered the creation of unmanned aircraft systems for military and commercial applications.

As the new CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based World View, Hartman is developing stratospheric balloon-borne platforms known as Stratollites to perform satellite-style tasks in remote sensing and communications.

More on the move in this report from GeekWire’s Alan Boyle.



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