New Seattle Metro Chamber CEO; Salesforce’s data chief joins Microsoft; and more

— The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced Rachel Smith as the business association’s new CEO. She starts in January.



a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Rachel Smith. (Seattle Metro Chamber Photo)


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Rachel Smith. (Seattle Metro Chamber Photo)

“The jobs, prosperity, and community solutions that our region’s employers bring are more important than ever as we focus on post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Smith.

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Smith is currently King County’s deputy executive and chief of staff for King County Executive Dow Constantine. Following Smith’s appointment, Constantine named April Putney as his new chief of staff.

Prior to joining the King County administration, Smith was the government and community relations officer for Sound Transit and Climate Action Now coordinator for City of Seattle.

Smith succeeds Marilyn Strickland, former mayor of Tacoma, who stepped down in January to run for Congress. Strickland won Washington’s 10th Congressional District seat in November.

— Microsoft hired Hernán Asorey as corporate vice president and chief data officer for its worldwide commercial business. Asorey was most recently an EVP and chief data officer at Salesforce. Both tech companies offer cloud and customer relationship management (CRM) services. He previously held executive analytics roles at Sears and Hewlett Packard.

“Hernán has a deep understanding of large-scale data intensive applications and the entire data spectrum from infrastructure, tooling, engineering, and visualization, to applied ML and AI,” said Microsoft Technical Fellow John Shewchuk, introducing Asorey as a new member of the commercial software engineering leadership team in a post on LinkedIn.



a person posing for the camera: Angela Hession. (Microsoft Photo)


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Angela Hession. (Microsoft Photo)

— Microsoft’s former Global Head of Gaming Safety and Trust Angela Hession is now VP of trust and safety at Amazon-owned Twitch. Hession spent two decades at Microsoft in both Dublin, Ireland and the tech giant’s Redmond, Wash. headquarters. She worked on multiple teams including Microsoft Stores, Xbox, HoloLens and Gaming.

“As live streaming continues to grow and connect people across the world, we have an opportunity to work together to make Twitch a safer and more inclusive space where everyone can enjoy and participate in live entertainment,” Hession told Variety.

Earlier this year, Microsoft shut down its Mixer streaming platform and joined forces with Facebook Gaming. A new report shows that Twitch now hosts more than 91% of streaming content and set a new audience record as the pandemic fuels growth.

— PayPal and Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel joined the board of Vancouver, B.C.-based AbCellera. The biotech startup has developed an antibody discovery platform. The company recently collaborated with Eli Lilly on a COVID-19 antibody drug which has been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. and Canada.

“Peter has been a valued AbCellera investor and brings deep experience in scaling global technology companies,” said AbCellera CEO Carl Hansen.

Thiel’s arrival to the board coincides with AbCellera filing for an initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ, according to Reuters.

— T-Mobile US board member Srini Gopalan resigned. The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier also expanded its board to 14 directors and appointed three new members based in Europe:

• Dominique Leroy, who also serves on the board of T-Mobile parent organization Deutsche Telekom.

• Omar Tazi, currently SVP of group innovation at Deutsche Telekom.

• Michael Wilkens, currently SVP of group controlling at Deutsche Telekom.

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

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