Category Archives: Personnel

HQ Trivia launches HQ Words as reinstalled CEO seeks a game-changer

HQ’s expansion beyond trivia is emerging from beta, but the question is whether it’s different and accessible enough to revive the startup’s growth. HQ Words opens to everyone today with games at 6:30pm PT within the HQ Trivia app after several weeks of closed beta testing of the Wheel Of Fortune-style game. The launch will be the first big move of Rus Yusupov now that he’s been officially renamed CEO a week after the tragic death of fellow co-founder and former CEO Colin Kroll, HQ confirms to […]

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Revcontent names Omar Nicola as its new CEO

Content recommendation company Revcontent has a new chief executive: Omar Nicola, formerly the co-founder of mobile advertising company Kixer. Revcontent’s founder and outgoing CEO John Lemp will remain involved as chairman of the board of directors. “Omar is the perfect choice to take over as CEO of Revcontent, because of his wealth of experience and track record of success as a publisher and a leader of several different advertising technology companies,” Lemp said in a statement. “Founding and building Revcontent has been one of the most rewarding […]

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Jenny Fielding takes over as managing director of Techstars NYC

Changes are afoot at Techstars NYC. Over the summer, Alex Iskold announced that he would be leaving his role as the program’s managing director, and other staff members are departing as well. Now Techstars says Jenny Fielding is taking charge of the program. Fielding is already a Techstars veteran, having run a number of its industry-focused corporate accelerators, such as Techstars IoT, the Barclays Accelerator and the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator. She’s also one of the co-founders at The Fund, a new early-stage fund that backs New York City founders. […]

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Amazon exec Dave Stephenson tapped to lead Airbnb to the public markets

Airbnb has completed a much-needed hire ahead of its rumored 2019 initial public offering. The hospitality giant has brought on as its chief financial officer Dave Stephenson, a long-time Amazon vice president and former president of Big Fish Games. Stephenson replaces the company’s head of global financial planning and analysis, Ellie Mertz, who served as interim head of finance as Airbnb searched for its replacement for former CFO Laurence Tosi. Tosi, who had previously led finance at The Blackstone Group, left Airbnb in February to focus on his […]

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Meet Uber’s newly promoted chief product officer, Manik Gupta

Manik Gupta got his first taste of solving logistics nightmares when, fresh out of college, he was delivering Palm Pilots around Singapore. He’d started a precursor to Groupon called BuyItTogether. “We were a full-stack marketplace where we were also delivering the goods. That’s what caused us to not have good profit margins. Actually, zero profit margins,” he recalls with a laugh. His new gig isn’t earning profits either. Uber lost nearly $1 billion last quarter. But the company sees Gupta’s experience with delivery and maps as crucial […]

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WeWork hires Prabhdeep Singh to lead operations for its startup program WeWork Labs

WeWork has hired Prabhdeep Singh to serve as the first global head of operations for its startup program WeWork Labs. It’s a program that relaunched earlier this year, providing early-stage startups with desk space, educational programs and mentorship. Since the relaunch, the company says it’s opened in more than 24 locations in 14 cities across nine countries, and it’s already working with more than 1,000 startups. “When you think about WeWork assets, it’s this massive global footprint that’s really at the nexus of startups, big corporations, small […]

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Tinder’s head of product has left

Tinder’s chief product officer Brian Norgard wants to get back to his entrepreneurial roots, citing former PayPal executive-turned-venture capitalist Keith Rabois as inspiration. Norgard, who joined Tinder as part of the acquisition of his Kleiner Perkins-backed ephemeral messaging startup Tappy in 2014, has confirmed to TechCrunch that he’s left the app-based dating company to focus on building products and investing in early-stage businesses. Tinder has not yet identified his successor, but Norgard says “it’s all positive vibes” between him and the company. Norgard began as Tinder’s head […]

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Burgerbot startup Creator hires inventor of Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog

Disney Imagineering animatronics wizard Dr. Martin Buehler is a legend in the robotics world. His work leading development of the galloping Big Dog quadruped at Boston Dynamics both inspired and terrified a new generation of makers. But after playing in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction that consumers can’t buy, Buehler has been poached to work on something much more tangible. In fact, it’s edible. He’s joining burger-making robot startup Creator as VP of engineering. “It was a great experience working on experimental validation [at Boston Dynamics]” […]

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Failed drone startup Airware auctions assets, Delair buys teammates

Airware desperately sought cash for 18 months before running out of money and shutting down last month, leaving about 120 employees without jobs after the startup had burned $118 million in funding. Bandaid strategic investments from construction company Caterpillar and others kept Airware alive as it looked for a $15 million round, according to a former employee. A late pivot from hardware to drone software sales through Caterpillar’s dealers went sour, as Airware lacked the features found in competitors and suffered from slow engineering cycles. “So Caterpillar told […]

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Lime will open brick-and-mortar scooter ‘lifestyle stores’

How can Lime differentiate its scooters and bikes from the piles of Birds and Spins filling Los Angeles sidewalks? Apparently with a physical storefront where it can convince customers of the wonders of on-demand mobility. According to a job listing from Lime seeking a “Retail Store Manager,” the startup plans to open a “lifestyle brand store in Santa Monica”. [Update: Following the publication of this article, Lime responded to our inquiry, telling TechCrunch “In the coming year, Lime will be opening brick & mortar storefronts in major […]

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