Tech Moves: Sarah Novotny joins Opscode; Steve Banfield jumps to Korrio; Grist’s new editor; etc.


There have been a number of key hires and moves in the Pacific Northwest technology industry in recent days. Here’s a quick look.

Sarah Novotny, who previously co-founded Blue Gecko, has joined Opscode as the company’s first sales engineer. In her new role, Novotny says that she plans to bridge the gap between technology and business, helping to spread the word on the company’s Hosted Chef and Private Chef products. The Fordham University grad will remain on the board of Blue Gecko, a Seattle provider of remote database-administration services. Last month, Opscode tapped former Avanade CEO Mitch Hill as chief executive.

Salon co-founder Scott Rosenberg has joined Seattle environmental news site Grist as executive editor. He’s the author of two books: “Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why it Matters” and ”Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs and One Quest for Transcendent Software.” A Harvard grad, Rosenberg will work in Seattle temporarily but be based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rosenberg. “For years I’ve been a big fan of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it,” said Rosenberg. “We share passions for hard-hitting journalism, lively writing, and authentic community-building.”


Steve Banfield, the former senior vice president of digital strategy at Screenlife Games, has joined Korrio as chief product officer. A Kentucky native and graduate of Harvard Business School, Banfield previously worked at Microsoft, Sony and RealNetworks. Backed by Ignition, Korrio is led by former Isilon Systems CEO Steve Goldman and is looking to transform how coaches, administrator, parents and players interact with youth sports programs. “Our focus is to make sports management easy, integrated, safe and mobile,” says Banfield, adding that the company’s PlayFlow platform will be expanded from soccer to baseball, football and basketball in the coming months.

The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation has named Dr. Trevor Mundel as president of the foundation’s Global Health Program. Mundel currently serves as global head of development for Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland. ”We are very pleased that Dr. Mundel has agreed to lead our global health program,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, in a statement. “He brings tremendous scientific and medical credentials, in the lab and in the clinic. We look forward to working with him to help improve the health of people in the world’s poorest countries.” He’ll oversee a program that has received $14.7 billion in grants and is responsible for deploying drugs and vaccines to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.


Peter Wakim, an 11-year Nokia veteran, has taken a new job at Citing company policy, Wakim declined to comment about his new role at Amazon which is listed on his LinkedIn profile simply as “digital products.” At Nokia, Wakim worked in corporate development and venture capital. He also served as director of business development and strategy for Nokia’s T-Mobile business.  (Editor’s note: Wakim serves on the advisory board of the University of Washington’s MCDM program with GeekWire co-founder John Cook).

Know of a notable tech industry move or hire in the Pacific Northwest? Email [email protected] More Tech Moves here.


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