Technological movements: Azure GM joins Madrona; Microsoft promotes chief scientist; Esper adds the executive; Following

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From left to right: Aseem Datar, Chris Picardo and Birkan Uzun. (Photos by Madrona)

– Managing Director and COO of Microsoft Azure Aseem Datar joins Madrona Venture Group as a partner. The Seattle investment firm also announced that Chris Picardo was promoted to partner and Birkan Uzun joined as an investor.

Datar started at Microsoft as an engineering manager and spent over 17 years with the company. He worked in the Windows and Office teams and in 2014 became Managing Director for Microsoft Azure and the Data Platform. He is an angel investor and startup advisor.

“I have known and worked closely with Aseem for many years – during my time at Microsoft and in the recent past as well. Aseem drives businesses forward, ”said S.“ Soma ”Somasegar, Managing Director of Madrona Venture Group, in a post on LinkedIn.

Picardo joined Madrona in 2017 as a senior partner and is currently a board observer for Unearth Technologies, Knock, Shyft and Ovation.io. He briefly left the company in 2019 to run WONE, a Los Angeles-based sportswear company.

Prior to working at Madrona, Picardo was director of finance and business intelligence at New York-based startup Rockets of Awesome and private equity partner at Invus Group.

A former Amazon software engineer, Uzun was most recently working on Amazon’s COVID-19 response and was a member of Castor Ventures, an MIT alumni venture capital fund.

Jaime Teevan (File photo by GeekWire / Dan DeLong)

– Chief Scientist of Microsoft Jaime Teevan was promoted to Corporate Vice President (CVP).

In a post on LinkedIn, Teevan described initially feeling “oddly, ridiculously uncomfortable” about the announcement, but ultimately chose to go along with it.

“Being CVP at Microsoft is big business. I am an executive of the company now, ”she said. “It’s pretty cool to be responsible for helping shape such an impactful business at such a pivotal time.”

Teevan joined Microsoft in 2006 as a Principal Investigator. She was previously a technical advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and has been billed as GeekWire Geek of the Week.

In his role as Chief Scientist, Teevan is part of Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices division and works on projects ranging from AI standards to the tech giant’s evolving labor policies in the wake of the pandemic disruption of COVID-19.

Ganesh Ramamoorthy. (Photo Esper)

– Microsoft alum Ganesh Ramamoorthy joined Seattle Esper’s DevOps Platform as Vice President of Business Development. He most recently held a similar position at IoTium, a software startup that was acquired by View, Inc. in July.

During his 15-year stint at Microsoft, Ramamoorthy led the business development of Windows & Devices, the Windows Phone business and a strategic partnership with Intel.

Esper raised $ 30 million earlier this year to develop its DevOps platform for IoT device fleets.

Sarah the bird, Longtime CEO of Moz, is now Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of the Moz Group following the acquisition of the Seattle-based company by iContact, a subsidiary of J2 Global.

Marcela Martin. (Photo from square space)

– Avalara added Squarespace CFO Marcela martin to its board of directors. Martin was previously CFO at Booking.com.

“His expertise in streamlining operations and integrating mergers and acquisitions, combined with his experience in driving strategic operations during periods of growth, will bring tremendous added value to Avalara’s board of directors,” said Scott McFarlane, CEO of Avalara, said in a statement.

Avalara also said that Battery Ventures partner Chelsea Stoner resigned from the board effective August 27.

The Seattle-based tax software company appointed Bruce Crawford and Srinivas Tallapragada to its board of directors in June.

Pierre Denton, Marketing Manager at Seattle-based Pioneer Square Labs, takes on a new position at XMTP where he will focus on growing the crypto startup that just raised $ 20 million in a round led by a16z. “I couldn’t be more excited to take the plunge into Web3,” Denton tweeted. XMTP aims to enable communication between crypto wallets. Denton previously worked at Seattle startups including Cheezburger and Steller.



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