Tech Moves: InfluxData hires former Salesforce exec; Alder adds to C-suite (again); Aiqudo brings on Alexa vet; and more

Jim Walsh. (InfluxData photo)

Open-source database firm InfluxData has a new SVP of engineering in Jim Walsh, who formerly held a similar role at Salesforce.

Time series databases, like the one InfluxData created, are behind many of the applications that make up the internet of things. They’re designed to handle real-time data more quickly than traditional databases.

Lucky for InfluxData, Walsh knows a thing or two about speed from his time racing cars. Walsh will be staying put in Seattle, working remotely for the San Francisco-based firm.

Prior to Salesforce, Walsh co-founded cybersecurity firm Versive, which was acquired by eSentire in 2018. Walsh spent over two decades at Microsoft, where he co-founded the Bing engineering team and started the Cosmos data platform.

“As technology embeds itself into everything, I’m super excited to be joining the world leader in time series platforms as we drive the ability to derive value and insight from the constantly growing trends of increasing sensorization and instrumentation of both virtual and physical worlds,” Walsh told GeekWire in an email.

Paul Streck. (Alder photo)

—It’s been a busy 12 months for leadership changes at Alder BioPharmaceuticals. The migraine drugmaker named Paul Streck as chief medical officer, following the appointment of Carlos Campoy as CFO in December and Bob Azelby as CEO last summer.

Streck was formerly CMO at Insmed, where he helped to secure FDA approval for Arikayce, which treats lung disease caused by bacteria. He was also global medical lead of the Immuno-inflammation division at pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline.

The Bothell, Wash.-based biotech said it’s planning to submit a biologics license application for its migraine drug eptinezumab in the first quarter of this year.

“I’m excited to join Alder’s strong leadership team and have been inspired by the company’s commitment to transform the treatment paradigm for millions of patients debilitated by migraine,” Streck said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Alder team to ensure the successful approval and launch of eptinezumab and the growth of Alder as a leader in novel migraine therapeutics.”

Jatin Mehta. (Aiqudo photo)

—Voice-command startup Aiqudo lured Amazon veteran Jatin Mehta to help build an Alexa competitor as VP of business development. Mehta’s task at his former employer: monetize Alexa.

Aiqudo —whose name is a play on the Japanese martial art Aikido — aims to bring natural language voice commands to everyday apps and get around the walled gardens that prevent today’s voice assistants from being more useful. It currently powers Motorola’s Moto Voice hands-free command system.

“I spent the better part of the last two years evangelizing voice and saw firsthand how conversational AI has revolutionized our interaction with technology,” Mehta said. “I am thrilled to join Aiqudo because it is uniquely positioned to redefine the relationships consumers have with their devices and mobile apps using voice.”

Lucas Welch. (Highspot photo)

Lucas Welch has moved from cloud startup Skytap to sales software firm Highspot as senior director of content and communications.

In December, fast-growing Skytap cut 25 marketing jobs as it transitioned to selling its cloud services through partners. Welch joined Skytap a little less than two years ago, prior to which he led communications at Chef.

Highspot raised $35 million last September in its bid to make salespeople more efficient with AI-fueled software.

“The enthusiasm and momentum at Highspot are tangible and contagious. I’ve worked to enable sales through comms and content my whole career. So, joining a company using incredible tech to reimagine sales and marketing is really energizing, both personally and professionally,” Welch told GeekWire in an email.

David Parker. (PMI photo)

—Seattle-based PMI, the parent of food container company Stanley, hired David Parker to be COO and CFO. Parker joins from the Honest Company, the maker of safe baby products that was founded by actress Jessica Alba. Parker will report to CEO Bob Keller in the wide-ranging role.

Beloved by outdoor gear geeks, Stanley is known for its long-running line of thermoses and other durable containers.

“Many people today own Stanley thermoses, handed down over generations from their parents and grandparents,” Parker said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to join an organization that’s driven by a deep, lasting commitment to its customers, and look forward to partnering with the team in leading the company forward.”

Fun fact: David’s brother Allen Parker became Zillow’s CFO last November.

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