Julie Larson-Green retires as Qualtrics CXO following IPO; Instacart names Asha Sharma COO; and more

Julie Larson-Green

Julie Larson-Green, an engineering leader and executive who spent more than 25 years at Microsoft, is retiring from her position as the chief experience officer at Qualtrics following the experience management technology company’s recent initial public offering. She has worked for Qualtrics, which has dual headquarters in Seattle and Provo, Utah, since 2017.

Speaking with Mekhato this week, Larson-Green said the time was right for the next phase of her life after helping Qualtrics get to its IPO by working to build key functions and teams including people operations, program management, data science and user experience.

“I’ve really come to understand, at the end of my career at Microsoft, and definitely all through my Qualtrics career, that the culture that you create, the opportunity you create for people to apply their creativity to a shared set of problems, is the most important part,” she said. “The technology changes all the time. But what’s durable are the things you do with people, and the people that you lift up, the people that you help make better.”

Her ongoing activities include investing through the Flying Fish Partners venture capital firm, and working with organizations such as Female Founders Alliance, while also serving as an advisor and mentor, and exploring other ways to have an impact. “I’m not done,” she said.

Qualtrics, which has been adding to its executive ranks through a series of hires, is expected to split Larson-Green’s role as chief experience officer among other leaders for now.

Zig Serafin, the company’s CEO, called Larson-Green “an amazing executive who has blazed a trail for so many to follow during her career.”

Asha Sharma (Instacart Photo).

— San Francisco-based Instacart appointed Asha Sharma as COO. The former Porch COO remains a board member of the Seattle company. At Instacart, she will report directly to founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta.

“I’m proud to join the team during such a pivotal time as Instacart continues to change the way people connect with the retailers they trust to get the groceries and goods they need,” said Sharma.

Sharma was most recently VP of product and engineering for private communication products at Facebook.

— GameStop appointed former Zulily and Amazon Web Services engineering leader Matt Francis to the newly created role of CTO. Francis was most recently an engineering leader at AWS. He previously served as CTO for Seattle real estate startup Flyhomes and VP of product and engineering at Zulily.

— Former Visa and PepsiCo executive Shiv Singh joined Expedia Group as SVP and GM of Brand Expedia. The Seattle-based travel giant also added Rachel Kobetz as SVP and GM, head of design.

Singh was most recently CMO at med-tech startup Eargo. Kobetz joins Expedia from Bank of America where she was SVP, head of experience design. She previously held design roles at Amazon and Samsung. They are both based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

— Grammy-winning singer Ciara joined the board of Seattle startup Amperity. She will head up corporate social responsibility efforts, serving as an advocate and advisor on Amperity’s community initiatives. Read the story.

— Portland-based Puppet appointed Jaime Segura as VP of global business development and promoted Carol Wilder to VP of product.  Segura was previously a senior director at San Francisco Bay Area startups HashiCorp and ServiceNow. Wilder joined Puppet last year and previously held product roles at Intel and Amazon.

— Seattle-based Porch Group, which went public via SPAC late last year, added four new members to its leadership team: 

  • Former Allstate Chief Data Technologist Adam Kronick as president of Insurtech group.
  • Andrew Beck, previously GM of portfolio company EverCommerce, as head of Contractor Tools SaaS group.
  • Former NanoSmart Technologies CEO Malcolm Conner will lead the Home Services group.
  • Manisha Patel as VP of Finance. Patel spent almost a decade at APR Energy.

— RealNetworks, the Seattle-based company that specializes in digital media, games and computer vision technology, appointed Christine Chambers as SVP, CFO and treasurer. She succeeds Judd Lee who joined the publicly traded company in April last year, replacing interim CFO Michael Ensing. This will be her third stint at RealNetworks. She originally spent eight years at the company and after roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Moruzzi Advisory Group, she rejoined RealNetworks as VP of finance. In 2018, she joined Rosetta Stone where she was most recently VP of finance.

Other recent Tech Moves from across the Pacific Northwest:

  • Former Apptio VP of Product Marketing Jarod Greene has joined Seattle sales enablement startup Highspot in the same role.
  • UW Allen School student Lianhui Qin was named a 2021 Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellow for her research on natural language processing and machine learning.
  • Seattle-based Adaptiva appointed Yong Kok Kee, based in Singapore, as its regional sales director for Asia.
  • Celeste Bernard, previously senior director of UX, design and development at Fred Hutch, is now VP of product experience for San Diego-based LPL Financial.
  • Former Verizon Communications executive Mike Millegan joined the board of Denver-based data center provider CoreSite.

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