6 Secrets Apple’s Chief Design Officer Revealed in Naomi Campbell Interview

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Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is an influential man. Not just at Cupertino, but in the entire technology industry. Indeed, the products and services he personally works on have a global reach— from the iPod to the iPhone. Ive isn’t a stranger to interviews. But, in a new interview conducted by Naomi Campbell and […]
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Scooter-sharing startup Bird has hired former Lyft policy executive David Estrada to be its chief legal officer

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Estrada also briefly worked at Kitty Hawk, and before Lyft he was the legal director at Google X.

Bird, a scooter-sharing startup, is hiring yet another former Lyft executive to help lead its team.

The company, which was co-founded by former Lyft and Uber executive Travis VanderZanden, has hired David Estrada, Lyft’s former VP of government relations, to be its chief legal officer.

Estrada has spent the better part of the last decade helping Silicon Valley companies that are often working on new transportation options navigate sometimes murky regulatory waters.

Before his time at Lyft, Estrada was the legal director at X, the Alphabet company focused on “moonshots.” At the time, Google X housed the company’s self-driving car project, which is now an Alphabet company called Waymo.

After Lyft, Estrada spent a little more than two years as the chief legal officer at flying car company Kitty Hawk, which is run by Sebastian Thrun and backed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page, who pioneered Google’s self-driving project.

Now, Estrada — who spent his time at Lyft in the trenches of local regulatory battles as the company launched into new cities — is taking on the challenge of e-scooters.

Scooter- and bike-sharing companies like Bird are coming up against regulatory hurdles reminiscent of those that Uber and Lyft faced when the companies were first expanding across the U.S.

These new players are also navigating similar market dynamics, competition from entrenched incumbents and sometimes even the same use cases. The introduction of e-bikes and e-scooters makes companies like Bird a direct threat to Uber’s and Lyft’s short-distance trips.

That’s why we’re seeing a number of these dockless companies tapping into the pools of former and current ride-share executives and investors:

  • Dockless bike startup Jump, which shares an investor — Menlo Ventures — with Uber, brought on Uber’s former head of driver product as an adviser.
  • Competitor Limebike has Jeff Jordan, a partner at Lyft investor Andreessen Horowitz, on its board.
  • Former UberChina executive Davis Wang is the CEO of Chinese dockless bike-sharing company Mobike.

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Syniverse Appoints William Hurley as Chief Marketing Officer

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Syniverse announced this week it has appointed William Hurley as its Chief Marketing Officer to lead the company’s product and marketing strategy as Syniverse looks to increase its global growth trajectory in the enterprise, operator and mobile messaging spaces.

Hurley brings to Syniverse a successful track record driving billion-dollar growth for Fortune 500 companies in the roles of Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer.

“In this age of digital transformation, companies need networks and platforms with global, reliable and secure connectivity to communicate with their customers and to transmit mission-critical business information,” said Dean Douglas, President and CEO, Syniverse. “We’re excited to have Bill leading our efforts to deliver secure connectivity and communications solutions to our current customer base and through new channel partners.”

Hurley has more than 20 years’ experience in leadership roles at companies across hardware technology, cloud, mobility, security and IT sectors.

“I’m excited to join Syniverse as the company delivers the connectivity and messaging platforms necessary for our enterprise and mobile operator customers to pursue new opportunities across IoT, security, 5G and more. I look forward to delivering on our customers’ needs with Syniverse’s world-class solutions,” said Hurley.

Hurley holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s in computer science from the State University of New York at Albany.

The post Syniverse Appoints William Hurley as Chief Marketing Officer appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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New Orleans police officer accused of stealing AirPods from Apple store

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A NOPD police officer has resigned from the force following accusations that she stole a pair of AirPods from Apple Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, La.
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First Look: Vibes Names New Chief Technology Officer

Vibes, a leading mobile engagement platform for enterprises, has announced the appointment of Brian Garofola as the company’s chief technology officer.

In this role, Garofola will oversee the evolution of the Vibes Mobile Engagement Platform and guide the development of new enterprise-grade mobile push, messaging and wallet solutions.

Brands like Chipotle, Redbox, The Home Depot, and PetSmart currently use Vibes’ solutions to drive more consumer engagement, encourage in-store device use, and increase conversations.

“Brian joins our team at a pivotal time in our business – and in the renaissance of messaging as a mobile marketing imperative. Brands now understand that they must approach mobile marketing as a holistic strategy rather than as a slice of their digital marketing initiatives,” said Jack Philbin, co-founder and CEO of Vibes. “Brian’s expertise in building digital marketing applications and scaling high performance, highly automated SaaS platforms will provide us with the technical leadership needed to enter this new era of mobile marketing.”

We’re told that Garofola comes to Vibes with more than 15 years of experience leading software engineering teams.

“Vibes is a one-of-a-kind mobile platform that enables marketers to run sophisticated campaigns and deliver compelling and profitable conversations at scale,” said Garofola. “We’re introducing marketers to new modes of communication with their audiences, and we’re employing highly relevant and fast-moving technology to do it. It’s a fun industry and a fantastic team.”

For information about Vibes, click here.

The post First Look: Vibes Names New Chief Technology Officer appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Hulu is going to be big and profitable, according to Disney’s chief strategy officer

Kevin Mayer says Disney will invest in Hulu once it takes over.

Hulu loses a lot of money — nearly a billion dollars last year, and that will likely nearly double this year.

But Hulu, which had three bosses as part of a joint venture at its inception, will get just one boss soon: Disney. And according to its chief strategy officer, Kevin Mayer, the company plans to put more money in the service.

“It takes an investment for sure, and we’re happy to undertake that,” he said at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. “There’s going to be a big, profitable service.”

That’s a pretty bold plan, since Hulu had been a good news/bad news thing for its owners. Bad news: It lost money, and the three main owners had to account for that loss on their balance sheets. Good news: Each partner also technically made money, since they were selling license rights to Hulu.

You could argue Hulu was really an accounting play that also allowed the big media companies to experiment in online streaming.

That status changes after Disney buys Fox, since Disney will have to own most of the losses. Mayer points out it will also gain revenue from Fox’s portion of sales to Hulu, but even then it means it continues to lose money, which can’t continue to happen.

It also means Hulu may no longer get NBC* shows in the future, since owner Comcast may not want to continue licensing its shows to Hulu, since that will benefit Disney. It likely means the end of Hulu as we know it.

But for Mayer, that shouldn’t change the strategy for Hulu, an important piece of Disney’s larger plan to sell more of its shows directly to consumers via online streaming. In addition to Hulu, Disney will launch a $ 4.99-a-month ESPN streaming service that will feature a lot of ancillary sports content and not the big, important stuff you see on regular EPSN, like NFL games. Lastly, Disney will launch a family-friendly service in 2019 that will include key Disney franchises from its major studios: Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

That inevitably means pulling some of its big films off Netflix, but Mayer insists Disney is not trying to kill Netflix.

“I’m a big fan of Netflix,” he said. “They’ve done well in the marketplace. What we’re doing is not kill Netflix, but serve consumers. We think we can serve consumers better.”

Mayer’s point is that all TV businesses will have to find a way to start selling stuff directly to consumers as cord cutting continues. If big media companies can’t continue to rely on the pay TV distributors to capture household consumers, it will have to sell the content directly via streaming. The infrastructure costs and the technology are now at a point where that’s feasible, he said.

Disney, as one of the largest media franchises around, still has the deep pockets to affect big change in how media works in the future, and Mayer will certainly continue to be a key part of its strategy.

He’s seen as a possible successor to CEO Bob Iger, who has cancelled his planned retirement at least three times. In the meantime, there is another job that’s open, and that’s head of ESPN. John Skipper stepped down in December citing substance abuse problems.

When asked if he would want that job, Mayer only replied: “I’m going to do what Bob has me doing, happily.”


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Hawaii officials fire officer who triggered false missile alarm

On January 13th, an officer of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) triggered a missile alert that plunged residents statewide into temporary chaos before the alarm was called off as a mistake. While news emerged yesterday that the employe…
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Uber has hired its first chief diversity officer

Bo Young Lee will be filling a role the Holder Report recommended that Uber create.

Uber has been on a C-suite hiring spree. Now the embattled ride-hail company has hired Bo Young Lee to be its first-ever chief diversity and inclusion officer, sources familiar told Recode.

Uber confirmed that Lee would be starting in her new role in March.

Lee’s hire — the third executive appointment under newly minted CEO Dara Khosrowshahi following chief legal officer Tony West and chief operating officer Barney Harford — is an important one for the company as it attempts to refurbish its image and address the many issues first brought to light by Susan Fowler’s essay in February 2017.

After Fowler published her essay, Uber hired former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and his partner, Tammy Albarran, to conduct an investigation into the company’s culture. Following the investigation, the law firm recommended — among other things — that the ride-hail company promote its current global head of diversity, Bernard Coleman, by elevating him to a new, more senior role of chief diversity officer. The Holder report also recommended that Coleman report directly to the company CEO and COO.

The Holder recommendations read:

“An empowered senior leader who is responsible for diversity and inclusion is key to the integrity of Uber’s efforts. Uber should elevate the visibility of the current Head of Diversity, Bernard Coleman, and emphasize the outreach component of Mr.Coleman’s position.”

“In addition, the position should be renamed the “Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer,” and the position should report directly to the CEO or the COO. This action is intended to reflect the elevated status of this role and demonstrate the company’s commitment to this issue.”

However, while the board voted unanimously to implement the Holder recommendations, the company kept its options open with regard to whether to promote Coleman or bring in an outside hire.

Additionally, Lee, who was the global diversity and inclusion officer at financial services firm Marsh, will not be reporting directly to Khosrowshahi and Harford; she will report to Uber’s chief human resources officer, Liane Hornsey, for the time being.

Bo Young Lee

As she gets settled, Uber spokesperson Momo Zhou told Recode, the company will determine if she will continue to report to Hornsey or report directly to Khosrowshahi as the Holder report recommends. Coleman, in turn, will be reporting to Lee, though his role still needs to be more clearly defined.

“We will be real partners in a lot of this work,” Lee, who is based in New York, said. “Bernard and I have had some conversations about what his role will be.”

In years past, Uber declined to share its diversity numbers publicly. But since Fowler’s accusations of sexism at the company, the ride-hail player has made a more public effort to be more transparent and increase diversity, including donating a $ 1.2 million grant to Girls Who Code — although that move was not without controversy.

With an eye toward taking the company public in 2019, Khosrowshahi is working quickly to right the ship at Uber. That, in part, includes filling critical executive roles. The company, however, has yet to hire a new chief financial officer, a position left vacant since 2015.


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Uber hires first chief diversity officer to further reform its culture

Last year, Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee, penned an essay detailing rampant sexual harassment and sexism at the company as well as a complete lack of interest on the part of administrators to do anything about it. That report led to an investi…
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