Tech Moves: POP creative agency names new CEO; Marijuana database startup Leafly taps CEO; and more

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POP, a creative agency that works with some of Seattle’s most prominent tech companies, announced Monday that longtime CEO and Founder Bill Predmore is handing the reins to a new CEO: Industry vet RJ Hilgers.

Predmore will take up a position as the chairman of the company’s board. He has led POP since he founded the agency in 1996. In that time, he’s worked with stalwarts of the national technology scene including Microsoft, F5 Networks and Adobe. He’s also the owner of the Seattle Reign FC women’s soccer team.

“For 22 years, we’ve built POP into a platform upon which an ever-evolving collection of extraordinary individuals can create and craft with shared purpose to help our clients succeed,” Predmore said in a press release. “POP is poised for a strong third decade and I am honored to join the Board to continue my work helping the agency realize its full potential.”

Bill Predmore. (POP Photo)

Hilgers has served as POP’s CMO for the past two years. His resume includes leadership stints at Microsoft, marketing tech company Marchex and creative agencies SapientNitro and Avenue A | Razorfish. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Apple, Intel and Walmart.

“I am humbled, honored and thrilled to lead POP moving forward and build on Bill’s legacy,” Hilgers said in the release. “POP’s future is bright. We have phenomenal clients, are focused on the opportunities that lay ahead of us and are winning in the marketplace. We also have exceptional people and I’m excited to work more closely with everyone to maximize the talent and commitment of the entire POP team.”

Chris Jeffrey. (Leafly Photo)

— Marijuana strain and dispensary database Leafly announced a new CEO: Entrepreneur Chris Jeffrey.

Jeffrey takes the reins of company from former Leafly CEO Drew Reynolds, who joined private equity firm Privateer Holdings as its COO in June. Privateer is a private equity firm which holds a controlling interest in Leafly.

An established startup investor, advisor and entrepreneur, Jeffrey founded startup OrderUp, a web and mobile food ordering service acquired by Groupon in 2015 for $69 million. He served as the company’s CEO from its inception in 2009 until August of this year.

“Building on Leafly’s established position as the world’s leading cannabis information resource, we are expanding our focus on providing consumers the tools they need to discover and purchase cannabis products,” Jeffery said in a press release. “With unprecedented momentum for legalization worldwide, we are uniquely positioned to help consumers navigate this new legal landscape with reliable information and a personalized experience that saves time and money when making purchasing decisions.”

Described as a “Yelp for Marijuana,” Leafly was founded in Seattle in 2010 by Cy Scott, Brian Wansolich, and Scott Vickers, all of whom have left the company to start Headset.

Dave Gartenberg. (Avanade Photo)

— Avanade, a professional services company for Microsoft’s enterprise platform, announced the addition of Microsoft HR veteran Dave Gartenberg as the company’s new chief human resources officer.

Gartenberg joins the company from Slalom Consulting, where he also served as the company’s human resources head. He formerly spent more than a decade at Microsoft, where he eventually served as a general manager of HR for the company’s customer services and support division.

“I am energized to join such a strong, innovation-driven culture. People are critical to Avanade’s success and I’m looking forward to teaming with the company’s talented and diverse workforce to help drive the company’s priorities forward,” Gartenberg said in a press release.

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