Tech Strikes: Ex-Tableau gross sales chief Kelly Breslin Wright joins Gong; Slalom expands board; extra

Kelly Breslin Wright. (Gong Photo)

— Former Tableau executive Kelly Breslin Wright was named president and COO of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Gong, an AI sales startup. Wright joined Gong’s board of directors in March.

An early employee at Tableau, Wright spent 12 years at the Seattle-based company leading the sales operations. Prior to departing in 2016, she was EVP of sales.

She currently serves on the board at Fastly and Lucid. Wright is also an adjunct professor at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

“I’m ecstatic to jump back into an operational role that integrates my lifelong passions for sales, data, and culture,” said Wright in a statement.

In her new role, Wright will lead Gong’s marketing, customer support and revenue teams.

Elaborating in a post on LinkedIn, Wright said, she could not pass up an opportunity “so incredibly exciting.”

“The more I got to know the team, the more energized I got,” she said.

Gong closed a $250 million Series E funding round last month at a $7.25 billion valuation, up from a $2.2 billion valuation in August. Total funding to date is $584 million.

Companies using Gong’s “Revenue Intelligence Platform” include LinkedIn, Zillow and PayPal. The company currently has 600 employees across its Israel, Dublin and San Francisco offices.

Sudip Chakrabarti departed Madrona Venture Group and joined San Francisco Bay Area VC firm Decibel Partners. During his time as a partner at Madrona, Chakrabarti focused on investments in enterprise and cloud-based infrastructure companies.

A longtime investor, Chakrabarti joined Madrona in 2018 and prior to that was a partner at Silicon Valley firms Lightspeed Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz.

Deanna Oppenheimer. (Photo by Anthony Bolante, The Image Arsenal, provided by Slalom)

— Seattle-based consulting firm Slalom added former Barclays and Washington Mutual executive Deanna Oppenheimer to its board.

Oppenheimer is the founder of advisory firm CameoWorks and BoardReady, a non-profit promoting board diversity.

Her addition expands Slalom’s board to five members. Founded in 2001, Slalom currently has more than 9,500 employees globally.

— Digital rewards startup Tango Card hired Mary Shelley as chief people officer. She was most recently VP of human resources at SeekNow and is based in Kentucky.

Based in Seattle, Tango Card helps companies send digital rewards. The startup currently has more than 200 employees and added former Avvo exec Monica Williams as CFO earlier this year.

Diane Lansinger. (SDN Photo)

— SEEVA co-founder Diane Lansinger was named CEO of Staging & Design Network (SDN), a furniture rental marketplace for the home staging industry founded by Tricia Tomlinson.

Tomlinson and Lansinger originally connected through a peer mentoring group for women leading tech startups. After stepping down as CEO, Tomlinson will remain chair of the board.

Lansinger was most recently CEO of SEEVA Technologies, an autonomous driving technology startup she co-founded with her father.

In 2018, SEEVA Technologies raised $2 million and hired several new executives. However, the startup, which was developing technologies to help self-driving cars navigate in poor weather conditions, lost momentum last year.

“SEEVA Technologies was negatively impacted by the global pandemic’s effects on the automotive vertical and is now only modestly operational,” Lansinger told GeekWire in an email.

“However, the patents we own continue to have value, and I anticipate they will find an appropriate home with a more established player as that vertical stabilizes,” she added.

In her new role, Lansinger is tied to a completely different vertical: real estate. The Seattle region’s red-hot real estate market keeps making headlines.

Based out of Everett, Wash., SDN manages furniture inventory and storage for owners while also providing a platform for stagers to rent or buy furniture. The six-year old company is backed by Unlock Venture Partners, Second Century Ventures, and angel investors.

— Vancouver, Wash.-based RealWear hired Rama Oruganti as its new chief product officer. RealWear sells industrial augmented reality headsets used in manufacturing, utilities, healthcare, and other sectors.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Oruganti was most recently a director of product management at HP. He is the co-founder of social shopping app Zizifus and previously worked at Magellan GPS and John Deere.

Ryan Hoge. (Collectors Universe Photo)

— Collectors Universe, a third party authentication service for collectibles, appointed Microsoft veteran Ryan Hoge as its first-ever chief product officer.

Hoge spent 16 years at Microsoft, most recently as group program manager for the Windows 11 user experience. He will be responsible for product management at Collectors Universe subsidiaries Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).

— Satellite venture BlackSky hired Andy Stephenson as vice president of international business development. He is based in the U.K.

In February, the company, which splits its workforce between Seattle and Herndon, Va., announced plans to go public via a SPAC deal valued at nearly $1.5 billion.

— Seattle-based Denali Financial Consulting promoted Jennifer Edson to the roles of COO and CFO, and hired Jere O’leary as director of client development.

Denali was acquired earlier this year and appointed startup vet Rebecca Lovell as CEO. Denali co-founders Chris Dishman and Jaennae’ Dinius retired at the end of June.

Edson was most recently a project CFO for Denali’s clients and previously ran her own accounting practice. O’leary was most recently director of business partnership at Create 33, Madrona Venture Group’s former “founder center” where Lovell was previously executive director.

[Editor’s Note: GeekWire is a Denali client.]

— Seattle HR firm Reverb added Avanade executive Dave Gartenberg as an advisor. He previously was chief human resources officer at Avanade and Slalom. Gartenberg and Reverb founder Mikaela Kiner are a Microsoft alum.

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