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Ex-Amazon VP Babak Parviz joins Madrona; Microsoft CVP Vahé Torossian departs – GeekWire


Babak Parviz. (Madrona Venture Group Photo)

— Babak Parviz, a former director at Google and vice president at Amazon, joined Seattle-based firm Madrona Venture Group as a venture partner.

Parviz departed Amazon in December, according to his LinkedIn profile. He helped launch and lead Grand Challenge, the company’s secretive research and innovation arm which was reportedly at risk of being shut down amid Amazon’s recent cutbacks.

Parviz, also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington, founded and led the Google Glass team. He was recruited to Amazon by Jeff Bezos and joined the company in 2014.

Madrona said Babak will work with its portfolio companies and evaluate new startups. The firm brought on Wei Gao, another ex-Amazon leader and former technical advisor to Bezos, late last year.

Vahé Torossian. (Photo courtesy of Torossian)

— Vahé Torossian, a longtime corporate vice president at Microsoft, is departing.

Torossian first joined the Seattle-area tech giant in 1992, working out of the company’s Paris hub. He spent time in Singapore and Munich before landing at Microsoft’s HQ in Redmond more than decade ago in his first corporate VP role.

Most recently Torossian was a CVP in the Business Applications group.

“There is never a good time to leave. I am proud I put things in place and wish Microsoft continued stellar success in reinventing enterprise applications,” Torossian wrote in a post on LinkedIn.

Torossian, who was also previously CEO of Microsoft France, said he is assessing opportunities in the U.S. “where I can leverage my global leadership expertise and live new business experiences.”

Other key personnel changes across the Pacific Northwest tech industry:

— Seattle-area data analytics startup Advata named Brian Taylor as chief revenue officer. Taylor previously held senior leadership roles at EvidenceCare, MCG Health, and FDB Health.

— Seattle healthcare software startup Outbound AI added Ryan Greenhaw as chief revenue officer. Greenhaw previously worked at WhiteSpace Health and Recondo Technology.


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