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Meta exec joins AI startup, Lyell Immunopharma hires new CEO; and more – GeekWire


Claudiu Bulai. (Quantarium Photo)

Claudiu Bulai is now chief innovation officer at Bellevue, Wash.-based startup Quantarium.

Bulai previously spent five years at Meta, most recently leading engineering for the tech giant’s Reality Labs Research, the group behind Meta’s augmented and virtual reality initiatives. The group is central to the company’s vision of building a “metaverse.”

Bulai’s was previously also development engineering manager for telecommunications company Viavi Solutions and a design engineering manager at Micro Power Electronics (now Electrochem Solutions).

Quantarium applies AI models to residential real estate analytics, including property valuations.

Lyell Immunopharma has a new CEO and president: Lynn Seely, a member of the company’s board and former CEO of Myovant Sciences. Seely succeeds Elizabeth Homans who served the company for four years, first as president and then CEO. Homans will remain as a consultant with the company through June 2024.

“My decision to transition from my role at Lyell was a difficult one, but I am excited about the next chapter for the company under Lynn’s leadership,” said Homans in a statement. “Leading Lyell to become a fully integrated company with two clinical stage programs has been a privilege.”

Seely, a former assistant professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego, was also previously senior VP and chief medical officer at Medivation and VP of clinical research at Corgentech. Seely will be based in the South San Francisco headquarters of Lyell, which also has operations in Seattle, where it employs 120 people. Last year the startup raised $425 million in its IPO and completed a $65 million 70,000 square-foot manufacturing center in Bothell, Wash.

Other key personnel changes across the Pacific Northwest tech industry:

Christina Forney. (Uplevel Photo)
  • Christina Forney is now vice president of product at Uplevel, a Seattle startup that helps engineering teams analyze the effectiveness of their developers. She was previously a product advisor at Sourcegraph.
  • Two individuals from the Pacific Northwest have been selected to serve on the U.S. National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group: Blue Origin CEO Robert Smith and Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology at Amazon Project Kuiper.
  • Faisal Masud, CEO of e-commerce technology startup Fabric, was appointed to the board of directors of Crafty, a platform for providing food and beverages for offices and remote workers.
  • Hannah Foell, previously combat producer on God of War Ragnarök at Santa Monica Studio, joined the third party team at Nintendo of America.
  • Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee appointed two new members to the board of the Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund, the state’s cancer research endowment that recently received a special $30 million appropriation. The new members are Marc Cummings, CEO and president of Life Science Washington, and Maura Little, managing principal at Echo Health Advisors.


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