8 Austin tech companies welcome new leaders from ESPN, IBM, Rackspace and more

by Kelly O'Halloran
June 5, 2018
austin texas
photo via shutterstock

Austin tech has seen a whirlwind of leadership changes since the beginning of 2018, with May following suit. The last month featured 10 executive moves across eight companies. Austin’s newest tech leaders include former execs from Microsoft, ESPN, IBM, Rackspace and more.


Jag Bath
Chief Digital Officer of H-E-B

Following H-E-B’s February acquisition of local on-demand delivery startup Favor, H-E-B announced in May that Favor’s CEO Jag Bath will also take on the role as H-E-B’s chief digital officer. In this newly created position, Bath will oversee strategy and deployment of H-E-B’s digital offerings. Bath will continue as CEO of Favor, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of H-E-B.


April Downing
Chief Operating Officer

Edtech big data company Civitas Learning announced April Downing as its first ever COO, adding a major tech heavyweight to its executive circle. Downing joins the team from WP Engine, where she helped generate over $100 million in revenue in less than five years in her role as CFO. Downing also played an instrumental role in Civitas Learning’s Series B funding, secured in 2013.


George Kanuck
VP of Worldwide Sales

Zenoss, the company behind an IT operations monitoring platform, named George Kanuck as VP of worldwide sales in May. Kanuck will lead Zenoss’s market adoption strategies. His resume boasts over 20 years of growing sales organizations, including in his most recent role as SVP of sales and marketing at Trustonic.


Bill Kennedy
Chief Strategy Officer

After serving as an advisor to Square Root for five years, Bill Kennedy has signed on part time as its new chief strategy officer. Kennedy’s previous roles include director of engineering at IBM Tivoli, where he headed security efforts. Kennedy, a serial entrepreneur, also founded Beacon Professional Services, which was acquired by SailPoint in 2010, and Waveset Technologies, which Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) acquired in 2003.


Joseph Tripp
Chief Revenue Officer

AI messaging platform Pushnami welcomed Joseph Tripp as its new chief revenue officer last week. Tripp, an expert in mobile location and strategy, has previously led numerous sales organizations as VP of sales at InMarket Media and at Cooking.com.


Tina Dobie
Chief Customer Officer

WP Engine made three big leadership moves recently, promoting David Brolsma to CFO, Tina Dobie to chief customer officer and Chad Costello to general counsel. The company created Dobie’s position to support its worldwide customer experience team of 200 individuals. She joined the organization in 2013.

David Brolsma
Chief Finance Officer

Brolsma steps into the CFO role following Downing’s departure to Civitas Learning. He signed on with WP Engine in 2014 as VP of finance and accounting. Prior to WP Engine, Brolsma served as controller and GM of Rackspace International.


Barbary Brunner
Chief Marketing Officer

After more than two years as CEO of Austin Technology Council, Barbary Brunner has been named Phunware’s new CMO. She brings 25 years of experience with her from a career that began in the 90s at Microsoft where she was a program manager. Since then, Brunner has held numerous titles, like CMO at PriceGrabber and Yahoo Media, chief digital products officer at MediaNews Group, director of global planning at Microsoft’s MSN business and executive producer at Sierra Online.


Lindsey Ross
Director of Rights Acquisition

FloSports, the digital sports streaming provider and content creator, gained a former ESPN executive this week with the addition of Lindsey Ross. Ross was ESPN’s manager of programming and acquisitions before signing on with FloSports as director of rights acquisition. Prior to ESPN, Ross was director of communications at Atlantic Coast Conference.


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