People: Microsoft, Oculus VR, Onswipe, and More

A quick look at some of the movement among IT people this week:

Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios added four new executives to its team. Lydia Antonini, previously a consultant and producer for the studio, became Senior Vice President of Innovation Labs. Josh Feldman was added as Vice President. David Renke was hired as Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development. And Art Pettigrue, who had been leading executive communications for marketing and strategy in Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Division, became the Xbox Entertainment Chief of Staff. [Yahoo! Movies]

People Moves IconJohn Carmack, Co-Creator of the Doom video game series, joins Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, as Chief Technology Officer. He has worked on such titles as Half-Life, Call of Duty, Wolfenstein and Quake, and has received two Emmys for his contributions to graphics technology. [Dice News]

After a 5-month long search for a new CEO, Groupon picked one of its Co-Founders, Eric Lefkofsky. He was made interim Co-CEO with Ted Leonsis when the previous CEO, Andrew Mason, was fired. Leonsis has been named Chairman of the Board. [AllThingsD]

Onswipe, a tablet publishing startup, appointed Paul Fisher to be Chief Technology Officer. Previously, he was CTO at Sonar, and before that CTO at K2 Media Labs. He succeeds Mark Bao, who left at the end of 2012 to take time off and travel. [TechCrunch]

After two years of serving as an advisor to startups, including social media and marketing platform provider Shift, Paul Ollinger joined the company full-time as President. Previously, he was the Vice President of Sales for Facebook’s West Region. He’s also held position at and Yahoo. [TechCrunch]

CSSS.NET, a government IT solutions provider, named Jeffrey Ondris Eastern Region Director. He brings more than 20 years of related experience, most recently from his position as a Senior Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton. Meantime, Raymond C. Tye was hired as Senior Vice President. Most recently, Tye served as Vice President for the National Security Solutions division at USIS. Before that, he too worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, as Principle. [CSSS.NET]

In preparation for its upcoming transition to providing IT as a Service, Embotics, a cloud management software company, added two new executives. Michael L. Torto was hired as Chief Executive Officer. He brings more than 25 years of executive leadership experience, most recently from his position as CEO of rPath. Meanwhile, John Ross was added as Chief Technology Officer. Both Torto and Ross had been working with the company’s board and executives on the new strategy for several months. []

Robert Ellis has announced he is leaving his role as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Agilysys, a maker of enterprise software for the hospitality industry. He will be succeeded by Janine Seebeck, previously the company’s Vice President and Controller, who was named Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Operational activities that previously reported to Ellis will now report to President and CEO James Dennedy. []

As Affinity Solutions, a targeted marketing company, looks toward growth, it has added two new senior executives. Richard Bravman is now Chief Operating Officer. Most recently he was President and CEO of Pivot3. Meantime, Gary Starr was hired as Chief Financial Officer. []

Pilgrim Software, a maker of enterprise management software for the healthcare industry, appointed Stanley Curtis to be Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. He succeeds Atulya Risal, who will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. []

Fortrust, a data center services company, named David Shepard Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Shepard is the Senior Vice President at IO and will market data center technology for both companies. [Data Center Knowledge]

Cloud application development platform provider independenceIT announced the promotions of Jim Lippie and Seth Bostock. Lippie, previously Executive Vice President of Business Development, transitioned to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Bostock, previously Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, became President and COO. [independenceIT]

In response to a growth in demand, BuilderMT, a building process management software provider for the construction industry, has expanded its team. New hires include Patti Lawrence as a Quality Assurance Engineer, Julie Sanchez Sharabi as a Documentation Expert, Todd Williams as Agile Scrum Product Manager and Brian Henry as a Manager of New Product Development. []

Square hired Rong Yan as Data Science Lead. Previously, he was an Engineering Manager on the ads team at Facebook. Before that, he was a researcher at IBM. He is the third hire by Square to come directly from Facebook in the last few months. [AllThingsD]

Airclic, a supplier of cloud-based software for supply chain and logistics operations, named Gavain McDonald Director of Route Optimization Solutions. [Dice News]

Sanjay Poonen joins VMWare as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the company’s End-User Computing business. Previously, he was President and Corporate Officer of the Mobile Division at SAP. Meanwhile, after 18 years at EMC, Chuck Hollis, former EMC CTO of Marketing, was appointed to be Chief Strategist for VMWare’s Storage Application Services business unit.[TechCrunch]

Brett Wayn resigned as the head of Yahoo-owned Flickr for unknown reasons. The position will be filled by Bernardo Hernandez, a colleague of Marissa Mayer from her time at Google. Most recently, he was the Managing Director of Google-owned ZAGAT. [AllThingsD]

Eric Baldeschwieler resigned from his position as Chief Technology Officer of Hortonworks, a spinoff company from Yahoo that develops Big Data software, which he co-founded. [GigaOM]

Kathleen Philips, previously General Counsel at Zillow, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. She played a key role in the company’s initial public offering, as well as its recent mergers and acquisitions. [Geek Wire]

Elasticsearch, maker of an open source search and analytics engine, appointed Kevin Kluge to be Vice President of Engineering. He was previously Vice President of Engineering at Citrix, a title he gained after the company acquired, where he had held the same position. []

Murray Wright joins Zones, a technology reseller, as Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Firoz Lolji, who is transitioning to Chief Strategy Officer. Formerly, he was President of the Americas at Tech Data Corporation. [Geek Wire]

Fortress Risk Management, a provider of cloud-based enterprise risk management for the banking and credit union industry, named David Mitchell President. He was previously Senior Vice President and Chief Partnership Officer at COCC. [Fortress Risk Management]

Desktop as a Service provider Virtual Bridges named Dirk Luthro Chief Financial Officer. Most recently he served as CFO of Alereon, a semiconductor company. [Virtual Bridges]

Facebook named Gary Briggs Chief Marketing Officer, a newly created title. He was previously Vice President of Marketing at Motorola. He replaces Eric Antonow, who had led marketing at Facebook since 2010. [All Things D]

The Rubicon Project, which operates a real-time trading platform for buying and selling advertisements, added ten senior executives to its management team. New Hires in Big Data include Tim McQuillen as Chief Knowledge Officer, Mona Yousry as Senior Vice President of Semantic Grid Computing, and David Peterson as Senior Vice President of Technology. In corporate strategy, new hires include Matt Karatz as Chief of Staff and Head of Strategic Operations and Tiffany Chelsvig as Vice President, People. Michael Adair was added as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. In Finance, David Day was hired to be Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller, Jim Arth as Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, and Natalie Pechacek as Senior Vice President, Tax. Lastly, Brian Copple was added as General Counsel. []

Ankit Jain announced his resignation from his position as Head of Search for the Google Play Store. After working at Google for the past three years, he has decided that it is time to give himself “a chance to build something from the ground up.” [AllThingsD]

Chris Messina, inventor of the hashtag, has also announced his resignation from Google. When he first joined the company he was led developer relations for Google Buzz. In more recent years, he worked on User Experience Design for Google+. He has accepted a new position as Head of Community and Growth at NeonMob, a small San Francisco startup that’s working to create a market for digital art. [All Things D]

Targeted mobile advertising platform provider Voltari hired Michael Rock to lead its Data Management Platform initiatives. Previously, he served as the Principle Data Engineer for numerous startups including FetchBack, which was acquired by eBay, iCrossing (now Hearst) and []

Shortly after the announcement of 250 layoffs at Blackberry’s Waterloo, Ont., office, the company announced that three Senior Executives would be leaving as well. The executives are Doug Kozak, Vice President of Corporate Information Technology Operations, Carmine Arabia, Senior Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain, and Graeme Whittington, Vice President of Service Operations. The company has not said which of the exits were caused by the restructuring. [CBC News]

Do you know of people moving to new jobs inside, or outside, your company? Let us know by emailing