Citing need for “engineering execution,” Chef gives control of engineering to its co-founder and CTO while the sales department reorganizes

Chef CEO Barry Crist talks to a crowd at the Chef offices in Pioneer Square.

Seattle DevOps startup Chef made several organizational changes this week, installing co-founder and CTO Adam Jacob as head of engineering and giving its chief marketing officer control of sales amid the departure of that group’s leader, GeekWire has learned.

Chef CEO Barry Crist announced the changes Monday in an email to Chef employees, which GeekWire has obtained. Tucker Callaway, who led sales at Chef, is leaving the company for another position in the Bay Area, according to the memo, although Callaway has yet to update his LinkedIn profile. Replacing him will be Ken Cheney, currently head of marketing for Chef, who first joined the company last November.

And Jacob, who co-founded the company and also wrote the Chef open-source project that forms the basis for the company, now runs the engineering team in addition to his other duties as CTO.

Crist wrote:

The role of CTO often means many things over the course of a company’s life. Right now Chef’s engineering execution is paramount to…

A Top Asian Advisor Shares 4 Capital Raising Tips For Entrepreneurs

Rippledot with ONE Championship

Connecting with capital to scale your startup can be a tough task. Especially if you’re a founder and you still have the day-to-day operations of your business to run. So, how do you connect with investors? And, more importantly, how do you make sure you’ve found the right investors for your business?

One organization that specializes in solving this problem is the Asian investment banking organization, Rippledot Capital Advisers. They’ve won awards such as “Best Investment Bank for the Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry” and have over 17 years of TMT experience in all of Asia.

They recently hit the headlines after connecting Sequoia Capital (India) and Mission Holdings with ONE Championship to enable them to increase their total capital to over $100 million.

Chatri Sityodtong, CEO of ONE Championship, gave them high praise and said, “Rippledot does an amazing job for its clients, offering true white glove service and a relentless focus on value-added strategic advice.” I asked Rippledot’s CEO, Atin Kukreja, for some advice for Asian entrepreneurs going global.

Here are four key lessons he wanted to share with founders who are looking to raise funding.

1. Investors look for great leaders who demonstrate their passion

Kukreja told me that “the first thing founders need to demonstrate is great leadership.”

But, what makes a great leader? “Sometimes it all just boils down to recognizing passion,” he said. “Passion is the key to success. Of course, tangible business skills are also very important, but without passion, there is no pathway to success. Steve Jobs had passion, so does Bill Gates — these are a couple of prime examples. When people, especially employees within…

Cisco’s server CTO says NVMe will shift from speed to capacity tier

Raghunath Nambiar says data centres will be asked to do more with more

INTERVIEW NVMe storage is becoming denser, faster, than other forms of storage and will therefore become a capacity tier according to Cisco’s chief technology officer for UCS Raghunath Nambiar.

“Right now people are looking at NVMe from a performance point of view,” Nambiar told The Register in Sydney last week, “but the real game changer is going to be capacity.”

Nambiar said 2.5 inch SSDs will soon hit seven-terabyte capacities, but “NVMe will go to 32 terabytes 18 months from now.” That density will mean that even small servers like the UCS B200, Cisco’s half-width workhorse, will be able to work with 64 terabytes of data in each server and plenty more across a blade chassis or a fabric.

Nambiar said businesses will put that data to work with more intensive just-in-time analytics.

“Many of the places in the States have a decent knowledge about your buying patterns,” he said, and use that data to power recommendation engines. Consumers, he added, have a tolerance for about one second’s wait…

Travel Foundation works with CTO on sustainability

Travel Foundation works with CTO on sustainability

The Travel Foundation has signed a deal with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to collaborate on sustainable tourism initiatives.

The industry charity signed a memorandum of understanding with the CTO last month as it seeks to develop projects with a bigger impact following a change of strategy in 2015.

Travel Foundation chief executive Salli Felton said: “Previously, we worked at helping to improve the situation one community at a time, which helps demonstrate sustainable tourism is possible but doesn’t bring it into the mainstream. Now we identify those who can make decisions in a destination [and] target them to work with.”

The first project with the CTO is an online training course for…

Thriving leadership: the new way to bring out the best in everyone

Thriving leadership: the new way to bring out the best in everyone

Life at work and life outside used to be two separate things. Today, technology connects us to work 24/7 and has increased workplace pressures by revolutionising every industry sector.

Living today’s always-on life doesn’t bring out the best in people. At prolonged high levels, it can cause major physical and mental health issues. Fortunately, the tension between work and home isn’t so extreme for most people.

Instead, it manifests as a persistent feeling of failing at both, leading to absenteeism, poor decision-making and lack of focus. According to the Australian Productivity Commission, this translates into $24 billion a year in lost productivity.

In recent years, there’s been a quantum leap in employer awareness of the negative business effects of stress. From flexi-time to lunchtime yoga, supporting employee health is now firmly on the HR radar.

I believe CEOs should build on this momentum to move their organisations beyond just mitigating health risks to the next level – actively helping people to reach their full potential at work and at home. It’s time to create thriving workplaces.

What is thriving?

In a thriving state of mind, an individual is firing on all cylinders. They are engaged and fulfilled, in control and growing, and full of positive energy. You can feel like this at work or in private, but the real magic happens when the two are healthily integrated so your whole life thrives and work becomes something to look forward to, not a means to an end.

One of the litmus tests for thriving is flow – being so immersed in a task that time flies. Psychologists…

WannaCry Hero Arrested on Kronos Malware Charges


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In a stunning twist, U.S. authorities this week arrested a British cyber-researcher credited with stopping the spread of the WannaCry ransomware virus on charges he helped develop and deploy the Kronos banking trojan that attacked financial institutions around the world in 2014.

Following a two-year investigation, a federal grand jury in Wisconsin last month handed down a six-count indictment against Marcus Hutchins, a resident and citizen of the UK who operated under the name “Malwaretech,” according to U.S. Attorney Gregory Haansted, who oversees the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Hutchins was arrested Wednesday at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, where he had been attending the Def Con hacking conference. The charges include one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, three counts of distributing and advertising an electronic communication interception device, one count of endeavoring to intercept electronic communications, and one count of attempting to access a computer without authorization.

Origin Story

Hutchins created the Kronos malware, prosecutors have alleged.

A video showing the functionality of the Kronos banking trojan was posted to a publicly available website in July 2014, according to a copy of a sealed indictment the U.S. District Court posted July 12.

A defendant, whose name is blacked out, used the video to show how Kronos worked, the indictment says. A defendant, again with the name blacked out, offered to sell the Kronos banking trojan for US$3,000.

Defendants whose names were blacked out updated the Kronos malware early 2015, according to the indictment. In April of that year, a defendant with a name blacked out allegedly advertised the malware on the AlphaBay market forum.


6 Ways To Change Your Mindset About Innovation Before The Marketplace Passes You By


My organization has spent several months rebuilding our web site…again. Not just the look and feel but reviewing my value proposition and services to make sure they align with our existing and new clients’ needs. It’s a simultaneously tedious, invigorating, insightful, time consuming, and painstaking process on a macro and micro level. It is in a word: exhausting.

In my last article, I talked exhaustion, specifically about why the conversation around diversity is so exhausting. But in order to grow and evolve in uncertain times and an age when competitors emerge faster than ever, we should expect at least some exhaustion if we want to keep recreating growth. No matter how deep our relationships with our clients and customers or how venerable our brands are, we can’t simply manage the growth we have or maintain the bottom line and expect to survive.

This is what I was thinking when I came across an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal: “So Long, Hamburger Helper: America’s Venerable Food Brands Are Struggling” by Annie Gasparro and Saabira Chaudhuri.

In the article, the authors lay out how major food brands are struggling in the face of customer preferences for fresh fare and lower-priced store brands. Kellogg’s cereals, Aunt Jemima pancake mix, and Hamburger Helper are among the brands that failed to anticipate the unexpected and missed the need to innovate. Meanwhile, companies like Chobani saw the growing demand for Greek yogurt leading to double-digit sales declines for Yoplait.

“The plight of the packaged-goods companies is a classic business tale. An industry creates winning products, carves out strong market positions and enjoys reliable, sustained revenue—only to be too slow to adapt to changes that threaten those cash cows,” the authors write. Today, they continue, companies like General Mills are working to “to cater to evolving consumer preferences” including removing artificial ingredients and sweeteners, fat, and dyes and cutting time for new products to come to market. But is it enough? Too little too late? According to the authors: “Hamburger Helper, and the other Helper varieties owned by General Mills, declined to 40% of sales of dinner mixes in the U.S. last year from 61% in 2007, according to market researcher Euromonitor, and Conagra Brands’s Chef Boyardee’s share of shelf-stable ready-meal sales fell to 23% from 25%.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean these brands and products aren’t still profitable but their legacies are in peril. That’s what happens when you spend more time managing growth and less time innovating to recreate it.

The story this article told resonated with me beyond the fact that these are iconic brands from my childhood— with jingles I could sing even if I rarely ate the products. Most of my corporate and entrepreneurial careers were spent in food and beverage trying to compete against established brands. At Sunkist, I handled the expansion of private label brands on the shelf,…

Optimove Hires Tal Kedar as its New CTO to Power AI Driven Marketing

Click here to save in your favourite.Optimove Hires Tal Kedar as its New CTO to Power AI Driven Marketing

New York, NY: Optimove, provider of customer marketing cloud, today announced that Tal Kedar has been appointed the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Kedar will play a key role in shaping Optimove’s technology and innovation strategies as the company expands its capabilities to help marketers build a more active and loyal customer base using artificial intelligence.

Kedar brings deep experience in software development, machine learning, and retail, joining the company after spending seven years as the Director of Emerging Technologies at Sears Holdings Corporation. Before that, he served as Head of Algorithms at Fraud Sciences, a security company later acquired by PayPal, where he oversaw the use of AI for online transaction verification and fraud prevention. While most companies…

NBN nabs new CTO from Nokia

NBN has filled its chief technology officer position, left without a permanent replacement since the departure of Dennis Steiger in May.

Joining the company responsible for rolling out the National Broadband Network across Australia is Ray Owen, who was most recently Nokia managing director for Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. Prior to Nokia, Owen held a number of roles in Motorola.

“We are delighted to welcome Ray to NBN and look forward to his vast experience in the global telecoms industry in helping us deliver the best possible network for Australians,” NBN chief strategy officer JB Rousselot said. Owen will report to Rousselot.

Nokia Oceania head of corporate affairs Tim Marshall said Owen left on good terms and Nokia wished him well.

“Ray has done an outstanding job as managing director of Nokia’s Oceania business, where he has grown our market presence over the last two and half years and led a very successful integration with the former Alcatel-Lucent organisation,” Marshall said.

“It’s always sad to lose a valuable leader and colleague, but of course we’re very pleased for Ray and the opportunity for him to further his career.”

On the technology front, NBN has recently commenced construction of its fibre-to-the-distribution-point network in Melbourne, and is mulling over whether to launch a third satellite.

Elsewhere, NBN has found itself involved in an ongoing stoush with retailers over the cost of bandwidth on its network.

At the start of this week, NBN CEO Bill Morrow hit out at allegations the connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charge and use of copper in its Multi-Technology Mix are to blame for Australians seeing unsatisfactory speeds when connected to the network, and instead said it was the result of an NBN “land grab” forcing…

Businesses Leverage Instagram Stories to New Heights


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Instagram’s Stories feature, which launched one year ago, has achieved widespread engagement among businesses that want to raise their brand awareness and expand their e-commerce penetration, the company said Wednesday.

The tool, launched in August 2016, allows users to create digital slide shows out of photos and videos in order to convey a story. Businesses ranging from Taco Bell to J.Crew and Starbucks have used Stories to give a behind-the-scenes peek at new products, launch limited sales, or get instant customer feedback about new initiatives.

More than 250 million daily active users are on Stories, compared to rival Snapchat’s 166 million, Instagram said.

Half of all businesses on Instagram produced an Instagram Story just in the last month, and one of every five organic stories from business members resulted in a direct message, the company claimed.

“That suggests businesses are exploring Stories as a means of interacting with existing and potential customers, and that some are succeeding pretty well in those efforts,” Pund-IT Principal Analyst Charles King told the E-Commerce Times.

Increased Engagement

Instagram rolled out Stories to boost member engagement, and statistics indicate the strategy worked, in terms of increased time spent on the service. Users under age 25 currently spend an average of 32 minutes a day on Instagram, while users over 25 spend an average of 24 minutes a day on the service, according to the company.

Instagram has added…