LA Tech ‘Moves’: Activision Hires Its First Chief Diversity Officer

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Activision Hires Its First Chief Diversity Officer
Activision Blizzard Logo Under Microscope

Moves, our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis ( Please send job changes and personnel moves to


Activision Blizzard appointed Kristen Hines as its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Hines previously led the global diversity, equity and inclusion practice at Accenture.

Wastefuel, a developer of low-carbon biofuels from waste, named Jeffrey Briggs as chief operating officer. Briggs previously served as COO of Green Plains.

Payments facilitation company PayEngine hired Rashid Kamran as its chief technology officer. Kamran previously served as director of software engineering at ATT/DIRECTV and vice president for application development at MUFG Union Bank.

HR technology company Bambee has hired Lainie Cooney as chief people officer. Cooney previously held the same role at FanDuel.

Mindbody, a wellness technology platform, named Meisha Sherman as chief people officer. Sherman previously served as vice president of global human resources for Envista Corporation.

Omaze, an online fundraising platform, hired Scott Coleman as president. Coleman previously served as Pinterest’s head of growth and international and also held business development and product partnership roles at Google.

Netflix promoted former communications director Emily Feingold to vice president of communications.

FCTI, an ATM solutions provider, named Peter Kulik as its vice president of technology. Kulik previously served as the director of engineering, ATM technology at Citibank.

Cybersecurity startup NVISION named Anna Astakhishvili as head of marketing. Astakhishvili was previously a senior digital marketing manager at Cloudflare.

Creator economy AI company BEN Group named Jon Youshaei as head creator advisor for its TubeBuddy arm. Youshaei previously served as head of creator product marketing at YouTube and also worked on Instagram’s creator marketing team.

Health care venture fund Wavemaker 360 named Monica Jain as a venture partner. Currently, Dr. Jain is currently a surgeon and the surgical innovation officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Venture capital firm Chapter One named Jack Lipstone as venture partner, with a focus on DeFi investing strategy. Lipstone previously co-founded DeFi startup Rari Capital.

Sean Combs, most commonly known as Puff Daddy, joined holoportation startup Proto as an advisor.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

Body Complete Rx Founder Samia Gore On How She Turned Her Fitness Journey Into a Multi-Million Dollar Company

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Body Complete Rx Founder Samia Gore
Courtesy of Behind Her Empire, Samia Gore

Samia Gore was a mother of four when she decided to take a shot at starting her own business.

On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, the Body Complete Rx founder discusses how her personal journey with health and fitness became the catalyst for a booming business.

Read moreShow less