LA Tech ‘Moves’: Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Enters the Metaverse, Rivian Snags New COO

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.

​Bob Iger and Genies founder and CEO Akash Nigam.
Courtesy of Genies

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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 (sharmineh@dot.LA). Please send job changes and personnel moves to

Bob Iger joined virtual avatar startup Genies’ board of directors. Iger served as Disney’s chief executive officer from 2005 to 2020.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian hired Frank Klein as its chief operations officer. Klein was previously an executive at Canadian auto parts manufacturer Magna International.

Los Angeles home goods startup Parachute hired Jeff Barker as chief financial officer. Barker was previously chief financial officer and chief operating officer for audio device maker JLab Audio.

Auditboard, a cloud-based risk assessment and compliance platform, appointed Josh Harding as chief financial officer. Harding previously worked for software company SailPoint as senior vice president of finance and operations.

Tabletop game creator Exploding Kittens named Jed Paulson as its chief commercial officer. Paulson most recently served as chief revenue officer at electric bike brand Rad Power Bikes.

Carmen Bona joined talent UTA as its chief strategy and corporate development officer. Bona previously served as a managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group.

Amazon’s movies division announced several internal transitions this week. Former co-head of movies Julie Rapaport has been made sole chief of the division, while previous co-head Matt Newman has taken a new role at Prime Video’s global sports group, where he’ll be in charge of developing original sports docuseries, films and scripted projects.

Imagendary Studios, a mobile game developer and publisher, added Jason Hayes as its audio director and Matt Cordner as senior technical artist. Hayes previously served as music director for Riot Games and Cordner was senior FX artist at Blizzard Entertainment.

Farther, a digital wealth management platform, appointed Aaron Diaz and Sean Kelly as vice presidents at the company’s Los Angeles office. Both Diaz and Kelly were previously financial advisors at Merrill Lynch.

Mark Palaima joined biotech company GATC Health as a strategic advisor. Palaima was formerly eBay’s chief architect.

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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.

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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.

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AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually
Photo courtesy of AmazeVR

Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.

The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.

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