'Moves': Warner Music Hires Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda as an Advisor

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.

'Moves': Warner Music Hires Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda as an Advisor
Photo by Frank Maddocks

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 moves@dot.la.


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ImmPACT Bio–a clinical-stage medtech company researching chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell cancer therapies–hired Venkat Yepuri as chief operating officer. Prior to this role, Yepuri served at biopharmaceutical company Amgen in Thousand Oaks as chief procurement officer and vice president of global business solutions.

Leading e-commerce auto parts company Carparts.com brought on Kals Subramanian as chief technology officer. Prior to this role, Subramanian served as vice president of e-commerce technology at Lowe's.

Fan engagement platform Peeq appointed Ommid Bavarian as its first chief financial officer. Bavarian previously served as CFO for the IT-focused private equity firm Lotus Innovations.

Jill Angeljoined TrueCar, an online marketplace for old and new vehicles, as chief people officer. Angel recently served as executive vice president of people at Leaf Group, a digital content company and platform that run Internet brands like eHow and Society6.

Digital adtech startup Trust hired former Snap manager Matt Trandall as senior vice president of partnerships and community.

AI-powered community lending platform Camino Financial appointed Shaja Selvamani as vice president of data science and Richard Solomon as vice president of credit risk and portfolio management. Selvamani most recently served as senior director of data science at Envestnet Yodlee. Solomon’s resume includes senior positions at JPMorgan Chase and Strategic Financial Solutions, as well as co-founding the PlutoCard, an AI-underwriting service.

John Eason joined power grid management company Electrical Grid Monitoring as vice president of product and market development. Eason previously served as product manager at GE Digital and Sentient Energy.

Dennis Cook joined multi-platform media company Nexstar Digital as vice president of sales marketing. Cook previously served as vice president of marketing at Gamut.

Gaming Community Network, a gaming and esports marketing agency, hired Jenn Wong as vice president of strategy and brand activations. Wong previously guided engagement and partnership strategy at Caesars Entertainment.

BuildOps, a commercial contractor management software provider, hired Glen West as head of growth. West previously served as product and technology manager at Alliance Solutions Group.

Venture growth firm March Capital announced Brad Weirick as partner and general counsel. Prior to this role, Weirick served as partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Venture capital firm Touchdown Ventures promoted former principal Will Geiger and investor Brett Kadesh to directors and former analysts Maddi Holman and Kathy Quigley to associates.

Linkin Park co-founder and music tech pioneer Mike Shinoda joined Warner Recorded Music as community innovation advisor.

Activision Blizzard added Substack’s vice president of communications Lulu Cheng Meservey and Bacardi senior vice president Kerry Carr to its board.

Bruvi, a single-serve coffee startup, added Andrea Clementini to its board of advisors. Clementini previously served as CEO of Italian coffee brand Caffitaly.

Direct-to-consumer healthcare apparel brand FIGS announced the founding of its healthcare advisory board. Members include Fora Fertility co-founder Natalie Crawford, interventional and diagnostic radiologist Scott Fujimoto, professor Sarah J. Kilpatrick, veterinarian Andrew Kushnir, nurse practitioner Danielle LeVeck, Resilience Orthopedics founder Pamela Mehta and emergency medicine physician Darien Sutton-Ramsey .

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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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PCH Driven: Director Jason Wise Talks Wine, Documentaries, and His New Indie Streaming Service SOMMTV

Jamie Williams
­Jamie Williams is the host of the “PCH Driven” podcast, a show about Southern California entrepreneurs, innovators and its driven leaders on their road to success. The series celebrates and reveals the wonders of the human spirit and explores the motivations behind what drives us.
Jason Wise holding wine glass
Image courtesy of Jason Wise

Jason Wise may still consider himself a little kid, but the 33-year-old filmmaker is building an IMDB page that rivals colleagues twice his age.

As the director behind SOMM, SOMM2, SOMM3, and the upcoming SOMM4, Wise has made a career producing award-winning documentary films that peer deep into the wine industry in Southern California and around the world.

On this episode of the PCH Driven podcast, he talks about life growing up in Cleveland as a horrible student, filmmaking, Los Angeles and his latest entrepreneurial endeavor: A streaming service called SOMMTV that features–what else?–documentaries about wine.

The conversation covers some serious ground, but the themes of wine and film work to anchor the discussion, and Wise dispenses bits of sage filmmaking advice.

“With a documentary you can just start filming right now,” he says. “That’s how SOMM came about. I got tossed into that world during the frustration of trying to make a different film, and I just started filming it, because no one could stop me because I was paying for it myself. That’s the thing with docs,” or “The good thing about SOMM is that you can explain it in one sentence: ‘The hardest test in the world is about wine, and you’ve never heard about it.’”

…Or at least maybe you hadn’t before he made his first film. Now with three SOMM documentaries under his belt, Wise is nearing completion of “SOMM4: Cup of Salvation,” which examines the history of wine’s relationship with religion. Wise says it’s “a wild film,” that spans multiple countries, the Vatican and even an active warzone. As he puts it, the idea is to show that “wine is about every subject,” rather than “every subject is about wine.”

For Wise, the transition to launching his own streaming service came out of his frustration with existing platforms holding too much power over the value of the content he produces.

“Do we want Netflix to tell us what our projects are worth or do we want the audience to do that?” he asks.

But unlike giants in the space, SOMMTV has adopted a gradual approach of just adding small bits of content as they develop. Without the need to license 500 or 1,000 hours of programming, Wise has been able to basically bootstrap SOMMTV and provide short form content and other more experimental offerings that typically get passed over by the Hulus and Disneys of the world.

So far, he says, the experiment is working, and now Wise is looking to raise some serious capital to keep up with the voracious appetites of his subscribers.

“Send those VCs my way,” Wise jokes.

Subscribe to PCH Driven on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA reporter David Shultz contributed to this report.

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