Tech Moves: Zillow hires Nike exec as first design chief; Allen Institute has new CEO; and more

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Jenny Arden. (Zillow Group Photo)

— Zillow Group Name Jenny Arden As the first Chief Design Officer of the Seattle-based real estate company. She was most recently Vice President of Digital Design at Nike.

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A Google alum, Arden was previously the head of consumer experiences and products at Lyft. He also spent four years at Airbnb, most recently as general manager of its transportation business.

At Zillow Group, Arden will be responsible for customer experiences and integration across all of its brands. She will oversee the company’s product design and user experience research.


“We are excited to join us as CDO to help build Zillow 2.0 and help people unlock the next chapter in life,” said Jeremy Waxman, COO of Zillow Group.

Last year saw Zillow Group go through a major pivot, closing its iBuying program Zillow Offerings. As a result of the change, 2,000 employees were laid off, its stock fell, and investors sued. Its stock is currently trading at $55.40 per share, up from its December low of $52.38.

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In December, the company reported that it had contracted to sell or sell more than 50% of the homes from its iBuying business. It also announced a $750 million stock repurchase. Zillow Group’s brands include Trulia, StreetEasy and HotPads.

Rui Costa. (Allen Institute photo)

– brain circuitry specialist rue costa Takes over from founder of Allen Institute CEO alan jones As CEO and President of the non-profit research organization. The Seattle-based institute, founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, includes programs studying neuroscience, cytology, biosciences, and immunology.

Jones announced a year ago that he would step down and join the Allen Institute’s board as chairman-emeritus.

“As an active researcher and scientist he has already been a trusted advisor for many years, helping to accelerate our impact in brain science,” said Jody Allen, chairman of the Allen Institute’s board.

Costa attended the Allen Institute from Columbia University, where he attended the Mortimer B. Zuckerman was the CEO of the Mind Brain Behavior Institute. He is currently a member of the Allen Institute’s Brain Science Scientific Advisory Council.

“I firmly believe in the team and the institute’s core principles of advancing great discoveries using open science,” Costa said in a statement. “My goal is to advance this genre of science into a new era of discovery and impact.”

Maya Tolstoy. (Your Photo)

– marine geophysicist maya tolstoy Maggie Walker began her appointment as Dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington.

Tolstoy comes to Seattle from Columbia University, where she was a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. It is characterized by earthquakes and volcanoes on the ocean floor.

The Namesake Deanship was established in December 2020 with a major gift from Seattle philanthropist Maggie Walker and is intended to provide the department with additional resources to address climate change and environmental challenges.

Eliana Schwartz. (Wattby photo)

– electricity market eliana schwartz as Senior Product Manager.

Schwartz was most recently a Senior Product Manager at She previously spent five years at Optimal, a Kirkland, Wash.-based education platform.

, emily chavezzo Joining Seattle HR consultancy Reverb as Head of Leadership Development. She previously spent nine years at Amazon in various executive leadership development roles and also managed programs for the MBA and Retail Leadership Development.

[Editor’s Note: GeekWire is a Reverb client.]

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