This is our monthly feature where we recap the biggest tech hires in Chicago over the past month. Here’s our list of the top hires in Chicago tech for February:
Mu Sigma, a data-analytics company and one of Illinois’ four tech unicorns, named Ambiga Dhiraj as its new CEO. Dhiraj was previously Mu Sigma’s COO and is the wife of Dhiraj Rajaram, the company’s CEO; Rajaram is stepping back to be Mu Sigma’s chairman. Dhiraj has been with the company for eight years, and was previously a Motorola engineer.
Market research startup KnowledgeHound hired Jim Holtzman as its new CFO/COO. Holtzman was previously an investor in, and an advisor to, KnowledgeHound, and comes to the startup from Kapow, where he was the CFO. Before that, Holtzman was the CFO at Fieldglass, Cognitive concepts, and spent time at a variety of other tech companies.
Software review platform G2 Crowd has hired Michael Fauscette as the startup’s first ever chief research officer. Fauscette comes to G2 Crowd after ten years with IDC, a global provider of analyst-based technology market research. At G2, he’ll focus on the strategic research, collection and application of data from B2B software users.
Keeper Security, the maker of Keeper, a password manager and digital vault, hired Andrew Grygiel as its new Chief Marketing Officer. He’ll be in charge of leading the company’s global B2C, B2B and enterprise marketing, product marketing and product management initiatives. Grygiel was previously the chief marketing and product officer at ClearTrial, which was acquired by Oracle in 2012.
Chicago marketing software company Signal announced that it has hired Kathy Menis as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sara Schroeder as Vice President of Human Resources. Menis joins Signal from Experian Marketing Services, a data-driven marketing company, and Schroeder was previously at Press Ganey, a healthcare organization. Menis and Schroeder will both report to Signal CEO Mike Sands
Fast-growing online lending startup Avant, also one of Illinois’ four unicorns, made three executive hires in February. The startup brought on James Paris as EVP of Capital Markets & Corporate Development (formerly the Managing Director at BMO Harris); Brian Abrahams as VP of Communications & Government Relations (formerly the Midwest Regional Director for AIPAC); and Chris Armsey as VP of Human Resources (formerly the Senior Director of Global Human Resources at Motorola).
Invenergy, a renewable energy company that provides wind power generation and storage solutions across the world, has named Amy Francetic as its Senior Vice President of New Ventures and Corporate Affairs. Francetic was the founding Executive Director of the Clean Energy Trust, and has been a leading voice in clean energy innovation. At Invenergy, Francetic will help the company source and integrate technology innovation into its existing portfolio of clean energy assets including wind, solar, natural gas and storage, the company said. Invenergy was founded in 2001 by Chicago energy entrepreneur Michael Polsky, and recently signed a wind power purchase agreement with Google to power its data center operations.