Power Moves: Meet Linode's new CTO and VP who will oversee its tech team as the Old City company scales up - Technical.ly Philly

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Power Moves: Meet Linode’s new CTO and VP who will oversee its tech team as the Old City company scales up

Plus, moves on the Health Union, Onbe and Gopuff leadership teams, and Penn President Amy Gutmann eyes an international role.

William Charnock, Linode's new VP and CTO.

(Photo via LinkedIn)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us: philly@technical.ly.


Old City-based Linode welcomed a new member of its leadership team this month in William Charnock, who will serve as the open source cloud hosting provider’s VP and chief technology officer.

Charnock will lead the company’s engineering and development team, and continue to develop its technical roadmap as it further expands its cloud platform to provide an alternative to large, “hyperscale” cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, it said.

Charnock has spent the last 20-plus years in the internet infrastructure and cloud space building and scaling global internet platforms and has worked with hundreds of high-growth startups and learned about what serves their needs. He comes to the company after heading StackPath’s tech team for about eight months. He previously served as senior director of network strategy at Fastly and as VP of network architecture and engineering at Limelight Networks. Earlier in his career, Charnock also led the expansion of IBM-owned SoftLayer into Asia and Europe.

“Over that time I’ve learned a lot about how to adapt to the changing needs of the business as it grows — both from a technical standpoint as well as from an operational perspective,” he told Technical.ly in an email.

At Linode, Charnock said he plans to continue to build on the company’s customer support success while looking to enter new customer verticals and features. The team will also be focusing on scaling the organization to maintain its quality of service as they bring in new customers. Market expansion is also on the table, Charnock added.

“Will brings deep technical and strategic experience that will help us scale our infrastructure, deliver products to customers faster, and position Linode for the future,” Christopher Aker, founder and CEO of Linode, said in a statement. “He’s been part of the extended Linode network for over a decade. We’ve called upon him numerous times over the years for both technical and strategic advice and look forward to having him take on this new and important leadership role.”

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Check out the company’s open engineering roles.

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Health Union has brought on two new members of its leadership team: Lauren Lawhon is the Center City-based health community company’s  new president and chief operating officer, and Tim Finley is its new chief financial officer.

Lauren Lawhon. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Lawhon has been with Health Union since 2014, and in its COO role since 2016. She brings over two decades of strategic leadership and operational experience, including stints at imc2 and various health advocacy organizations. And Finley comes to the org after seven years in various leadership roles at MMIT (Managed Markets Insight & Technology) and eight years at PwC, focusing on transaction services and assurance.

Lawhon and Finley will assume the corporate leadership and financial responsibilities, respectively, of Tim Armand, who served as Health Union’s president since cofounding the company in 2010. Armand will continue to serve as adviser to the CEO and a voting member of Health Union’s board of directors, alongside directors from Court Square, a middle market private equity firm.

Last month, the 11-year-old Health Union acquired Boston-headquartered WEGO Health, which oversees a network of 100,000 “patient leaders” across health conditions. Health Union now manages 33 online health information hubs where users who share chronic health conditions can interact with each other. As a result of the acquisition, WEGO CEO and founder Jack Barrette became a part of Health Union’s executive leadership team.

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University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann has been nominated by President Joe Biden to the role of U.S. Ambassador to Germany, after the former ambassador stepped down last summer.

Biden has strong ties to the Philly region and to Penn, as he quickly joined Penn in 2017 after his first tenure in the White House, as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor, as well as a leader of the D.C.-based research center on foreign policy that bears his name as well as the university’s: the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Amy Gutmann, in a photo from 2016. (Photo by Flickr user Third Way Think Tank, used under a Creative Commons license)

“As the daughter of a German Jewish refugee, as a first-generation college graduate, and as a university leader devoted to advancing constitutional democracy, I am grateful beyond what any words can adequately express to President Biden for the faith he has placed in me to help represent America’s values and interests to one of our closest and most important European allies,” Gutmann said in a statement to the university community.

Gutmann had already planned to conclude her presidency about a year from now, after her 18th year of leading the University, as Scott Bok the chair of the Penn board of trustees, said in a statement.

“Amy has been a superb President for Penn and we have total confidence that she will remain fully focused on advancing Penn’s agenda until the conclusion of her time at the University,” Bok said.

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Conshohocken and Chicago-based payments company Onbe recently announced the appointment of Bala Janakiraman as its CEO.

Bala Janakiraman. (Photo via LinkedIn)

He brings more than two decades of leadership experience in the integrated payments and ecommerce industries, most recently at Fiserv, as EVP and head of partner solutions. Janakiraman was also CEO of BluePay from 2016 to 2018, where he led the company’s subsequent acquisition by First Data, now Fiserv.

Onbe was formed this spring when Conshy’s North Lane Technologies merged with Illinois-based daVinci Payments via majority equity investment by Centerbridge Partners.

“Bala has an impressive track record as an agent of change, having led payment companies through critical phases of growth and numerous successful transactions,” said Dan Osnoss, senior managing director at Centerbridge Partners, in a statement. “His proven leadership, deep expertise in the payments world, and passion for client-driven innovation make him the perfect fit to lead Onbe into its next chapter.”

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And in a nod to its global expansion plans, Gopuff is bringing on a new VP of Global Delivery Operations and Strategy in Jon Feldman, a former Uber Eats executive. It’s the latest leadership hire for the quickly growing on-demand delivery company that’s pulled from Airbnb, Lowe’s and TripAdvisor in recent months.

Feldman has some Philly ties — he got his MBA from Penn’s Wharton School in 2010, and helped launch and scale Uber in Pennsylvania.

“Gopuff co-founders Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev share an incredible vision for building a company around the customer,” Feldman wrote in a LinkedIn post.Their personal entrepreneurial journey is inspiring, and the team has ambitious plans for how to innovate and grow in this competitive space, including the savvy use of M&A, and a strategic partnership with Uber.”

Gopuff was also in the news this week because of a petition signed by dozens of delivery drivers, who are independent contractors, calling for transparent pay and scheduling.

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