Power Moves: Jess Szmajda left her CTO role at Axios for AWS

Plus, hiring and leadership shifts at Xometry, DXC Technology, Government Tactical Solutions, Modus Create and the Science Applications International Corporation.

Jess Szmajda.

(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 at

Jess Szmajda, who was named the Awards’ CTO of the Year in 2019, announced this week that she left her role as CTO at media company Axios to join Amazon Web Services as senior manager of software development. At AWS, she’ll be “focusing on IP address management primarily,” she wrote in a tweet Monday, her first day with the Amazon subsidiary.

“I think this is a huge growth opportunity for me — I’ll be working on problems that cover over 40% of the internet!” she said. “I’m also excited to report to a whole chain of people who deeply understand my role and my work and who are excited to share their wisdom and feedback.”

Szmajda worked at Axios from February 2019 through this November after leading Optoro’s tech team for nearly a decade. At Optoro, she built the company’s original tech while leading a team of more than 90 technologists. Szmajda is also the mastermind behind the DC Tech Slack group and the Joy of Programming meetup, which has nearly 1,500 members.

Fun fact: She’s also writing a book about being a CTO, per LinkedIn.



On-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry hired Sophia MacDonald as chief people officer. She comes to the company after serving as the SVP of human resources at Cvent. During her tenure at Cvent, MacDonald helped grow the company’s team from 120 to 4,000 employees. In her new role at Xometry, MacDonald leads the company’s people operations will includes diversity initiatives, recruiting and talent retention.

“I’m excited to join Xometry,” she said in a statement. “The company has grown quickly by focusing on serving its customers and manufacturing partners. I look forward to helping the company embrace a purpose-driven culture, while remaining focused on quality and performance, as we drive growth to the next level.”

This key hire comes after the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based company announced the close of a $75 million equity round in September.


Tysons, Virginia-based IT corporation DXC Technology appointed Ken Sharp as its EVP and chief financial officer. He most recently served as VP and chief financial officer for Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Defense Systems Sector. Sharp is responsible for DXC’s global financial strategy, general accounting and more. He succeeds Neil Manna, who was serving as the company’s interim CFO. Manna will continue serving in his other role as SVP and corporate controller.


Mark Carnahan has been hired as chief technology officer of Government Tactical Solutions (GovTact), provider of mission-critical technical solutions to the federal government. He brings more than 20 years of experience working in the information technology industry. This key hire comes a few weeks after GovTact promoted Luke Howe to chief operation officer.

“Mark is an industry-leading expert in a variety of technical disciplines with an outstanding record of providing innovative solutions to both federal and commercial customers,” said Howe in a press release. “We are looking forward to leveraging his experience to help GovTact to continue developing industry-leading solutions.”


Digital product consulting firm Modus Create welcomed Ken Yarmosh as a partner to lead expansion of it native application development and product growth offerings.

“Ken’s experience with native application development will expand on Modus’ traditional strengths in mobile-web and hybrid mobile development,” said Modus Create cofounder and managing partner, Patrick Sheridan, in a statement. “Additionally, Ken will bring critical experience in post-launch application growth — helping expand Modus’ capabilities to match questions we’re already getting from customers.”

(Check out Sheridan’s guest post on trends will transform product development in 2021.)

Yarmosh is the founder and former CEO of Savvy Apps, a creative agency that helps its customers build and design applications. He brings over 15 years of startup and tech leadership to this new role.


Reston, Virginia-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a government and defense technology integrator, welcomed new EVP and CFO Prabu Natarajan to the team last month. The company also promoted Bridget Chatman to VP of inclusion, diversity and corporate social responsibility.

Natarajan joins SAIC after working at Northrop Grumman for nearly a decade in various tax and financial leadership roles. Chatman has been working at SAIC since 2011, previously serving as the company’s senior director of capture strategy and business development. She also serves as the national director of SAIC’s Women’s Business Resource Group.

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