Jan 26, 2023
Amazon’s Moonshot Chief Lands at Seattle Venture Firm Madrona
(Bloomberg) -- Seattle’s largest venture capital firm has hired its second former Amazon.com Inc. executive in four months, deepening its ties with the e-commerce giant.
Babak Parviz, previously an Amazon vice president who led the company’s Grand Challenge moonshot incubator, has joined Madrona Venture Group as a venture partner, the investment firm said in a blog post.
At Amazon since 2014, Parviz led the company’s exploration of new markets, including health care and wearable electronics, among other initiatives. Some of those projects — including a primary care service and a kids-focused video chat and games device — were wound down as Amazon began to cut programs after over-expanding during the pandemic. Earlier in his career, Parviz led development of the Google Glass augmented-reality eyewear.
At Madrona, he joins Wei Gao, a fellow venture partner who spent 16 years at Amazon, including a stint as the technical advisor, or “shadow,” to Jeff Bezos when he was chief executive officer. She later worked on grocery technology and spent about a year as chief operating officer of Hopin, an events startup, before arriving at Madrona in October. Jon Turow, who led teams that built computer vision tools for Amazon Web Services, joined Madrona in January 2022.
Madrona was co-founded by the late Tom Alberg, an early investor in Amazon who served on the company’s board for more than two decades. A fixture of Seattle’s tech scene, Madrona recently opened its first office in California. The firm primarily invests in early-stage companies.
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