Chief Marketing Officer

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Machine-learning startup seeks techie whisperer.


If you’re the kind of marketing person who can “market to people who are inherently skeptical of marketing people,” then I may have something just for you.


The preceding quoted material comes straight from the job description for a new role at, a Bellevue-based startup founded by a bunch of engineers from … oh, where did they say they’ve worked? Tell me, now, if you’ve heard of any of these … Google? Microsoft? Amazon? Facebook? Lyft?


Yep, all ironic jesting aside, these blokes are pedigreed. As a matter of fact, the whole Union venture is essentially a wholesale spinoff of Lyft’s workflow-automation platform, known as Flyte. (I know “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team,” but these guys seem to believe there isn’t in anything else, either.)


So what you’ve got here is a bunch of deeply accomplished (if somewhat spelling-challenged) engineers who are developing new business uses for an open-source platform that was originally used at one of the most successful companies in the entire sharing-economy sector.


The upside for this company is potentially vast. Its tech manages the massively scalable data processing and machine-learning pipelines that increasingly power the apps used for everything from song sharing and map rendering to vaccine research and cancer detection.


Not shockingly, they’re backed by some top-tier Silicon Valley VC. Now they’re poised to take over the world, right?


Ah, but they’re missing one crucial element – someone who can actually do the marketing. Union is on the hunt for a Chief Marketing Officer, the first in its history. As noted at the top, what they’d really love to find is a deeply tech-savvy marketer who knows how to work with, and speak to, the engineers who constitute both the workforce and the primary marketing audience.


In the company’s words, the mission here is to “[c]raft and execute Union’s strategy to spread the word about Flyte to software engineers and technology leaders working in the exploding field of machine learning and artificial intelligence.”


For now, the person in this role would be executing the main marketing functions, but would be called upon to build and lead what the company hopes will be a “scrappy team” of bloggers, open-source community managers, and others who can help amplify the marketing message as the company grows.


To complete this role, you should have a proven track record of success evangelizing to engineers. “This is a leadership role,” the company writes. “We are looking for someone who has done this before and knows the ropes.”


Excellent comms abilities are of course a must, particularly a knack for distilling very complex tech concepts into sound bites and other useful prose. They’re open on location, but would very much prefer that the work be based in Bellevue.


I’ll close with something very cool that concludes the company’s description of this role: “We want everyone to feel at home working here, and we know we are stronger when the team is composed of people who bring broad life experiences to the table. We especially value gumption, so overcoming challenges of any kind in your life will resonate with us. If in doubt, reach out.”


PS From PSP: A very happy holiday season to all of you, our cherished clients and friends, from all of us here at Peckman Search Partners. I thought the best way to send season’s greetings might be simply to share with you this link to our annual holiday message – which includes not only an incredibly cute graphic, but also further updates and words of cheer, including word on a donation we’ve made on your behalf of a family of kids who really, really needed it. It’s just our way of thanking you and bringing some grace to the close of another very unpredictable, turbulent, COVIDious year. Is COVIDious a word? Maybe it should be. All the best to you for a happier, way less COVIDious 2022! ###


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