Tech roundup: GE adds more tech jobs downtown, Allstate adds Alexa integration and more

February 23, 2017

GE moves more tech jobs downtown

On Thursday, GE Healthcare announced that it is relocating hundreds of technology jobs downtown from its facility in Barrington, IL. The move is part of a strategy to foster stronger cross-company collaboration through co-location with the company’s digital and transportation divisions. “This move is a vote of confidence in our city, and I look forward to watching GE continue to build an exciting future here,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement. The conglomerate relocated its global headquarters to Chicago from the United Kingdom in 2016. [Press release]

Alexa, ask Allstate...

Allstate just made it easier to get in touch with your insurance agent. The Northbrook-based insurance provider announced on Wednesday that it is releasing an Alexa skill to let consumers find an Allstate agent, get their current agent’s contact information and check account balances and due dates. "Amazon's innovation with Alexa provided a great avenue for us to connect with our customers in a delightful way, providing them useful information when, where and how they want it," said VP of digital and user experience Roger Tye in a statement. [Press release]

Chicago's tech leaders play musical chairs

GE isn’t alone in making moves. This week, Chicago’s tech companies and organizations saw no fewer than five top-level hires.

On Monday, Chicago VC firm Lightbank announced that Vic Pascucci will be stepping in as its managing partner. Lightbank was founded by Chicago entrepreneurs Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, who are currently running Chicago startups Uptake and Tempus, respectively. The pair will remain involved with the fund, advising Pascucci on investment decisions. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

On Tuesday, Avant announced that it has hired Grant Miles to be its new chief risk officer. With 33 years of experience from global banking giant HSBC, Miles has been an advisor to the online lender on risk management and underwriting for the past two years. [Press release]

Also on Tuesday, real-time freight tracking startup FourKites announced that is has brought on Yang Chao as chief financial officer. Arriving to FourKites from a position as senior VP of finance at Raise, Yang has previously served as VP of finance at Gogo and held a number of leadership positions at Motorola. [Press release]

Julia Kanouse is taking over as the CEO of the Illinois Technology Association. Kanouse takes the baton from founding CEO Fred Hoch, who will become the organization’s executive chairman. Kanouse joined ITA in 2015 after spending 10 years at the National Restaurant Association. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

LotLinx, a Chicago-based provider of digital car marketing solutions, announced on Wednesday that it has appointed Eric Brown as its president and chief product officer. Brown joined LotLinx in September of last year after selling Dataium, a car sales analytics startup, to IHS Inc in 2015. [Press release]

Images via Shutterstock, Amazon and GE.

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