Walmart CTO Jumps Ship for Pinterest

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Walmart CTO Jumps Ship for Pinterest

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 03/22/2019
Pinterest annouced "shop a brand" earlier this month: a new dedicated section from retailers starting to roll out beneath Product Pins.

Walmart’s executive vice president and chief technology officer Jeremy King is exiting the retailer after eight years to join Pinterest as head of engineering.

Pinterest’s current CTO Vanja Josifovski is leaving after four years for Airbnb, where he will be CTO of Airbnb Homes, the company’s largest and most mature business unit, according to VentureBeat.

The move for Pinterest comes ahead of the company's upcoming IPO, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, will value the company at $12 billion or more.The hire may be a boon for Pinterest, as an IPO and subsequent public disclosures would open the company and its underlying tech up to heightened scrutiny, CNBC noted.

Additionally, the move is a big one as Pinterest looks to evolve its direct shopping options. Recent Pinterest engineering projects include applying computer vision to automate Shop the Look, and new shopping features. Earlier this month, the company announced personalized recommendations for style and home decor boards, browsable sections of in-stock products from a specific brand, and shopping search. Catalogs allow brands to upload their full catalog to Pinterest, while shopping ads updates allow for brands to plug their products into new shopping spaces and have them seen by millions of people.

At Pinterest, King (pictured above at NRF's Big Show 2019) will report to CEO Ben Silbermann and lead the team responsible for powering the visual discovery engine that delivers recommendations to more than 250 million people.

King’s organization at Walmart, Walmart Labs, is responsible for the retailer’s customer technology, merchant technology, and supply chain technology that covers all Walmart U.S. stores and e-commerce, as well as a global presence in cloud and data platforms.

“Not only is Jeremy a respected engineering leader, but from the moment we met him, we knew his values around putting the customer first were aligned with our own focus on Pinners,” said Silbermann. “As we build products to inspire people to create a life they love, Jeremy’s technical experience and leadership are a perfect combination to build a visual discovery engine for all.”

King, who joined Walmart in 2011, has been on the forefront of cloud computing and is an expert on engineering methodology and productivity, developing software as a service (SaaS) technology platforms, and presentation layer frameworks. Before Walmart, he spent three years at LiveOps as executive vice president of technology and guided Fortune 500 companies to migrate their services to the cloud and adopt SaaS platforms.

Prior to that, he was vice president of engineering and software development at eBay, where he led the team that implemented the application platform “V3,” ran engineering teams for trading and fraud systems, launched eBay in seven new countries, opened development centers in China and India, and was a key member of the PayPal integration team.