Tech Moves: Expedia hires Cortana design lead; Saykara adds VP of growth

Sam Moreau. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Longtime Microsoft design leader Sam Moreau is leaving the company for a new position at Expedia, GeekWire has learned. Moreau will lead design for Expedia’s brand in his new role as VP of design operations for the Expedia Group brand team.

“A cohesive experience for our customers is critical and we are excited to welcome Samuel Moreau to the Brand Expedia leadership team,” Aman Bhutani, the president of Brand Expedia, told GeekWire in an email. “Sam’s experience in leading large design systems at scale will advance our ability to deliver on our brand formula.”

Expedia Group has more than a dozen well-known travel brands in its portfolio, including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and VRBO.

Moreau began working in web and digital design in the mid-90s, spending time at several companies before landing at Yahoo in 2004. He spent two years there, leading design for Yahoo! TV, movie, sports, games, kids and video.

He then joined Microsoft, leading design and research in Windows and Office before moving to the company’s Cortana team in 2016. Microsoft has been building up Cortana as a competitor to AI assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, with a specialty in handling workplace tasks like calendar and email integrations.

Ryan Plasch. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Plasch)

Saykara, a Seattle health tech company developing an AI voice scribe for doctors, tapped Ryan Plasch as its new vice president of growth.

His addition comes just a month after Saykara completed a $5 million funding round and revealed that its technology can cut down the amount of time that doctors spend on documentation by 70 percent.

“I was drawn to Saykara because of their practical application of AI to address the number one cause of physician burnout, EHR data entry,” Plasch told GeekWire in an email. “Voice and AI applied to clinical documentation workflow seemed like a perfect use case to improve physician productivity, efficiency and quality of life.”

Plasch joins Saykara from cardiovascular IT solutions provider Medstreaming, where he spent ten years. He was most recently the company’s vice president of sales and business development. He previously worked in medical sales at Philips, Kodak and Zonare Medical Systems.

“We are tremendously excited to have Ryan join our team,” Saykara Founder and CEO Harjinder Sandhu said in an email. “He brings a wealth of experience in building sales teams, and Saykara is at a stage right now to leverage that to accelerate our adoption in the market.”