CTO departing Walmart to lead Pinterest's engineering team
- Walmart CTO Jeremy King is leaving the retailer for the digital bookmarking website Pinterest to serve as head of engineering, according to a company announcement Thursday.
- King will report to CEO Ben Silbermann and head up engineering efforts like "applying computer vision to automate Shop the Look," a feature used for streamlining purchases in the app, and other shopping solutions like advertisements and personalized recommendations, according to the announcement.
- The role was vacant after former VP of engineering, Li Fan, left Pinterest in July for the same role at scooter company Lime, according to an announcement.
At Walmart, King helped advance e-commerce capabilities and push a startup-like culture for its technologists. Walmart announced King's exit Wednesday. As the retailer undergoes more advanced digital transformation and experimentation King is leaving Walmart with lasting "directs" the acting CTO will continue.
Pinterest, a social media site designed for "pinning" clothes, inspirations, crafts and other do-it-yourself attractions, is undergoing a corporate push as the company prepares to go public, after it confidentially filed an IPO with the SEC last month.
As of September the site boasts about 250 million monthly users, adding to the technical demands.
Data that's most important to Pinterest comes from images, shared web page information, which can include user comments, and graph data highlighting interests of an individual user as it continues to push for more mobile shopping. In September, the website opened its content marketing API to third-party influencer marketing platforms to make collaboration between marketers and influencers easier.
In comparison to its active users, Pinterest's engineering force is dwarfed, which means every additional function they add to the platform must be wholeheartedly understood. Artificial intelligence for the sake of AI isn't Pinterest's goal. Instead, it's understanding the relationship between installed features and their potential outcomes.
Follow Samantha Ann Schwartz on Twitter