Facebook gears up for 'social VR'; Chicago gets its first CRO

Names in the News

Facebook gears up for 'social VR'; Chicago gets its first CRO

sustainable business jobs facebook, USGBC, City of Chicago
Clockwise from top left: Scot Horst, Arc; Rachel Rubin Franklin, Facebook; Aaron Koch, city of Chicago; Taraneh Arhamsadr, As You Sow; Rochelle Routman, Halstead International and MetroFlor.

Welcome back to another edition of the monthly Names in the News roundup of big hires, promotions and other career news to know in green business.

This month we cover the virtual reality and artificial intelligence hiring blitz at big tech companies, plus a range of new leaders in industries from building management to urban resilience.

Have a tip for our next installment? Shoot us an e-mail at [email protected].

Who's news

Rachel Rubin Franklin, Facebook

Facebook has scooped up a former vice president from video game company Electronic Arts, Rachel Rubin Franklin, who will be tasked with applying her expertise to honing developing games such as the Sims to the tech giant's virtual reality strategy.

So far, Facebook's "social VR" efforts mostly revolve around efforts to portray human emotions in online avatars. Still, with virtual reality and related emerging technologies such as augmented reality increasingly being paired with initiatives to bring sustainability and climate issues to life, Rubin Franklin's work also could be instructive for environmental advocates.

Scot Horst, Arc

U.S. Green Building Council Chief Product Officer Scot Horst soon will be applying his green building know-how to a new tech spinout from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBIC) called Arc, where he will serve as chief executive.

While details of the for-profit company's model are still forthcoming, the idea is to better leverage all of the building data gleaned from certifications such as LEED to "allow any building to participate and immediately start measuring performance, make improvements and benchmark against itself," a press release notes.

Aaron Koch, city of Chicago

The windy city is among the latest locales to hire a new type of public official tasked with bolstering localities from both long-term environmental risks such as climate change and more immediate social and economic risks. Chicago appointed Chief Resilience Officer Aaron Koch, a former advisor to ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and veteran of the Chicago's water agency, earlier this year.

As GreenBiz has reported, Chicago previously embarked on a range of energy and sustainability initiatives, from 3D energy modeling to encouraging green manufacturing operations such as Method's LEED platinum plant opened last year.

On the move

Rochelle Routman, formerly vice president of sustainability for Mohawk Industries, has been named CSO of Georgia-based flooring company Halstead International and MetroFlor.

— Veteran communications specialist Taraneh Arhamsadr is now communications director for sustainable shareholder advocacy group As You Sow.

— EnOcean, a purveyor or wireless energy harvesting technology positioned as a power solution for Internet of Things devices, has announced that Neil Cannon will serve as president of U.S. operations.

— In the realm of intriguing partnerships, Airbnb and SolarCity recently announced a deal to encourage property owners on the home rental site to go solar.