MassChallenge adds Desmond Pieri as new COO

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MassChallenge, the early stage startup accelerator program, announced recently that it had added Desmond Pieri as its new chief operating officer. 

Pieri has worked with MassChallenge since it was founded in 2010. Additionally, Pieri has held various “interim” chief executive and chief operating officer roles at companies locally and in Europe. Most recently, Pieri advised transportation startup Bridj as its chief operating officer.

Additionally, Pieri has mentored several MassChallenge startups over the years.

As MassChallenge co-founder and chief executive John Harthorne said in an email, “Des has worked with MassChallenge since the early days and always made a big impact on the team. The clarity he adds to global operations is key to our expansion efforts as we grow abroad and continue improving in Boston.”

Harthorne is on a multiple-week trip through Europe to scout out locations for more possible MassChallenge programs in Europe. (MassChallenge UK is launching in London this fall; don’t be surprised if MassChallenge programs in Russia and Germany are announced at the start of 2015, or earlier.)

The addition of Pieri is a key move for its global expansion, as he has leadership experience here and abroad. MassChallenge has also made other important hires recently to boost its global expansion, including adding Mike LaRhette as chief development officer and naming Chris Howard, who took part in MassChallenge in 2011 as founder of Libboo, as the managing director of MassChallenge UK.

MassChallenge now has 25 full time employees in Boston, London, and Israel. At this time last year, they had 15 employees.

Dennis Keohane was a Senior Staff Writer for BetaBoston.
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