Online grocer Redmart announced today it’s hired Silicon Valley veteran Patrick Teo to serve as chief product officer and executive vice president of engineering.
Teo has a PhD in computer science from Stanford and a Silicon Valley track record that includes Facebook and Amazon. He started out as vice president of engineering at image publishing service Shutterfly, which went public (paywall) on NASDAQ in 2006.
Teo is eager to attract more Singaporean talent back home.
Later, Teo built up Amazon’s digital music service as head of technology in San Francisco and led multiple engineering teams at Facebook.
His return to Singapore is “a stamp of validation for Singapore’s maturing tech ecosystem and the quality of our own engineering core,” according to Redmart president Vikram Rupani.
In a statement, Teo says he welcomes the chance to build on a strong engineering foundation. He is eager to work with industry and government to attract more Singaporean talent back home from abroad as well as cultivate local talent coming out of university here.
Attracting quality engineering talent has been a challenge as Singapore’s #startup ecosystem tries to compete on a global stage with hubs like Silicon Valley. Local startups have been making progress in this regard by securing experienced engineers for senior roles. In 2015, Grab brought former Facebook developer Wei Zhu (who soon left the company and founded his own startup in Singapore), while Carousell hired Silicon Valley veteran Jordan Dea-Mattson as VP of engineering early this year.
Redmart was acquired by Alibaba-backed ecommerce firm Lazada late last year for an undisclosed sum. Together with Lazada, Uber, and Netflix, the company recently launched LiveUp, an Amazon Prime-like subscription service that rewards users with discounts and offers across the four companies’ products, in a move preempting Amazon’s long-expected entry into Southeast Asia.