Connected home hub startup SmartThings has hired Kelly Liang, a business development executive who was at YouTube before its acquisition by Google and most recently was director of business development for Google X, working on partnerships with companies like Luxottica for Google Glass frame designs.
Liang, who cut key deals like the one in 2007 that made YouTube a default app to the iPhone, will be starting SmartThings’ first West Coast office. The company currently operates out of Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.
Because it’s an open platform, SmartThings already has a bunch of partners — it boasts 5,000 developers and device makers — that help it connect door locks, security systems, home appliances, sound systems, light bulbs and other things that can be hooked up to the Internet. Liang will look to formalize more of those deals and to secure more distribution for SmartThings and its partners.