Following our UK moves, here’s the most senior, surprising and influential job moves in the US.

This week we’ve seen two major loses to Microsoft, Google’s first employee joining a startup and staff moves from Apple to Google that were unheard of in Steve Jobs’ time.

Google poached Simon Prakash, Apple’s senior director of product integrity, for a “secret project.” This 8 year Apple veteran was most recently in charge of product quality control.

Amazon hired Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s head of Windows Phone developer experience, to join their development team. Watson will be leading work on Kindle applications when he starts his new position at Amazon.

After 17 years at Microsoft, Stephen Toulouse will be leaving his job as Xbox Live’s Director of Policy & Enforcement.

Khan Academy hires Craig Silverstein, Google’s first employee, to help them promote education around the world. Silverstein was instrumental in the development of search and helped create the Google search engine.

Mercedes-Benz USA appoints Gareth Joyce as vice president, customer services, as a replacement for Alan McLaren who left the company in December 2011.  Gareth joins them from Mercedes-Benz Netherlands where he was director of after-sales.

Yahoo board loses four members, including chairman Roy Bostock, Gary Wilson, Arthur Kern, and HP executive Vyomesh Joshi.

Gilt Groupe recently snagged Elizabeth Francis as their new chief marketing officer. She joins them from JustFabulous where she was CMO and president.
StrategyOne, Edelman’s research subsidiary, hires Pauline Draper-Watts as executive vice president of their Communications Measurement and Analytics group.

Lisa Badeau has joined Accenture Interactive, Accenture’s digital consulting and marketing analytics group, as an executive director. She comes from Hill Holliday where she served as executive vice president.