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Saturday, 01 September 2012 06:01

Online Media Exec & Board Changes 7/16 to 8/26 2012 Featured

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Skype Appoints Former Yahoo! CMO

Skype, a division of Microsoft, added Elisa Steele to its senior management team as Corporate VP to lead marketing. In this role, Elisa will oversee Skype's global brand and marketing functions, as well as local go-to-market activities. Elisa joins Skype after serving as EVP and CMO at Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo!, Elisa she was SVP of Corporate Marketing at NetApp and led Sun Microsystems' integrated marketing and merchandising organization as VP. Elisa was a top performing sales leader at AT&T for several years.

Yahoo! Names CMO and General Counsel while SVP of North American Sales leaves

Kathy Savitt is joining Yahoo! as CMO, responsible for all worldwide marketing and branding. Savitt is a successful consumer, retail and technology executive with experience in strategic product development and marketing. She was most recently founder and CEO of Lockerz, a rapidly-growing social commerce company with more than 45 million unique users. Prior to founding Lockerz, Savitt was EVP and CMO of American Eagle Outfitters, where she led all brand efforts, store and multi-channel marketing for the company’s portfolio of brands. She has held senior leadership roles at and was president of MWW Savitt, where she consulted with Fortune 500 clients across the globe.

Ron Bell was named as General Counsel. Bell will be responsible for Yahoo!'s global compliance programs and legal affairs worldwide. Bell joined Yahoo! in 1999, serving in numerous senior roles within the legal department, most recently as Interim General Counsel, and prior to that as a Deputy General Counsel for 11 years.

Yahoo SVP of North American Sales Wayne Powers has quit the company to become President and Group Publisher at Parade Publications. Powers was hired by new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's interim predecessor, Ross Levinsohn, back when Levinsohn's job was to run Yahoo's media businesses. He came from Time.

AOL Names Former Thomson Reuters Brand Head as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

AOL appointed Jolie Hunt as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. In this newly created role, Hunt will oversee AOL's global communications strategy, including internal and external communications; social media; corporate social responsibility and cause related initiatives; and corporate events. She will also be responsible for AOL's global brand development, partnerships and consumer marketing initiatives. She was previously SVP, Global Head of Brand and Public Relations at Thomson Reuters, responsible for brand, advertising, PR and digital social media for the company's news and financial services businesses. Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Hunt was the Global Director of Corporate and Business Affairs at IBM, and served as Director of Public Relations for the Financial Times. Earlier this year, Hunt was awarded an honorable mention for the PRWeek award `PR Professional of the Year', and in 2011, Hunt was named `In-House Professional of the Year' by the Public Relations Consultants Association.

Netflix Names Warner Bros Exec as CMO

Netflix named former Warner Bros. executive Kelly Bennett as its CMO, six months after it lost its last longtime marketing head Leslie Kilgore. Bennett, Netflix’s new CMO, comes to the company after nearly a decade at Warner Bros. Working at the pictures group, he was VP of Interactive, Worldwide Marketing, where he led international online campaigns for Warner Bros. movies. Prior to that, he ran digital marketing for the studio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Groupon Names Sales Head while it Loses Another Top Sales Exec

Groupon promoted Kal Raman to SVP, Global Sales and Operations, combining the company's sales and operations worldwide under one leadership. Raman will continue to oversee the Americas region and now adds EMEA and APAC regions, with Veit Dengler, SVP of International, reporting into him. Raman was previously SVP, Americas.

Groupon’s Head of National Sales Lee Brown is leaving the company, closely following other recent sales departures. Brown had joined the company from Yahoo! in 2010 where he was most recently VP, East Coast US Sales and Canada. Raj Ruparell, who has been in the sales organization for the past four months, will replace Brown. Ruparell previously headed Groupon Goods, the company's fast-growing consumer products business.

Executive Exodus Continues at Zynga while the Company Appoints Board Member and new COO

Social gaming company Zynga named former Yahoo executive Ellen Siminoff, 44, to its board of directors. Siminoff is currently CEO of Shmoop University, an educational publishing company which aims to reduce the friction in learning. She also currently serves on the board of Journal Communications, Mozilla Corporation, Solarwinds, and U.S. Auto Parts Network. Prior to joining Shmoop University, she served as President and CEO of Efficient Frontier, a provider of Search Engine Marketing management services. Siminoff was a founding executive at Yahoo! were she held a variety of roles in business and corporate development, culminating with overseeing Yahoo!’s entertainment and small business division.

John Schappert, COO and Director of Zynga, resigned from his position. Schappert joined Zynga in 2011, a high-profile defection from Electronic Arts, where he had served as COO since 2009. He previously held executive roles at Microsoft and Tiburon.

Maytal Ginzburg is joining Zynga as the company’s COO in charge of new markets replacing John Schappert. Most recently, Ginzburg was the SVP of regulated markets at 888 Holdings, where she was responsible for acquiring customers and other operations. Before joining 888 in 2007, she was Associate Partner at Result Ltd in Israel and Online Acquisition Director at IGMD.

Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu is leaving to start his own game company. Zynga will reportedly be an investor in his new start-up. Mr. Verdu has been at Zynga since 2009, and has held other positions at the firm, including SVP of games. He originally came to the firm from traditional game publisher Electronic Arts.

VP of Studios Bill Mooney has left the company. Before his current role he was Executive Producer joining in 2008 from LucasArts where he was Producer-External.

VP of Marketing Brian Birtwistle has also resigned. He had joined the company in 2011 before which he was VP, Revenue Operations & Business Development at VideoEgg, CEO at Wine Access and General Manager for Amazon.

VP in Zynga’s Mobile Division Ya-Bing Chu has resigned. He joined the company in 2009 from Yahoo! where he served as Senior Product Manager, Search. Previously he also served as Program Manager, Xbox Live, MSN at Microsoft.

General Manager of Studios, Alan Patmore has joined core developer Kixeye as VP of Product. Before joining Zynga in 2011 and overseeing games like Mafia Wars and CityVille, Patmore’s experience in video games comes from the more traditional side of video games. He served as VP of Product Development for Double Fine Studios and was co-founder, President and CEO of Surreal Software, which he sold to Midway.

Erik Bethke, a General Manager who oversaw Mafia Wars 2 has also left. Before joining Zynga in 2009, he was CEO at GoPets, Taldren and Senior Group Producer at Interplay Interactive.

Jeremy Strauser, a Studio General Manager, has resigned from the company as part of the executive departures the company has been witnessing. Strausser joined the company in 2011, before which he was Executive Producer at Electronic Arts which he joined in 1995.

Blucora Names Tax Industry Veteran to Board

Blucora, provider of online search and digital tax preparation solutions, appointed tax industry veteran Lance Dunn, CPA,  to serve on its Board of Directors. Lance Dunn has more than 28 years of experience in the tax preparation industry, serving most recently as CEO of the TaxACT business prior to its acquisition by Blucora in the beginning of 2012. Mr. Dunn co-founded the TaxACT business in 1998. Prior to that time, he was VP of Software Development at Parsons Technology, where he played a significant role in the development and growth of Parsons' tax program, Personal Tax Edge. He previously served as an accountant for Ernst & Young and TLS.

Social Media Marketing Company IZEA Appoints Investors to Board

IZEA adds Brian Brady, Founder and CEO of Northwest Broadcasting, to its Board of Directors. Mr. Brady has been the founder and operator of several successful broadcasting and media ventures. Northwest Broadcasting owns and operates seven television stations including FOX affiliates in four U.S. markets. Mr. Brady also served on the FOX Affiliate Board for nine years, serving as Chairman for four of those years. The FOX Affiliate Board is a representative body of independent stations affiliated with the FOX Network, part of News Corporation. In addition to his role at Northwest Broadcasting, he is also the President of Eagle Creek Broadcasting, which owns and operates a CBS affiliate in Laredo, Texas.

Dan Rua rejoins IZEA Board of Directors , having previously served as Executive Chairman and as an early investor in then-IZEA Innovations, from 2006 to 2011. He is a Managing Partner of Inflexion Partners, Florida's early-stage venture capital fund. Prior to Inflexion, he was a Partner with Draper Atlantic, the east coast fund of Silicon Valley's early-stage venture firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Before that Mr. Rua led Internet protocol development at IBM's Networking Labs in Research Triangle.

Former Morgan Stanley and CNBC Exec Joins TheStreet as General Counsel

TheStreet appoints Erwin Eichmann as General Counsel. An expert in business development and legal advice, Eichmann has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry. Eichmann recently held the position of COO, IT Sourcing and Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, where he worked for 11 years negotiating deals for global wealth management, technology and operations. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Eichmann held positions at as VP of Corporate Development and NBC Television as Principal Legal Counsel for NBC's Interactive Media Group. Earlier in his career, he worked in the M&A group at Shearman & Sterling.

Digital Development Group Welcomes Entertainment Media Expert to Board

The Digital Development Group, the Internet TV distribution content company, appointed Bryan Subotnick to the Board of Directors. The media industry veteran is CEO of Nyce Play, a designer of Smartphone Applications. Serving as VP of Big City Radio from 1995 to 2004, Mr. Subotnick helped the firm expanded from four regional radio stations to 16 national radio stations. He provided leadership and strategic direction in acquisitions, programming, budgeting, and client relations. He held the position of VP, and General Counsel at New York-based Papamarkou & Company, an asset management company. He is a founding partner of the entertainment law firm Shanker & Subotnick.

Flipboard Founder Steps Down From Twitter Board

Flipboard co-founder and CEO Mike McCue stepped down from Twitter's board. McCue joined Twitter's board as a compromise between Twitter and one of its investors, the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Kleiner wanted to put John Doerr, its lead partner, on Twitter's board—but Twitter balked because Doerr is on the board of Google, which is now competing aggressively with Twitter.

VuMee Appoints CEO and Chief Strategy Officer

VuMee, the mobile video platform company, appointed Michael Spiegel as CEO. Michael Spiegel is an established entrepreneur with a history of incubating technology startups since 1996. He has been an integral part in developing the burgeoning South Florida technology sector. Mr. Spiegel was the President of MNS Holdings, a real estate holding company located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from 2005 to 2011. In 1998 he founded WebUnited, one of the first regional ISP's in South Florida, and was its CEO until it was sold in 2004. Prior to that, he served as the CEO of Protectpoint Security, a managed security platform for small to mid-sized businesses.

The company also named Bruce Goldstein as Chief Strategy Officer. He has over fifteen years of experience in the technology and media sectors and will primarily focus on leveraging his impressive background to help VuMee drive both growth and sales. He is a co-inventor of several mobile media sharing patents, Founder of March1Digital and former CEO of Thwapr, a social mobile video technology company. Goldstein has also served as CEO and EVP for tech and media companies including Universal Management, as well as both Internet Shopping Network and Styleclick, part of USA Networks (now IAC).

Daily-Deals Company Zulily Hires CFO

Zulily, a daily-deals company specializing in mothers' and children's products, hired Marc Stolzman as its CFO. He previously was CFO and corporate secretary at Zumiez. Before that, he worked at Blue Nile as finance chief and principal accounting officer, and at Imperium Renewables as CFO. He also spent 13 years at Starbucks, including three years as CFO of Starbucks Coffee Japan. Stolzman fills a vacancy at Zulily left by Michael Vernon, the former aQuantive and Big Fish CFO, who departed the company after less than a year in March.

eHarmony Re-appoints Former CEO

The founder and chairman of eHarmony, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, 77, is returning to the job of CEO at the well-known and oftimes controversial matchmaking site. He replaces Jeremy Verba, the former Zynga exec who was named to the job a year ago. Prior to Zynga, Verba was president and CEO for online teen community Piczo and he also had worked at AOL and CNET. adds Board Members announced the addition of four Independent Directors to the Board. It appointed Neeli Bendapudi, Gary Forsee, George Hansen and Jim Schwartz as new Directors.

Neeli Bendapudi, 48, is the Dean of the University of Kansas School of Business. She previously served as a professor of marketing at the Ohio State University and as EVP of Huntington National Bank. She has consulted for dozens of the world’s largest companies and has experience on public and private boards.

Gary Forsee, 55, served as CEO of Sprint Nextel from 2003 to 2007 and President of the University of Missouri System from 2008 to 2011. Forsee has extensive experience as a board member on both public and private companies.

George Hansen recently served as CEO of Zave Networks preceding its sale to Google. Prior to Zave Networks, Hansen served as CEO of CLC Services and Carstar. Hansen has more than 30 years' experience with corporate transactions in both the public and private markets.

Jim Schwartz, 50, is the President, CEO and Chairman of NPC International, the world's largest Pizza Hut franchise operation with more than $1 billion in revenue. Schwartz previously worked at Ernst & Young and is an experienced leader in both private and public companies.

Retired Williams-Sonoma COO/CFO joins Board of Online Art Seller, the online art seller, appointed Sharon McCollam, 49, former COO and CFO at Williams-Sonoma, to its Board of Directors. McCollam also previously served as CFO of Dole Fresh Vegetables. She is a Director of Sutter Health and OfficeMax.

Star Tech Analyst Joins DocuSign’s Board

DocuSign, the eSignature transaction management company, appointed Mary Meeker, 53, to its Board of Directors. Mary is a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Mary had previously been a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley. Over the years, Morgan Stanley published similar landmark reports led by Meeker on online advertising, e-commerce, evolution of search, the Internet in China, and the mobile Internet. In 2004, Morgan Stanley (with Meeker as research analyst) served as lead manager for the IPO of Google. Meeker and Chris DePuy at Morgan Stanley, published "The Internet Report," a landmark Morgan Stanley industry report which became known as "the bible" for investors in the dot com boom and went into popular circulation - as a book, and on the web. Meeker is often credited for her comprehensive, rapid fire, annual Internet industry overviews at the Web 2.0 conferences. Meeker was named "one of the ten smartest people in tech" by Fortune magazine in 2010.

Health IT Company Appoints Well-Known Politician to Board

eHealth, appointed the Honorable Ellen O'Kane Tauscher, 60, to its Board of Directors. Ms. Tauscher served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 10th Congressional District. While a member of Congress, she served on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and most recently as Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. She served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, when she retired from government. Since returning to the private sector earlier in 2012, she has provided advice to the State Department on arms control, missile defense and civil nuclear cooperation and joined the board of directors of Invacare Corporation. Prior to serving in Congress, she worked in investment banking and the financial industry in various roles for Bache Halsey Stuart Shields, Bear Stearns, Drexel Burnham Lambert and as an officer of the American Stock Exchange.

Yahoo Execs Hired by Braintree as CTO and VP of Product

Braintree, the growing payments platform for online and mobile commerce, hires Juan Benitez as CTO and SVP of Product and John Sturino as VP of Product. Juan Benitez brings over 15 years of experience leading technology organizations. Mr. Benitez comes to Braintree from Yahoo! where he spent 9 years in various capacities including several years as VP of Engineering in Yahoo!’s Advertising Products Group and VP of Search Advertising. Prior to Yahoo!, Mr. Benitez held engineering leadership positions at SEVEN Networks and Healtheon/WebMD.

John Sturino also comes to Braintree from Yahoo! and brings more than a dozen years of experience delivering technology products. Sturino spent the last 3 years at Yahoo! as VP, Advertising Platforms working on Display and Paid Search and previously led product management for Yahoo!'s consumer paid services. Prior to Yahoo!, Sturino held multiple global leadership roles for AOL, working in market in North America, Europe and Asia to manage billing and customer acquisition in region and globally.

Date range: July 16th - August 26

Read 3920 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 July 2020 18:02
Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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