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Tuesday, 24 May 2011 16:50

B2C Media Leadership Changes - April / May 2011 Featured

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Priceline Promotes Longtimer to CEO of North America; CEO Spot Vacant
Christopher Soder, 50,’s President of North American Travel, was promoted to CEO of North America. Prior to joining Priceline in 2000, Soder was the Western Region Vice President for AT&T.

The Priceline Group has also announced the planned transition of Kees Koolen, 44, from CEO to Chairman of Netherlands-based, a Priceline subsidiary. Mr. Koolen was a founder of and its CEO since 2008.



Yahoo Media Hiring Streak Continues – News, Fashion, and Sports
Yahoo has hired Robertson Barrett as the new head of its powerful News and Finance division. He'll be working under Mickie Rosen, the SVP of Yahoo's Media Network. Barrett has been working in digital media for a long time, including positions at Tribune, ABC, Time, Channel One Interactive, and The Feedroom. Prior to Yahoo, Barrett was the Chief Strategy Officer of Perfect Market and the EVP of Tribune Interacative.

Jai Signh has been selected to be the new editor-in-chief for the Yahoo Media Network. Signh was from the Huffington Post Media Group. He also worked as editor-in-chief and SVP for CNET, and was founder of

Ken Fuchs becomes VP of Sports, Games, and Entertainment. Formerly, Fuchs worked for Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fox. 


Microsoft/Google Exec Joins AOL; String of Media Hires in Fashion, News, and Women’s Focus
AOL subsidiary, MapQuest, announced the appointment of Vijay Bangaru to VP of Product Management, one of several executive hirings at the online mapping company in recent months. Bangaru joins from Google Docs and Google Apps where he was responsible for all aspects of product development from technical design to partner relations and acquisitions. Bangaru has also served as a program manager at Microsoft, where he worked on the WinFS and SQL projects, and as a software development engineer at Xilinx.

StyleList, an AOL subsidiary which documents fashion and beauty trends, has named Jenny Kang as the new Senior Fashion Editor. Kang will serve under Style Editor Anya Strzemien. Previous to her appointment to StyleList, Kang has worked as Fashion Market Editor for Lucky Magazine and has served as an advisory board member for the Capsule Trade Show.

Neil Katz, former Executive Editor at, has been selected as the new Executive News Editor for AOL Huffington Post Media Group. Katz has spearheaded a number of rapidly growing online news destinations including work for PBS and the New York Times.

AOL has also announced the promotion of Lori Leibovich to the role of Women’s Editor. Leibovich will help to revitalize web projects such as ParentDish and MyDaily. Leibovich has a vast degree of experience in the industry including positions at Talk, Teen People, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. 


Online Search Engine InfoSpace Names Financial and Strategic Exec
InfoSpace interim Acting CEO William Ruckelshaus, 46, has been named CEO. Prior to his appointment at InfoSpace, Ruckelhaus served as CFO at AudienceScience, a digital advertising company. He has previously held the title of SVP & Head of Corp. Development for Expedia and Director of M&A for Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Group. Ruckelhaus has also worked in the planning department at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division and as a consultant at Booz-Allen & Hamilton.


Financial Exec Appointed to Board
Lowell W. Robinson has recently accepted a board seat at the search company. Prior to this appointment, he was CFO for MIVA,, PRT group, and ADVO. Robinson has also held senior financial positions at Citigroup and Kraft Foods. has also announced that Michael Sawtell, 51, will succeed telecom exec Bruce Crair, 54, as COO. Sawtell possesses over a decade of operational experience, including his work as founder and CEO of DigitalPost Interactive, an online digital media company.


LookSmart Online Media Adds CEO to its Board; Names New VP
Scott Kauffman, 54, is a new board member at the pay-per-click company. He is a widely recognized expert in the fields of digital entertainment, Internet media and consumer marketing. Kauffman has recently served as President & CEO of Geeknet. Prior to Geeknet, Kauffman was President & COO at BlueLithium. Kauffman is the Chairman of several Internet companies, including TuneUp Media, MetaChannels, Lotame, and Mintbox, and is a member of the board of MDC Partners.

LookSmart has also appointed Benoit Vatere to be the new VP of their Distrobution Network. Prior to this, Vatere worked as VP of magnify360, a pay-per-click web design company which he helped co-found. He has also held senior marketing positions at Qpuncture and Allegro.

Read 421 times Last modified on Thursday, 09 July 2020 13:45
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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