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This is a weekly collection of the New York team's Foursquare check-ins. Razorfish on Foursquare
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Tom Adamski Chief Executive Officer, Razorfish Global
"Razorfish Global offers clients something no competitor can match – the perfect blend of creative experience, technology, media and customer intelligence with innovation at our core."
Tom Adamski is Chief Executive Officer of Razorfish Global, which is made up of Razorfish, Rosetta and LEVEL Studios. He also sits on the P12 Executive Committee comprised of top leadership within Publicis Groupe. Tom was named Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta in April of 2013 and helped grow the agency and establish its position as Publicis Groupe’s leading customer engagement agency. He was previously the CEO of LEVEL Studios, the integrated marketing and product development agency that was acquired by Rosetta in 2010.
He serves on Advisory Boards for a number of consulting, advertising, education and retail organizations and has been passionate about the intersections of design, technology and brand since his days at UC Davis, where he received his B.S. in Environmental Design.
Tom successfully balances his career with regular doses of faith and family, surfing, motorcycles and strumming a vintage guitar or two.
Emily Bond EVP and General Manager, Toronto
“In order to invent digital products and services that positively impact consumers’ lives, we first need to understand their needs and motivations. We uncover these insights by observing people where they live, work, and play."
An early digital pioneer, Emily brings more than fifteen of experience in the interactive field to Nurun. Prior to joining Nurun, Emily founded her own digital agency and effectively managed its growth. She has a well-earned reputation for excellent project execution on behalf of industry-leading clients such as Walmart Canada, The Home Depot Canada, and Sears Canada.
Daniel Bonner Chief Creative Officer, Razorfish Global
"Organizations have a brand and that brand is a promise – a promise to play a meaningful, indispensable role in the lives of their audience – that's where we come in."
I get most excited when brands stop talking and start doing. Organizations require a new generation of thinking, ideas, storytelling, interaction, digital products and utility-driven services to keep their promise to play a meaningful, indispensable role in the lives of their audience.
I joined Razorfish in 2011 with a brief to focus on the creative leadership of our key multinational clients and to help Razorfish realize the ambition of being the market leader in creative excellence, talent, brand profile and positioning.
Prior to joining Razorfish, I spent 15 years as a key leader at AKQA, growing the business and working with a large number of the world’s top 50 brands. While leading the creative team and working with some truly talented people, I was fortunate enough to be recognized as one of the world’s most awarded creative directors and had the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the agency’s 21 Agency of the Year accolades.
In addition to collaboration with clients, I produced design practice workshops for the Design Museum, London, and worked with students via their education program. I have also served as judge and chairperson for the leading UK, European and global creative award initiatives in the advertising and design industry. In 2010, I was proud to be recognized as the UK’s No.1 Digital Creative Director and was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of my work and overall contribution to excellence in digital advertising.
Doug Chapman Managing Director, Razorfish Australia
"I have spent the best part of my life either in client service or agency management. I have a passion for everything digital."
I have spent the best part of my life either in client service or agency management. I have a passion for everything digital.
Prior to joining Razorfish, I founded one of Australia’s leading brand activation companies: Chapman and Lester, which I sold to The Marketing Store Worldwide as part of a global merger by the HAVI Group in Chicago. The Marketing Store was and remains the world’s largest privately owned promotions company.
I then spent the next 10 years as the president of Asia Pacific, and opened startup offices for TMS in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.
In early 2007, I began to get involved in social media and ultimately cofounded the Social Media Club Sydney. At the time SMCSYD was the largest Social Media Club in the world; there are now 300+ chapters around the world, and growing.
With this newfound passion for all things digital, I decided on a career change and in June 2009, I left The Marketing Store after 21 years and joined Amnesia Razorfish as Executive Director — Client Service. In 2012, I was appointed Managing Director.
Anne Davis SVP, Head of Multi-National Clients
“Many client companies are establishing global operations in APAC. We are the only global agency network equipped to support this regional business focus. My role supports the evolution of Razorfish’s relationships with clients; partnering to navigate the unknown, drive change and enable business transformation.”
Whilst born an Australian, I’ve had the great privilege of living in some incredibly dynamic and ever-evolving countries during my childhood and career. This experience has given me an enormous appetite for working with international clients, alongside people and cultures all over the world. I think the challenge of making connections with people who have such varied and different lives from our own is what makes our industry so exciting.
I began my career in Australia, working in PR for Sportsgirl, an iconic Australian fashion retailer. Famous for their advertising campaigns at the time, I decided I wanted a piece of the action and made the move agency side to work with Myer (then known as Myer Grace Bros), another iconic Aussie brand. From there, itchy feet and a desire to see the world led me to London and eventually to FCB, where I began working on pan-European technology accounts. Working on Amazon's launch in the U.K. during the early days of ecommerce made me curious to learn more about the new online world, and I jumped at a chance to join Euro RSCG's then fledgling digital team. Growing from five of us sharing a corner office to a 70-strong team at the heart of Havas 4Ds U.K. agency EHS Brann made it an exciting time to be in an agency, and I was lucky to work with global and U.K. brands at the forefront of digital marketing.
After eight years in the U.K., I headed to Singapore to join OgilvyOne Worldwide, where I worked with diverse regional clients ranging from Diageo to Cisco. Working in Asia was an incredible experience — everything is on “fast forward” in terms of the way people use technology. When I joined Digitas Razorfish International, I was able to bring with me an understanding and knowledge of Asian markets for our European and U.S. clients, who were beginning to expand their operations in the region.
Now based in Hong Kong, I am working with Razorfish MNC leads across the globe to build an operation and culture that embraces multinational opportunities. Many of our clients are establishing global operations in APAC — it's an exciting place to be and it's great to be home again.
Shannon Denton Chief Executive Officer, Razorfish North America
"I like thinking about what's next — and am particularly passionate about how Razorfish and our clients can take specific action to capitalize on changes in technology and consumer behavior."
I grew up loving sports, video games and math, which made pursuing a degree in engineering and computer science a natural decision for me. Believe it or not, my first job out of college was writing software programs for telephone switches in machine language. That was obviously long before software, creativity and marketing became so intertwined.
I quickly discovered that I needed to do something a little more dynamic, so I made the shift to consulting and led various practices that helped businesses innovate through emerging technologies. Prior to joining Razorfish more than a decade ago, I was the CEO of a digital consultancy for several years, where I became addicted to working with creatives, strategists, marketers and technologists to solve the most challenging business and marketing problems.
Today, I most enjoy working closely with clients and the Razorfish teams to create new strategies and ideas that are innovative and, of course, add value to brands and businesses. I like thinking about what's next — and am particularly passionate about how Razorfish and our clients can take specific action to capitalize on changes in technology and consumer behavior.
As the CEO of our North American operations, I oversee client teams and offices in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. Previously, I was the leader of the Central region, managing our client teams and offices across Chicago, Atlanta and Austin. My other roles at Razorfish include executive leadership for several global practice groups including Emerging Experiences and Omnichannel Commerce. Outside of work, I enjoy running, sports and spending time with my wife and two children.
Vincent Digonnet Chief Growth and Transformation Officer, Razorfish International
“A lot of people are asking the wrong question. They come to me and say, I haven’t got the right digital strategy, what do I do? I tell them that this is not the right question. They need to be asking, what is the right business strategy for the digital age?”
25 years ago, fresh from an MBA with a major in International Business Strategy and Finance, I started a career in advertising that would take me from Paris to London and eventually to Asia. My choices were not influenced by what I had learned but by the people I met. At the time, advertising drove change and created new marketing rules of engagement. I wanted to be part of the magic it generated and the feeling that nothing was impossible.
I embraced the challenges of globalization and led advertising changes in Europe for brands like Mars and Master Foods as well as the marketing transformation of companies like Air France from national to worldwide carrier. Then on to Asia, as CEO of the EURORSCG Group in APAC for eight years, I led the transformation of a collection of advertising agencies into a network of fully integrated operations.
Conscious that the digital revolution was only in its infancy, and that advertising networks would never undertake the fundamental structural changes necessary to drive digital opportunities, it was time to reinvent myself. In 2005, I became an entrepreneur and started a joint venture in Shanghai with a major Chinese digital company developing a high-level, online operational marketing consultancy as well as a platform to manage CRM programs on mobile… slightly ahead of time.
It was during this time I truly learned about Asia as a powerhouse of innovation. I’ve been speaking to business leaders and global media about this in recent years, particularly on how China is 10 Years Ahead when it comes to innovative thinking.
In January 2011, I joined Razorfish as president of Asia Pacific to build out our China, India, Hong Kong and Australia operations, a network able to accompany our clients in their business transformation, particularly through the development of e-commerce and social media capabilities, both organically and through acquisitions. I’m proud to now show Razorfish forms part of the active legacy of business innovation coming from APAC.
Razorfish APAC teams have established a highly differentiated offering, forming technology centers of excellence across the region that deliver business transformational, award-winning work for clients including Nike China, ASUS, Pepsi, P&G’s Pampers, P&G’s Vidal Sassoon, and more.
In my current role as Chief Growth and Transformation Officer, I share the innovation and knowledge of our region with global business leaders, both our clients and Razorfish leaders throughout the world. We’re transforming businesses outside the region with the innovative thinking and technologies of the East.
Patrick Frend President, US East Region
“In today’s digital world, we can deliver solutions that we could only dream about 15 years ago.”
When I left management consulting in 1999 to join a hot little firm called Razorfish, I did not anticipate the journey we were beginning together. I had always been fascinated by the latest trends in technology and its impact on business, and I found Razorfish provided the perfect opportunity for me to put to use my study of economics and computer science at Bowdoin College. Little did I know that I would still be with the same organization 15 years later.
Fast forward to today, and it’s incredible to see how much the digital world has grown and how much Razorfish has grown along with it — not just in scale, but also in the maturity and diversity of our offerings. In today’s digital world, we can deliver solutions that we could only dream about 15 years ago. Back then, we were working with slow connections and browsers on low-resolution screens. Today, we are building solutions for everything from smartphones, to large-scale interactive displays, to connected cars — and it still feels like just the beginning.
The work that Razorfish does requires people with a wide array of backgrounds and skill sets. By blending those skills, magic happens. Our teams of strategists, creatives, technologists, channel planners and more collaborate to invent things that have never been seen or done before.
As president of the East region, I am also excited about the brands we work with — from Ford, to Delta Air Lines, to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, to Mercedes-Benz. These aren’t just clients, but brands that I have a personal relationship with outside of work, and that have made digital central to their customer experience.
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my amazing wife and two beautiful daughters. I also enjoy cycling, camping and am an avid Boston sports fan (living in enemy territory!).
Jen Friese President, West Region, US West Region
“In our business, change is constant — it’s inevitable. You can either fight against it, or embrace it. I prefer the latter. Change is our friend. And, more often than not, it can transform us in ways we never imagined.”
I’ve been with Razorfish for 12 years, and during that time I’ve seen the company’s name change more times than I can count. But, even though the words on our business cards have changed, our core values haven’t. That’s just one of the things I love about Razorfish and the people I work with. I’m proud to have seen us through some tough challenges and amazing transformations over the years, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
As president of the agency’s West region, I manage a multidisciplinary team of more than 400 people. Together, we’re responsible for managing brand creative, retail, media and online strategies for advertising and experience-focused clients. The West leads some of our largest account relationships, including Microsoft and T-Mobile, as well as a diverse collection of travel companies and several high profile automotive clients.
I’m enthusiastic, creative and resourceful in driving growth, increasing presence and making sure that Razorfish is uniquely positioned to lead. I’m most proud of our ongoing strategic partnership with Microsoft, which has allowed Razorfish to become a true AOR.
When I’m not in the office, you’ll find me relaxing with my husband and our two kids, Joe and Anna Kate. We love exploring all the amazing places Portland has to offer, and we spend as much time as we can in beautiful Central Oregon.
Laure Garboua Tateossian EVP and General Manager, Paris
“At the crossroads of the physical and digital worlds are interesting opportunities to rethink the ways that we gather information and navigate through our day-to-day lives."
For the past 14 years, Laure has embarked on countless adventures with Nurun. As the General Manager of our offices in France, she helps clients embrace the power of digital and thrive in a connected world. Today, Laure leads a diverse team of passionate forward-thinkers in France, and develops digital strategies for leading international brands including e-commerce, design of digital products and services, and human-centered experiences.
LeeYee Hew Chief Operating Officer, Greater China
"I am a strong believer that digital marketing is the evolution of direct marketing but technology makes the experience even more personal, deeper and insightful."
Growing up in a shoe factory family and seeing how my parents tried to cope with ever-changing shoe trends and market competition taught me an important lesson: Your passion will never fail you if you are persistent enough to pursue it genuinely and be entrepreneurial.
As a fresh graduate, I started as an account executive at Grey Direct Interactive with little knowledge of direct marketing or interactive. I was fascinated by the thinking behind the work but equally shocked by the drama that seemed to be required to make every single project deliver on time and on budget. Nonetheless, that’s where I completed “Agency 101” and where I shaped my view on talent development and agency operation.
Thirteen years later in March of 2012, I joined Razorfish and Digitas to head up operations in Shanghai. Prior to that I spent eight years at OgilvyOne. I joined OgilvyOne Malaysia as account manager for Nestlé, IBM and HSBC. Then I was transferred to Thailand to lead a Diageo multibrand account before being offered to set up the OgilvyOne office in Vietnam. That was one of my greatest challenges as I had to put all I had learned to the test — business model, operation structure, integration of an agency acquisition and team development.
I am a strong believer that digital marketing is the evolution of direct marketing but technology makes the experience even more personal, deeper and insightful. That is my focus now in Shanghai. We are upscaling our technology capability and innovation-driven business thinking to increase the gap between us and traditional digital agencies. More important, we inspire everyone in the agency to have fun while creating business that works for our clients.
Joanna Kalenska Managing Director, Hong Kong
"The team at Razorfish Hong Kong has a proven record of delivering effective and engaging digital experiences for some of the country’s leading brands."
Hong Kong is the latest stop on a fascinating, international professional journey I started years ago in Poland. I have wound my way through Europe, leading teams and developing brands in London and beyond. Through these experiences I have developed a strong international marketing and client service background.
After 13 years in the U.K., I’m now in Asia where I serve as the Managing Director of Razorfish Hong Kong, leading an incredibly talented team with a legacy of award-winning, innovative work for brands like Nike Hong Kong. The challenge of working in Asia at such a fast pace is one I’ve found extremely stimulating and rewarding. In our region, consumers have tenacity for technology, they engage with and use technology in a way I’ve never seen before. This is such an exciting and dynamic time to be in Asia, I’m thrilled to gain such a deep understanding of the region’s diverse markets. This allows me to help both our international clients aiming to expand their operations, and our local clients looking to reach other parts of the world.
Our Hong Kong office acts as a hub for Greater China, and the APAC region. We lead regional work for global brands, and are proud to offer some of the most in-demand senior business consultants in the region. Our clients span the regions, from here in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, China, Singapore and beyond.
We consistently help our clients navigate new technologies and transform their businesses. Recently, the Hong Kong team has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands including Intel, HSBC, Converse, Tourism New Zealand, Delta Air Lines and DHL, to name just a few. Not only is the Hong Kong team leading global work, we’re consistently breaking new ground, and that’s what makes Razorfish a world-class leader. I certainly feel privileged leading this team.
Michael Karg Chief Executive Officer, Razorfish International
"My focus is orchestrating Razorfish’s international network capabilities, which enable us to deliver breakthrough, award-winning work for clients across geographies."
After completing graduate studies in finance and accounting at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland in 1994, I secured a position with the Austrian Trade Commission in Malaysia, consulting companies on their market entry strategies. This early international career experience and cultural education set the tone for the rest of my professional journey.
Passionate about academic research, I returned to Switzerland in 1996 for doctoral studies. At that time, I also joined the Institute of Marketing to be part of large-scale European-wide research projects about best practices in marketing. Consequently, I advised industry-leading firms such as Hilti, Siemens, and Credit Suisse on customer acquisition, retention and marketing profitability strategies.
After receiving a scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation, I was accepted by Harvard University to continue my doctoral studies in 1999. During this time, I published several books, articles and case studies on best practices in marketing. In 2000, I joined Digitas in Boston, and in 2004 took on responsibility for the 100+ strong Strategy & Analysis teams in Boston and Detroit, leading large-scale assignments for clients including AT&T, Bayer, Ericsson, General Motors, Microsoft and SAP.
When Digitas was bought by the Publicis Groupe in 2007, I moved to London to serve global clients including General Motors and Samsung, and continued on to co-lead Digitas’ London operation with an emphasis on re-igniting its strategic and creative direction.
In 2010, the Publicis Groupe purchased Razorfish and I became Chief Operating Officer International, with responsibility for all offices and markets outside the US, and in 2011 added additional responsibilities as President EMEA. In May 2013 following the integration of DigitasLBi I was elevated to the position of CEO Razorfish International.
Experience across multiple continents and an extensive academic career have contributed many insights and learnings to my role. As well as overseeing key multinational client relationships, my focus is orchestrating Razorfish’s international network capabilities, which enable us to deliver breakthrough, award-winning work for clients across geographies.
Bill Lawrence EVP and General Manager, Atlanta
“We are always working to identify new insights, to try new methods, and to explore new solutions that meet and exceed consumers’ needs and expectations."
Bill’s career spans two decades in technology and e-business. A certified private pilot, Bill is just as comfortable navigating the skies as he is driving business development in the boardroom. As a keen thought leader and manager, Bill oversees a team of digital professionals in our Atlanta office, and provides counsel to clients such as General Electric and Pleasant Holidays. Bill previously served as Vice President, Group Director, for the Delta Air Lines account at Digitas.
Roberto Leonelli President, Italy
"We are fascinated by observing how people adopt and individualize existing and emerging digital technologies to improve their lives."
Roberto founded Quam, an interactive agency in Milan, in 1996. Quickly becoming one of the top new media agencies in the Italian market, Quam was acquired by Nurun in 2000. As the President of Nurun in Italy, Roberto oversees offices in Milan and Turin, and provides strategic guidance to clients such as Sky Italia, BTicino, and Ferrero. In 2007, he became a member of the Nurun Europe Executive Committee.
William Lidstone Chief Marketing Officer, Razorfish Global
"I believe that great brands are no longer built on storytelling alone, but on their ability to play an important role in the life of the consumer — primarily through utility and service.”
As Chief Marketing Officer William leads the Razorfish Global brand across 42 worldwide offices in the Publicis Groupe network comprised of the Razorfish, Rosetta, LEVEL Studios and ROAR brands, while accelerating growth in international markets and driving multinational client development with a specific focus on Mercedes-Benz, DHL, Nike and UBS.
He believes that great brands are no longer built on storytelling alone, but on their ability to play an important role in the life of the consumer — primarily through utility and service. William calls this approach to 21st century marketing “Super-Useful-Super-Brands.”
William joined Razorfish in 2011 as Executive Vice president, since then his role has grown and evolved, elevating to his current position in September 2014 when Publicis Groupe announced the formation of the Razorfish Global network that brings together customer experience, technology, media and intelligence to drive business transformation for clients on a global scale.
Prior to Razorfish, he spent a decade as part of the leadership team at AKQA, delivering ideas, technology and service design for Coca-Cola, Diageo, Ferrari, Fiat, Heineken, McLaren Automotive, Nike, Unilever and Xbox.
As well as spearheading marketing efforts, William leads key research and proprietary intellectual property initiatives. He have spoken on behalf the agency at the iMedia Brand Summit in India, launched Razorfish's proprietary 'Digital Dopamine' global report at Cannes in 2014 and hosted the 2013 Razorfish Client Summit in the U.S.
A member of Mensa, William was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2010.
Ariel Marciano Chief Financial Officer, Razorfish Global
“We bring together world-class talent in business process consulting, change management, intelligent design, commerce and data, all with a significantly increased technology capability.”
Ariel Marciano serves as Chief Financial Officer of Razorfish Global, bringing with him extensive experience leading digital agency operations for numerous Publicis Groupe agencies.
Ariel’s career has included Chief Financial Officer roles for Rosetta, ZenithOptimedia France, Starcom France, Vivaki France, Razorfish France, Digitas France and as Head of Group Consolidation for Publicis Groupe.
Before joining Rosetta, Ariel oversaw all financial operations for ZenithOptimedia France, Starcom France and Vivaki France, including team organization, improvement of agency profitability and cash generation, review of regional and global client contracts and delivering cost synergies between media entities in France. He also played a key role in the integration of both Digitas France and Razorfish France into Publicis Groupe after each was acquired.
Ariel’s proven record of leading financial and operational teams at global agencies, combined with his deep knowledge of the Publicis Groupe network, make him uniquely qualified to help lead the Razorfish Global network in an aggressive global expansion strategy.
Sascha Martini Chief Executive Officer, Germany
“I believe that, in the future, advertising won’t differentiate brands. Instead, it will be the service dimension, the ability to enhance the product and the life of the consumer that will drive the connections with customers.”
Technology is continually evolving — presenting us with new opportunities and influencing how we interact. I believe there is huge potential for agencies to transform how businesses engage with their customers, and that embracing change is vital for success amid this progression.
I was born in Cape Town, and my family moved to West Germany when I was two — unfortunately before I was able to perfect my English and surfing skills. My working life started early as a drummer and manager of a band, and I was heading for a career in the music business. However, after citing “musical differences,” I took what I’d learned about selling creative output and went to study the history of media.
During this time, I researched the social changes sparked by media developments, and graduated with an understanding that brands and companies would have to communicate in new ways in order to adapt to the emergence of new forms of consumption and interaction.
In 2000, I joined an interactive agency as a creative — just in time for the dot-com crash. However, the economic crisis changed some things for the better and the Internet slowly started to fulfil expectations. I became an account director on Fiat, and then moved to Bassier, Bergmann & Kindler to work with Porsche. Continuing to challenge classic agencies, I started on Porsche as concept lead and, in 2006, went on to become chief executive officer.
Two years later, Razorfish beckoned and I haven’t looked back. I joined as managing director in Berlin, and later became an executive client partner for Audi Germany — a true change-driver.
In 2013, I had the privilege of becoming CEO of Razorfish Germany, where I'm responsible for almost 200 employees across our Frankfurt and Berlin offices. I’m excited to explore new ways of working together and changing our clients’ businesses for the better.
Antoine Pabst President, France; General Manager, Europe
“To produce the best digital products and services possible, we rely on an open and lively exchange of ideas—amongst each other and with our client partners."
Antoine is energized by the creativity and passion of the 200 design and technology specialists in Paris and Nancy that have made Nurun in France a leader in the European market. An entrepreneur at heart, Antoine is passionate about making connections between people, and uncovering the common values that we share: sincerity, human respect, and fun. Prior to joining Nurun in 2003, Antoine was a co-founder of his own marketing company and also worked seven years for Havas and six years for Y&R.
Charulata Ravi Kumar Chief Executive Officer, Razorfish India
"It is my responsibility to ensure Razorfish India remains the destination for smart, curious, creative and entrepreneurial-minded people."
I believe discovery, innovation and transformation to be a way of life. My own personal journey has taken me from Calcutta to Bombay via Middle East and London with stop-overs in the US, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh holding leadership roles, transforming businesses and brands as well as establishing my own successful innovation and leadership skills consultancy Coffee Kettle.
Honored to lead Razorfish India’s business, I am tasked with taking the network to new heights, leveraging technology, social media, e-commerce, data services, experience design and brand building capabilities to deliver transformational business experiences. It is my responsibility to ensure Razorfish India remains the destination for smart, curious, creative and entrepreneurial-minded people, and to further strengthen Razorfish India’s existing core competencies.
I have been a consultant and regular columnist for The Indian Express, I’m also a jury member at the Aditya Birla Financial Services Leadership Excellence Awards and the Tata Innovations Awards.
Predominantly based in the Razorfish Mumbai office, I am responsible for the regional presence through our offices in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Pune.
My passion for travel to untreaded parts of the world compliments my penchant for discovery and innovation that I pen down in writing for my friends to share.
Alicia Shankland Chief Talent Officer, Razorfish Global
"For the most part, the secret of innovation is to stay out of the way of talented employees. Give people the freedom, resources and knowledge to create great work and they will."
I started out as a reporter. I love meeting people, learning their stories and writing something that makes people do, think or feel differently. A professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism once told me “curiosity is the beginning of any good story,” and that I had enough to fuel a career. While I made a career change after getting my MBA, curiosity remains at the heart of what I do.
What compels people to do their best work? What makes them love their jobs? Those are questions we all want answered — for ourselves and for our organizations. As a leader in human resources, that’s the story I am after.
I lucked out and joined some high-tech companies in their infancies right after graduate school. I listened to early wireless and Internet visionaries predict just how ubiquitous and essential to our everyday lives both our phones and the Web would become; this was back when we had to work really hard to sell a cell phone or an Internet subscription. It was magic being part of companies responsible for developing technology that has dramatically changed our daily lives. The spark was in the people who continued to create, develop, experiment and celebrate each advancement.
For the most part, the secret of innovation is to stay out of the way of talented employees. Give people the freedom, resources and knowledge to create great work and they will. At Razorfish, it’s fun to watch teams make the leap from a brief to a pitch to a digital experience that wows clients and their customers. That’s our magic.
My job is to help us hire, develop and retain the best in the industry. To do that, we work hard to offer a place where people can build careers. If you join Razorfish, you may work some long hours and spend too much time on an airplane, but you will develop new skills rapidly through exposure to great clients, smart colleagues and more development opportunities than you can imagine. If it sounds like the place for you, we’re hiring!
At home, I enjoy cooking, entertaining, and walks in the woods or on the beach with my husband, daughter and golden retriever. I occasionally do a little moonlighting as an adjunct faculty member and pro bono mediator for state-sponsored dispute resolution centers.
Scott Sorokin Chief Strategy Officer, Razorfish Global
"Brands are in the midst of a massive evolution in the way they interact with their customers. Surviving in today’s marketplace takes more than a one-off experience — it’s an ongoing dialogue.”
As Chief Strategy Officer of Razorfish Global, Scott Sorokin leverages his industry-recognized talents and deep experience as a visionary and thought leader. Prior to being named part of the network’s Global Leadership Team, Scott held the role of Chief Strategy Officer at Rosetta, where he worked across all agency Business Units and clients to serve as a catalyst for change and drive innovation with measurable results. He also oversaw Marketing and Business Development for Rosetta.
Scott has served as strategist, advisor and futurist to Fortune 500 companies and executives for more than 25 years. With a rare combination of CXO-level planning, creative and media experience, Scott is able to translate the complexities and uncertainties of the ever-changing digital world into actionable insights and leading-edge opportunities.
Before joining Rosetta, Scott was Chief Digital Officer at Mindshare Worldwide/WPP; President at Carat/Aegis Media; President at Carat Fusion/Isobar; Executive Vice President, Global Account Director at MRM/McCann Worldgroup and Executive Vice President, Managing Director at Modem Media/Digitas West. He also served as Founder/Chief Creative Officer at Grey Interactive Worldwide, one of the first digital agencies, where he led strategy and development for Procter & Gamble and Dell.com. Before the digital age, Sorokin was an award-winning creative director, leveraging his BS in Visual Communications from University of Delaware.
Scott enjoys painting, hiking and sailing and lives in rural North Salem, NY with his family.
Rishad Tobaccowala Chair, Razorfish and DigitasLBi
"I provide strategic direction to the digital agencies, while also working to activate technology and build digital products through cross-agency collaboration."
I hold a dual role within Publicis Groupe, serving as both active Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at VivaKi — a global leader in digital advertising solutions — and Chair for leading digital agencies DigitasLBi and Razorfish.
At VivaKi, my team and I focus on incubating new ideas, approaches, partnerships and models for the next generation of data-driven marketing, storytelling, brand rethinking and the next two billion customers (China and India).
In order to achieve these goals, I am responsible for Emerging Opportunities and Partnerships for VivaKi/Publicis Groupe. Emerging Opportunities includes co-creating the future with startups (VivaKi Ventures), media companies (The Pool) and brands (Finch 15). Partnerships includes working closely with Publicis Corporate and the leadership of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and many other global technology platforms, as well as a range of ad-tech specialists (BlueKai, Medialets, Adelphic Mobile).
In my role as Razorfish/DigitasLBi Chair, I provide strategic direction to the digital agencies, while also working with VivaKi CEO Frank Voris to activate technology and build digital products for Publicis Groupe through cross-agency collaboration.
Over the course of my 30-year marketing career, I have worked across almost every area of the industry, including brand advertising, media, database, and direct and interactive marketing. As a pioneer in digital marketing, I helped create one of the first interactive groups and digital agencies 20 years ago, and have worked to launch a series of initiatives — such as groups focused on gaming, social, mobile and search engine marketing. I’ve been actively involved in incubating brands including Starcom IP, Play, Giant Step, SMG Search and Denuo. Along the way, Businessweek named me one of the top business leaders for my pioneering innovation, and TIME magazine dubbed me one of five “Marketing Innovators.”
I serve as a board member and advisor to a host of companies in the venture capital and startup space, including Greycroft Partners, Recyclebank, Abundant Venture Partners and Visible Measures. I am also the chairman of The Tobaccowala Foundation, which has helped over 12,000 people gain better access to health and education in India. I hold a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Bombay and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
Ray Velez Chief Technology Officer, Razorfish Global
"The thing that keeps technology exciting is that it’s constantly changing and always fresh. That’s something I’ve always loved about this industry, and often it feels it’s growing at a faster pace every day."
When I wrote my first basic program on my Atari 800 I was hooked; I’ve been spending time with computers ever since. I studied computer science and philosophy at Boston University, looking to bring the answered and unanswered together. The thing that keeps technology exciting is that it’s constantly changing and always fresh. That’s something I’ve always loved about this industry, and often it feels it’s growing at a faster pace every day.
As global chief technology officer for Razorfish, I manage our capabilities in Web cross-platform technology architecture and development, and oversee all our technologists. A core part of this role involves looking to the community for collaboration, and I’m consistently amazed by technologies like good-old message boards and wikis. (In fact, I was fortunate to help Razorfish build our internal, award-winning wiki.)
I’ve been in the industry for close to 20 years, previously at Cambridge Technology Partners and Scient. My professional experience in the application development life cycle, from inception to rollout, led to my work with clients ranging from Citibank to Ford Motor Company to the National Football League. Most recently, I was CTO in Razorfish’s role as incubation partner for Bundle, a personal finance startup. I also enjoy training and creating curriculums, and recently led the development of the Razorfish Agile Process.
Anything outdoors is my passion, whether biking, skiing or hiking with the family. Over the years I’ve enjoyed mountain bike and ski racing, and was fortunate to ride across Costa Rica in La Ruta de Los Conquistadores. I also find the DIY culture very inspiring; I’m looking forward to hacking some Arduino with my kids someday soon.
Esther Yang Chief Executive Officer, China
"If there’s one thing that can be said about China, it’s that it rewards those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a thirst for navigating change."
If there’s one thing that can be said about China, it’s that it rewards those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a thirst for navigating change. There’s no place where that’s more apparent than where I’ve made my home for the last decade: the area where digital technology, media and the consumer meet.
Hailing originally from California, I spent six years getting media managing experience in South Korea, then moved to Beijing to establish planning and buying for Mindshare’s Samsung Electronics global account. From there, I became the national general manager for GroupM Interaction – a joint venture with Hylink Advertising – and was charged with helping them build their operations from the ground up across China.
Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and particularly fascinated by the convergence between advertising and data, I jumped from agencies to technology platforms, founding UniQlick in 2010 to help advertisers execute smarter digital campaigns in China. At UniQlick, I transformed user behavior tracking technology into useful tools for gaining insight on digital consumers. I worked in every area, from developing UniQlick’s software-as-a-service (SAAS) business model around real-time-bidding technology to leading strategic product development to winning new business, including local and MNC clients, and their agency partners.
I’m excited to continue my story with Razorfish, a company that’s endlessly inventive, constantly curious and still relentlessly results-oriented – all characteristics that are necessary to meet the unique business challenges in China.
Jim Yang Chief Strategy Officer
“Working in the digital space means never standing still. What was cutting-edge last year may be irrelevant today. Keeping up with the rapid evolution of markets and technologies means being open, adapting to change, and anticipating what the future holds."
Jim has a double specialist in Genetics and Immunology from the University of Toronto, but he received his education in a pool hall in downtown Toronto where he honed his ability to rapidly uncover positional weakness, calculate probability on the fly and developed a deep understanding of people and their motivations. He began his career with Nurun in 1998 as a Systems Administrator and has held multiple positions in the company. Jim assumed the role of Chief Strategy Officer in 2010, working to craft Nurun’s unique market positioning and steer the organization in this new direction. Jim leads global strategic initiatives and provides executive oversight on key accounts, but he can still play a mean hand of cards.