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OpenTable Taps Ex-Yahoo Media Head Jeff Kinder To Develop Local Discovery Offerings

As the reservations platform looks to link locals and travelers to restaurants around the globe, OpenTable has hired Kinder from JP Morgan to chart its strategy across e-commerce, payments, and media.

OpenTable has hired Jeff Kinder as SVP/head of Consumer Products and Global Marketplaces to help accelerate and advance its efforts around driving local discovery for the restaurants it serves.

The battle among restaurant reservation platforms has been heating up for the past year, so the space’s veteran OpenTable has been aggressively racing to advance its integrations with partners like Google, Foursquare, and Uber along with attempts to take even more friction out of mobile payments.

Kinder will be working to find additional ways to update and improve those offerings to both consumers, restaurants, and the Priceline-owned company’s platform allies in between.

“I am incredibly excited to join OpenTable,” Kinder said. “The company has been a pioneer and an icon in the dining world, with more than 38,000 restaurants using our software and seating over 20 million diners every month. Yet, we are just scratching the surface. We see terrific opportunities to grow, using new technology and data to better serve the needs of both our dining and restaurant customers around the world.”

Spearheading Payments And App Development

He comes to the new role after five years at JP Morgan Chase, where Kinder helped lead the development of products such as the revamped Chase.com and the bank’s mobile app. Specifically, Kinder has held two posts since 2011 at JP Morgan Chase, starting with his role as president of Chase Offers. The job of COO of Mobile, E-Commerce and Payments were added in 2013.

While his experience in mobile payments and app development are obvious skills needed for his new responsibilities at OpenTable, his work prior to his years at JP Morgan with Yahoo also seem to dovetail nicely with what he’s expected to work on.

At Yahoo, Kinder handled global responsibility for the beleaguered internet portal’s media and marketplace products, which covered Yahoo.com, Yahoo Finance, Sports, News, Movies, TV, Shopping, Travel, Autos, and Real Estate.

Small Biz Concentration

But in 2007, Kinder was initially focused on small business and recruitment advertising. The one-on-one relationships he forged then provided a clear understanding of what the individual restaurant owners and managers want from a digital platform like OpenTable.

“Jeff is a talented executive with a history of harnessing a strategic vision and providing the leadership and product innovation required to help make it a reality,” said Christa Quarles, OpenTable’s CEO. “As we continue to expand and drive towards helping diners around the globe discover the perfect restaurant and dining experiences, the breadth and depth of Jeff’s product and leadership experience across e-commerce, payments, travel and media will be invaluable.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.