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Verve’s Executive Team Rebuild Continues, Kevin Arrix Named CRO

Since the spring, CEO Nada Stirratt has been ‘putting the band back together’ with trusted associates from her Viacom/MTV Networks days.

Verve's Kevin Arrix
Verve’s Kevin Arrix

Digital advertising veteran Kevin Arrix is taking on the chief revenue officer role at Verve Mobile, filling a large hole at the mobile ad platform as CEO Nada Stirratt continues to reposition the company in way that balances “data-driven” programmatic ad sales with traditional, brand-friendly models.

While Arrix arrives at Verve from SFX Entertainment, where he was EVP of worldwide brand partnerships, he previous worked closely with Stirratt at Viacom’s MTV Networks. At the time, Stirratt was digital ad sales head at MTVN and among the leadership posts Arrix had during his nine-year tenure at the company was EVP of digital ad sales, where he was in charge of sales, operations, marketing, and product development for a variety of Viacom brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and Spike.

“I worked with Kevin at Viacom. He knows how to build and scale successful, strategic sales organizations,” said Stirratt, in a statement. “I am confident his leadership will even further accelerate our revenue growth as we lead advertisers and their agencies into more sophisticated, data-driven mobile marketing.”

In addition to the reunion between Stirratt and Arrix, in August, Verve brought on two other former MTVN alums, Anna Hougart, who joined Verve as VP of revenue operations, and Walter Geer, who was named Verve’s VP and creative director. (Hougart was most recently at mobile entertainment and loyalty platform Viggle, which is owned by SFX Entertainment. Arrix oversaw revenue operations for four years at SFX and Viggle.)

In April, shortly after Stirratt took the helm at Verve, she hired another former Viacom colleague, Brad Herman, as its chief business development officer.

Stirratt succeeded the well-respected Tom MacIssac, who joined Verve over four years ago from digital video provider ExtendMedia (he’s currently at Cove Street Partners, a boutique investment and advisory firm specializing in software and digital media).

In choosing Stirratt, Verve has selected a leader known for her charisma to help raise its profile amid an increasingly crowded space. While MacIssac’s tenure was product-based and focused on repositioning the New York-based company from a mobile ad network to a more fully realized location-based programmatic platform, it is likely Stirratt’s role will be different.

Verve's Nada Stirratt
Verve’s Nada Stirratt

Before Stirratt joined, Verve’s previous CRO, James Smith, who had largely been the public face and voice of the company, decided to leave and is currently EVP, Americas for retargeting specialist Criteo.

Smith was highly regarded at Verve for his sales leadership. And while he also made important steps toward the use of geo-data as a basis for ad targeting and expanding the use of beacons and indoor ad targeting through a partnership with proximity platform Gimbal, Verve’s not often identified as being a primary programmatic player.

As Arrix takes on the job, he’ll be expected to help navigate Verve with equal focus on both the direct sales methods and real-time ad exchange models. Given the bench-strength that Stirratt has added to Verve since coming from data giant Acxiom last spring, the addition of Arrix should help increase confidence among major brands and retailers. In addition, it will be interesting to see how he complements the work being done by former Macy’s data and loyalty specialist Julie Bernard, who was tapped as Verve’s CMO in June.

“I have always sought out career opportunities that present massive opportunity for disruption and expansion. Mobile continues to reinvent how brands communicate with consumers, and Verve’s pinpoint location accuracy and decade-rich experience is unmatched in the marketplace,” said Arrix in a statement. “I am thrilled to work with Nada and the incredibly talented people of Verve as we reimagine marketing on mobile.”

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.