ChoiceStream’s Drive into Online Advertising Attracts Industry Veterans to Executive Team

Former Yahoo! Chief Data Officer, Yahoo! VP of Advertiser Products, and WPP Executive to Help Guide ChoiceStream’s Expansion into Online Performance Advertising

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– ChoiceStream, the premier personalization service provider for the world’s largest retail and entertainment brands including Tesco,, Borders, Blockbuster, Yahoo!, and AT&T, today announced the addition of former Yahoo! Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President, Usama Fayyad,to its Board of Directors, former Yahoo! VP Ads, Cheryl Kellond, to its management team, and former WPP executive, Lauren Reiss Frank, to its Advisory Board. The executives – leading media industry experts in online advertising, data analysis, and digital marketing – will help support the company’s growth and expansion into online advertising, where ChoiceStream will apply its proven personalization technology to delivering a new line of high-performance advertising products.

“ChoiceStream’s understanding of shopping data and their proven analytics provide valuable insight into what product a consumer is most likely to buy next and allows the company to generate the click-through rates and sales conversions that display advertisers have been waiting for”

“With Usama, Cheryl and Lauren on board, ChoiceStream gains a deeply-experienced team of media and industry experts to help guide the company’s expansion into online advertising,” said Steve Johnson, co-founder and CEO of ChoiceStream. “We are bringing our industry-leading technology that’s been powering personalized in-store sales for retailers like Tesco, Borders and Overstock to create a powerful new category ofpersonalized advertising. We have shown that when an ad delivers a personalized message – one that speaks to the needs and interests of the individual consumer – it creates a compelling call to action, withseveral times the sales performance of non-personalized ads. In 2009, ChoiceStream will prove that personalized display advertising can be a powerful way to drive new business in tough economic times.”

Usama Fayyad, Yahoo!’s former Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President, joins ChoiceStream’s Board of Directors after having been a customer of ChoiceStream technology at Yahoo! since 2004. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Dr. Fayyad founded Revenue Science, a behavioral targeting ad network and DMX Group, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2004. Dr. Fayyad brings to ChoiceStream two decades of expertise in data analysis and large-scale systems design and development. At Yahoo!, Dr. Fayyad was in charge of the company’s global data infrastructure, Yahoo!’s data strategy and investments, and the insights and targeting technology that enabled Yahoo! to dramatically increase ad relevance in display and search, as well as increase user engagement. Dr. Fayyad and his team were charged with analyzing the click streams of Yahoo!’s 500 million unique monthly visitors, processing more than 12 Terabytes of data daily, to convert buying habits and response patterns into improved ad performance and content usage. In addition, Fayyad founded and oversaw Yahoo! Research, turning it into the leading internet research lab in new scientific areas, such as community systems, search and information navigation, and computational advertising.

“ChoiceStream has invested nearly a decade in developing the deepest and most comprehensive recommendation and personalization technology I have seen for increasing relevance and user engagement. The application of core personalization to advertising relevance is an exciting development and the results so far have proven to be powerful,” said Usama Fayyad. “My experience and research on clicks and purchases of hundreds of millions of consumers show that the best predictor of a consumers’ future purchases is their prior buying habits, revealing more about what they will be in market for next. I am excited to see Choicestream’s technology for capturing and understanding the commercial events that matter extended from driving personalization and cross-sells to predicting ad relevance and delivering significant revenue increases for retailers.”

Cheryl Kellond also joins the company from Yahoo! and will serve as ChoiceStream’s Senior Vice President of Advertising. Ms. Kellond has strategic and execution responsibility for building the ChoiceStream advertising practice, something she excelled at during her years as Yahoo’s Vice President of Advertiser Product Marketing. In that role, she drove product strategy for search, display and video advertising. She also focused on developing new ad products that helped shift offline budgets online and creating innovative tools for simplifying display advertising for advertisers.

“ChoiceStream’s understanding of shopping data and their proven analytics provide valuable insight into what product a consumer is most likely to buy next and allows the company to generate the click-through rates and sales conversions that display advertisers have been waiting for,” said Cheryl Kellond. “Advertisers will shift their ad spend to the campaigns that deliver the most value and ChoiceStream provides advertisers with a brand new product that uses display advertising’s broad reach and frequency to create new opportunities for consumers to purchase from them. This technology addresses a strong market demand, especially in our current economy, and I look forward to building a successful and innovative advertising business at ChoiceStream.”

In addition to Fayyad and Kellond, Lauren Reiss Frank, currently Director of Marketing and Investor Relations at Value Insight Partners (VIP) is joining ChoiceStream as a member of the Strategic Advisory Board. Prior to her role at VIP, she served as a senior strategy and business development executive for the WPP Group. In that role, she worked on the development of strategy, acquisitions, investments, partnerships and new business opportunities, particularly in the digital marketing and technology areas.

About ChoiceStream, Inc.

ChoiceStream delivers dynamic, personalized product recommendations and display ads that increase purchases and customer engagement for today’s biggest brands, including, Tesco, Borders, Blockbuster, AT&T, and Yahoo!. Recently named the company with the “deepest experience” of the ‘pure-play’ personalization engines” by a leading independent research firm, ChoiceStream enables retailers to put the right content and products in front of the right people at the right time to maximize the value of every interaction with consumers.

Source: Business Wire / PDF

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