Dr. Usama Fayyad has been named Yahoo’s first chief data officer and senior vice president of the Strategic Data Solutions group.
Fayyad will be responsible for Yahoo!’s overall data strategy, architecting Yahoo!’s data policies and systems, prioritizing data investments, and managing the Company’s data processing infrastructure and analysis. He will be based in Sunnyvale, Calif. and report to chief technology officer, Farzad Nazem.
“Usama is one of the world’s most accomplished figures in the field of data mining, knowledge discovery in databases and analytics, and we are fortunate to have him join our team,” said Farzad Nazem, chief technology officer of Yahoo!. “He has a proven record of thought leadership, business acumen and technical innovation, and his talents will give Yahoo! an industry-leading data executive that will enhance our ability to manage data and put it to work for our consumers and marketing partners.”
Prior to joining Yahoo!, Fayyad co-founded and led the DMX Group, one of the nation’s leading data mining and data strategy consulting companies. In early 2000, he co-founded and served as CEO of digiMine Inc. (now Revenue Science, Inc.), a data analysis and data mining company that built, operated and hosted data warehouses and analytics for some of the world’s largest enterprises in on-line publishing, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications and financial services.
Fayyad’s professional experience also includes five years spent leading the data mining and exploration group at Microsoft Research and building the data mining products for Microsoft’s server division. From 1989 to 1996 Fayyad held a leadership role at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where his work in the analysis and exploration of scientific databases gathered from observatories, remote-sensing platforms and spacecraft garnered him the top research excellence award that Caltech awards to JPL scientists. Fayyad also earned several NASA awards, including a U.S. Government medal for developing data mining technologies that enabled new scientific discoveries.
“The opportunity to bring a disciplined, scientific approach to data technologies at Yahoo! was irresistible on both a personal and technical level,” said Fayyad. “I look forward to creating a scientific environment at Yahoo! that will continue to attract some of the best technical minds in the industry, while working to apply that knowledge in ways that will benefit all of our businesses.”
Fayyad earned his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Michigan (1991), and also holds BSE’s in both electrical and computer engineering (1984); an MSE in computer science and engineering (1986); and an M.Sc. in mathematics (1989). He has published over 100 technical articles on the field of data mining, edited two influential books on the subject and launched the primary scientific journal in the field while serving as editor-in-chief. Usama also launched and edited the primary newsletter in the technical community, and regularly delivers addresses and keynotes at government, industry and academic conferences around the world.