OPERATIONS

Ulta Beauty names Motorola Mobility CFO to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bolingbrook, Ill. — Vanessa Wittman, senior VP and CFO of Motorola Mobility, a subsidiary of Google, has been appointed the Ulta Beauty board of directors and as a member of its audit committee, effective June 5, 2014, following her election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Wittman joins the Ulta Beauty board with more than 25 years of experience in finance and technology.

At Motorola Mobility, she leads the teams overseeing all financial activities as well as the teams in charge of strategy, real estate, workplace services and information technology. Prior to joining Motorola Mobility in 2012, Wittman served for four years as executive VP and CFO of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services company. She previously held CFO roles at cable television company Adelphia Communications, telecommunications services provider 360networks, and software developer and consulting group Metricom, Inc.

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The OurPet’s Company taps marketing VP

BY CSA STAFF

The OurPet’s Company, a leading proprietary pet supply company, has promoted Gabriella DeSantis to VP of marketing.

DeSantis joined the company in July 2012 as senior director of marketing and has been responsible for overseeing the execution of the company’s new two-brand marketing strategy. The company also credits her with the successful launch of several new products.

DeSantis has more than 20 years of marketing experience in the pet and consumer packaged goods industries. Previously, she held positions as marketing director at United Pet Group and as senior marketing manager for Health Care Products.

"Gabriella has excellent education and experience related to all facets of marketing,” said Dr. Steve Tsengas, chairman and CEO. “She has been instrumental in guiding The OurPet’s Company though its critical transition related to our two brand strategy — OurPet’s brand for the pet specialty segment and Pet Zone brand for the food, drug, and mass-market retail segment. She has also concentrated in building a professional marketing team that will have a positive impact not only in branding and packaging, but also in product management and sales. Gabriella’s dedicated efforts to make OurPet’s a top performer in the pet industry will help assure our continued success."

DeSantis earned her B.S. in business administration and marketing/advertising from Long Island University and her MBA in marketing management and corporate finance from Pace University in New York.

The OurPet’s Company designs, produces and markets a broad line of pet products and accessories in the United States and overseas. The OurPet’s Company has an extensive intellectual property portfolio with more than 225 patents in either issued or pending status.

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Shopzilla consolidates marketing biz units under Connexity brand

BY CSA STAFF

Shopzilla, a leading platform that connects 50 million retail shoppers monthly with online marketers, has consolidated three marketing-centric business units — Audience Discovery and Activation Services — under the Connexity brand name.

“Connexity will uniquely combine consumer insights and media buying within the same programmatic platform, helping marketers to learn more about their customers, discover valuable audiences, and activate new consumers at scale,” the company said in a statement.

The new entity joins together Aisle A, the audience activation division of the company that specializes in leveraging the power of shopping data to target advertising for brands and retailers, with Bizrate Insights, Shopzilla’s consumer insights and ratings/reviews division, and Connexity’s programmatic media buying platform, which Shopzilla acquired in February.

“Each month Shopzilla collects more than 1 billion in-market retail data points and millions of consumer surveys. This is powerful first-party data that enables advertisers to accurately reach, engage, and convert wallet-ready shoppers making purchase decisions," says Bill Glass, CEO of Shopzilla. "With Connexity, we have created a unified platform that can analyze potential audiences, qualify them, segment them into best-performing targets, bid to acquire media, optimize against conversions and generate a complete report, all at a single dashboard.”

By combining the entities, according to Glass, Connexity is helping marketers transform consumer insights into more effective media campaigns easily and efficiently.

“We’re bringing a specialized platform (AMP + DSP) to market that bids based on the scoring and classification intelligence of one of the largest retail data footprints. We have invested substantially in data science to build out a complete set of audience segments for advertisers of all types including retailers, brands, and manufacturers. This capacity, combined with our programmatic media buying platform, enables Connexity to deliver targeted audiences at scale for our marketing partners," he added.

The Connexity brand includes Insights (powered by Bizrate), which offers retailers insights on their consumers and aims to improve their online reputation though syndicated customer ratings and reviews. And Audience Solutions, which enables brand and retail marketers to discover new audiences and activate them with media in the right environments at the right time with the right message.

Shopzilla manages a portfolio of online shopping brands in the U.S. and Europe consisting of Bizrate, Beso, Shopzilla, Retrevo, TaDa, PrixMoinsCher, and SparDeinGeld, as well as its B2B businesses including Connexity and the Shopzilla Publisher Program.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, the company operates sites and business services in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Private equity firm Symphony Technology Group acquired Shopzilla in 2011.

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