Rocket Fuel Names Former and Microsoft Executive Randy Wootton as CEO

Rocket Fuel Names Former and Microsoft Executive Randy Wootton as CEO

Programmatic Marketing Platform Rocket Fuel, has named Randy Wootton as its new chief executive officer.

Wootton joined Rocket Fuel in March as chief revenue officer and will replace Monte Zweben, who has been acting as interim CEO since March.

The Rocket Fuel board of directors selected Wootton based on his proven ability to drive growth and scale at some of the world’s most admired multi-billion dollar global technology companies, deep experience in SaaS, intimate knowledge of the advertising industry, and exceptional leadership skills. Wootton has also joined Rocket Fuel’s board of directors.

“Randy has been a change agent from the start, expanding our pipeline, invigorating our direct sales approach, inspiring cross-functional teams with his executional rigor, and actively contributing to the development of our strategy. He has been my close partner in the day-to-day work of transforming Rocket Fuel,” Zweben said.

“As we evaluated qualified candidates, the executive search committee witnessed Randy’s tremendous contributions and electric leadership style. His enthusiasm for our business is infectious, and he truly inspires Rocket Fuelers throughout the company to engage with our mission and execute.”

Key considerations for the search committee were finding a candidate with a track record of scaling up businesses, extensive knowledge of SaaS, and a deep understanding of the advertising industry.

Wootton brings the added benefit of working closely on Rocket Fuel’s transformation efforts since joining the company in March. He was a key contributor in developing the company’s strategic plan and has led the implementation of a new sales model and sales methodology. Wootton is already ramped and ready to execute against business goals.

“I am excited to take on this challenge and am inspired by the Board’s confidence in me,” Wootton said. “I believe deeply in the hard work we’ve done to improve and expand our relationships with agencies and their holding companies, grow our direct-to-marketer sales, and shift to a SaaS model by leveraging our platform investments.”

“The worldwide digital ad spend is expected to reach $143 billion in 2020, and I believe we can capture a bigger share of that market opportunity given the power and exceptional value of Rocket Fuel’s technology and talent. We still have a lot of work to do as we make this shift, reinforce our foundation, and prepare for future growth. Our strategy is solid — now it’s time to focus and execute.”

Prior to joining Rocket Fuel, Wootton scaled’s Customer Success Product Portfolio P&L from under $200 million to almost $500 million in three years by overhauling the product management, marketing, and sales-enablement strategies for that company’s Success Services Product Portfolio.

Previously, at Microsoft, he led cross-functional operations for the Global Search Services and Online Marketplace where he was instrumental in operationalizing Microsoft’s “Search Alliance” agreement with Yahoo! for the small and medium sized space. Wootton also was SVP at AdReady, a cloud platform company for display advertising, and he ran aQuantive’s AtlasDMT’s international division.

With Wootton’s transition to CEO, Zweben will become executive chairman. He will focus on building an ecosystem of strategic partnerships, continue to offer support on product development initiatives and contribute his expertise in Artificial Intelligence.

Dr. George John will resign from the company and step down from Rocket Fuel’s Board of Directors. Dr. John plans to join a venture capital firm as an executive in residence to explore new opportunities in Artificial Intelligence. He will also mentor an entrepreneurship class at Stanford University, his alma mater.

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