John Zell - SVP, Global Strategic Partnerships, Rubicon Project, USA

John’s interest in data and analytics led him to pursue an advanced degree in computer science. As a graduate student at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, John created algorithms to help companies track workers compensation expenditures and predict potential problem areas within large organizations. The software took off and soon John was implementing it for organizations around the country.

That work led to healthcare marketing for Abbott and then to the more traditional world of database marketing before landing at Razorfish, running the agency’s global CRM practices. He also worked for WPP, running technology for the network’s 10 worldwide locations that handled digital production. The move to VivaKi, he says, was a way to continue working on the fusion of marketing and technology. “There’s a convergence of technology and marketing and I enjoy being at the forefront of everything that is happening.”

As the man charged with helping companies like Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle turn their customer information into actionable programs, John is indeed at the center of a lot of things. “It sounds pretty straightforward, but when you put them together there’s a lot of moving parts to help our clients make more money so they can make better products and services for their customers,” John says.