Ragnar Kruse is the CEO and co-founder of Smaato. Since 2005, he has built Smaato into the world’s largest independent mobile ad exchange, with over 90,000 publishers & app developers and more than 450 demand partners delivering ads to over 1 billion unique mobile users per month around the world. He’s raised US $50m from prestigious investors such as Aeris Capital, EDBI Singapore, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and business angels.
As a serial entrepreneur with 30+ years experience in IT, Ragnar Kruse understands the unique challenges in bringing new technologies to market. He has built up several companies from inception to market launch in both the US and Europe.
At Intershop Communications, a leader in E-Commerce software solutions, Ragnar was VP of Sales and Marketing in San Francisco. During his tenure, Ragnar was instrumental in the company’s growth and ushering it through a successful IPO on NASDAQ and the “Neuer Markt” in 1998, while helping the company to grow from 5 employees to over 1,000.
More recently, Ragnar held key management positions at high-tech companies in the U.S. and Europe including eCharge and Xtramind. Through his many years in IT, Ragnar maintains strong relationships with companies in the telecommunications and mobile sectors.
Ragnar started his career as an entrepreneur. In 1980, he founded IPT GmbH, a computer retail business that imported products into Germany from the USA and Taiwan. In 1987 he expanded his business by starting DTP Partner GmbH, a distribution company in Hamburg.
Ragnar studied law at the universities of Hamburg and Munich, Germany.
As president of Smaato, Arndt Groth is responsible for Smaato’s core business operations. Mr. Groth joined Smaato as President in September 2017.
As one of digital marketing’s pioneers and thought leaders, Mr. Groth brings to Smaato more than twenty years of executive-level experience in business leadership and digital marketing. Prior to joining Smaato, Mr. Groth was CEO of publicly listed PubliGroupe AG in Lausanne, Switzerland, which he guided through its acquisition by Swisscom AG. Previously, Mr. Groth founded DoubleClick Germany and then went on to be DoubleClick’s VP Media Northern Europe.
He has also been the CEO of InteractiveMedia CCSP AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG. His extensive digital marketing experience also includes leading the European expansion of Adconion Media Group, transforming it into one of the largest independent global marketing networks. He has also served as Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of ePages. He started his career on the publisher side at the Georg von Holtzbrinck Group and at Hutchison Mobile.
Mr. Groth served as the President of the BVDW (German Association of the Digital Economy), Germany’s leading digital business federation, for 10 years. Additionally, he co-founded one of the digital marketing industry’s most successful, well-known and largest annual trade shows – dmexco.
Arndt Groth is a member of the Board of Directors of the Goldbach Group AG, Küsnacht, Switzerland.
Petra is a pioneer in the mobile industry. She is one of the first women globally to co-found a mobile company in 2005, and has been successful in growing Smaato to become one of the largest mobile companies in the world, as well as the largest independent Global Mobile Advertising and Real Time Bidding Exchange in the mobile advertising industry, with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in New York, Hamburg, Singapore and Jakarta.
Prior to her career in mobile, she was a pioneer and very successful in e-commerce. As founding member of Intershop in 1996, Petra was instrumental in growing the company from a start-up to a publicly-listed company, with a market cap of $12 billion and worldwide offices in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. She was responsible for all strategic, business and technical partnerships globally. She was largely responsible for Intershop’s $25 billion licensing deal with Deutsche Telekom and their subsequent investment in the company.
Prior to her career in e-commerce, she developed international market entry strategies for companies in the US and Europe.
Petra is a Silicon Valley veteran since 1981, one of the most globally-networked women executives, sits on several boards and has been appointed to international honorary positions. She is a member of the Global Leadership Team of Women in Wireless, Mobile Chair at GABA and International Board Member at Hamburg@ work.
Petra was appointed Hamburg Ambassador to San Francisco by the Governor and First Mayor of Hamburg. She was appointed International Ambassador of the Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH) by the president. She was named ‘Mobile Women to Watch‘ by Mobile Marketer and “Top Female Executive” by Mobile Entertainment, as well as “Women Entrepreneur Who Launched a Successful Mobile Startup” in Forbes. She recently was named by Business Insider “One of the most powerful women in mobile advertising” and “One of the most influential women in the ad industry”.
Oliver has over fifteen years of experience building internet and telecommunications businesses. Most recently, he was co-founder and CFO of the mobile platform service provider Exit Games based in Germany and the USA. Oliver was instrumental in securing funding from high profile venture capital firms.
He has held a senior position in a leading European online agency and a renowned management consulting firm, where he was involved in a large number of client projects for European telecommunications and media clients, focusing on corporate development and finance projects. More recently, he founded and headed a consulting venture in the software business. Oliver received a MBA degree and Ph.D. from the Philipps-University in Marburg.
Georg Fiegen has joined Smaato as the first Non-Founder in 2006, and currently acts as its COO.
Prior to Smaato, he founded and managed Xplain, an internet and consulting agency company that was later acquired by Pixelpark.
Georg studied Business Administration at Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany.
Gerry is a seasoned technology entrepreneur whose career has spanned many verticals, including finance/Wall Street, advertising and media and entertainment. Through his prior CTO/SVP Engineering roles at RhythmOne, Agency.com/Designatory, World Wrestling Entertainment and VMS, Gerry did not only lead start-ups from 20 to 1,500+ employees, but also, he brought many significant industry-first solutions to market and delivered triple-digit growth. Prior to joining Smaato, Gerry also played a leading role in multiple IPOs and a large number of acquisitions.
As a technologist, Gerry is passionate about building high performance teams, lean dev ops, machine learning, cloud computing, ‘automated everything’ and superfast architectures that can scale to 100s of billions per day.
A native South African, Gerry holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Stellenbosch.
Ryan has 10 years of corporate development and investment experience across digital media and principal investment platforms. Most recently Ryan lead the corporate development function at blinkx where he raised approximately $100 million in capital and closed four acquisitions including Grab Media, Rhythm NewMedia, Lyfe Mobile, and AdKarma. At Smaato Ryan specializes in deal sourcing and execution while leading key strategic activities for the Management team and Board.
As Smaato’s CRO, Glenn leads the scalable and sustainable revenue generation driving Smaato’s next rapid growth phase in the US and globally, particularly in China – the second largest mobile advertising market in the world. Glenn is a true visionary leader with close ties to and experience with global advertisers as well as agencies and deep passion for developing and building data-driven media and advertising solutions.
With nearly two decades of executive-level experience leading digital marketing firms during high-growth phases, Glenn has been involved in the digital media space since its inception. He is a proven driver of growth and transformation for technology companies, having held leadership roles in several startups that have either gone public or been acquired.
Prior to joining Smaato, Glenn was the founding SVP of Sales at 12 Digit Media, which was acquired in February 2017 by Westfield Corporation. As the former General Manager of eBay Enterprise’s Global Display Media business, Glenn helped build the company’s first-party audience targeting programmatic platform that reached more than 200M active global users. Glenn also served as the founding Vice President of Sales at Turn, Inc., where he built the company’s sales team from the ground up and successfully developed and scaled one of the earliest DSPs for Cadreon in 2008.
Glenn holds a degree in Communication from Santa Clara University and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and daughter.
As Smaato’s CPO, Freddy is responsible for global product strategy. Leading the Product team, Freddy drives Smaato’s vision as the leading in-app advertising technology platform with a focus on keeping Smaato ahead of the ever-expanding mobile advertising market.
Freddy is an established product leader, with over 15 years of experience in leadership roles across the digital and mobile industries. He has an extensive executive-level product background in the areas of mobile advertising, app development, virtual reality and digital media. With a proven track record of driving product and development teams to success, he is also an expert in product strategy, product marketing and agile/scrum methodologies.
Prior to joining Smaato, Freddy served as CPO at glispa, where he focused on developing and directing the company’s ad tech strategy. Freddy was responsible for glispa’s technology roadmap and technology-focused M&A, while also leading two acquired ad tech start-up companies and integrating them into the glispa stack. As Senior Product Director at Amobee, Freddy was the head of the company’s core product lines, including its SSP, Trading Desk, DMP and LTV, among others. Freddy also served as Product Director for Mobixell, a mobile VAS company where he managed the global media partnership activity for their mobile advertising unit.
Freddy holds an MBA from Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a BA in International Marketing and Finance from The College of Management Academic Studies in Tel Aviv.
Malcolm has been in Mobile Marketing since 2005. He has extensive experience setting up Mobile Advertising channels for leading mobile Internet advertising companies, media agencies, social media sites and mobile portals.
He was one of the pioneers in the space, starting to sell Mobile Web banners as early as 2005. As Director, International Partnerships for Buzzcity, he was responsible for global external partnerships, community marketing, and Mobile Internet Advertising, and headed the operations of Asia Sales & Marketing team.
He was also responsible of sales and marketing projects globally and in the Asian markets as well for companies like Zing Mobile and 24 Mobile Advertising Solutions, focusing on enabling global, large and medium companies with technology solutions to communicate and market to consumers on mobile.
Malcolm is a grassroot leader, being also deeply involved in Singapore People’s Association, as one of the leaders of the Tanjong Pagar Community Club.
Mohamed Ben Hiba is the senior business leader of all supply activities in the EMEA region for Smaato. He leads both Business Development and Account Management, overseeing the acquisition and nurturing of all EMEA-based supply relationships. During his almost 8-year tenure of increasing senior leadership roles at Smaato, Mohamed played a key role in driving Smaato’s meteoric growth and in helping bring over 90,000 mobile publishers and app developers onto the Smaato platform.
His vast expertise in mobile programmatic advertising and his personal approach and enduring commitment to the individual success of each partner have been keys to his success. Prior to joining Smaato, Mohamed held positions of increasing responsibility in Sales and Marketing at HSV-Arena GmbH and Talkline in Hamburg, Germany, and Newton Wayman Chong in Melbourne, Australia.
Nico gained knowledge and experience in the mobile industry as a developer and then as a Technical Product Manager in the Digital Content area at Jamba! in Berlin and later at Avato Mobile in Hamburg. He was responsible for the building of digital content solutions which included mobile payment, licensing and content management systems.
In 2009 Nico joined Smaato as Senior Product Manager and was responsible for expanding the Product Management department. Today he is responsible for the Engineering department in Hamburg and works in close collaboration with the Senior Vice President Product Strategy Garrett McGrath in San Francisco. Nico holds a degree in Business Computing.
Melanie has over 15 years of Human Resources experience in the global IT industry building organizations to achieve their highest potential. She has extensive experience developing outstanding leaders, acquiring top talent in highly competitive fields globally and creating the systems, structures and processes that optimize organizational performance. Melanie started her career at Cisco and later led talent strategy, acquisition and development, as well as leadership effectiveness and management excellence, for several EMEA business units at Microsoft, where she was responsible for teams in 32 countries.
At Smaato, she is the senior Human Resources leader with worldwide responsibility across all of Smaato’s offices. A native of Germany, Melanie speaks German, English, French and Italian and holds triple degrees in Business Administration from ESCP Europe: Masters of Science, Diplome de Grand Ecole de Gestion and Diplom-Kauffrau.
Gregory has more than 15 years’ experience in Accounting, Taxation, Treasury Management, Auditing, Financial Operations, FP & A and Controlling. He has established, developed and supervised local and international finance teams and is experienced in SOX control and implementation. He is responsible for multiple financial systems and subsystem optimizations, and consults to core functions in the business such as Sales and Account Management, Marketing, Publisher and Supply Services, Administration, HR and Legal.
Delynn has over 10 years of extensive experience in digital and mobile marketing as seasoned strategist in the industry. She has a background in managing global business development, international partnerships, marketing and product strategy. Her experience as a practitioner gives her depth of knowledge in setting up mobile marketing avenues through leveraging technology in the pursuit of mobile strategies and business goals.
Over the years, she has been responsible for managing global mobile advertising sales and monetization, product planning and marketing portfolios. Delynn’s focus has always been in driving and evolving business strategies to incorporate mobile media through commercial, product and operational aspects for implementation.
Delynn has been actively serving the Singapore community as a volunteer in various associations.
As the senior leader of Sales Engineering, Michael leads the interface function between business and technology at Smaato. From onboarding new partners to working closely with the Product team in rolling out and building new products at the forefront of the mobile programmatic industry to assisting partners in more effectively and efficiently achieving their day-to-day business goals, Michael leads a team of well-respected technical experts ready with innovative solutions to challenging and diverse issues.
Michael joined Smaato in 2007 as Smaato’s first Product Manager and helped build mobile apps and the original SOMA product as a mediation solution and one of the first mobile advertising products ever. He played a substantial role in building Smaato’s Product team and also turning the original ideas into Smaato’s first RTB exchange. Michael studied computer science and business at FH Wedel.
In his current role, Michael has a strategic focus on driving expansion into new markets such as China and delivering technical efficiency and effectiveness solutions for Smaato’s many global partners on both the advertiser and mobile publisher sides of Smaato’s global mobile marketplace.
Susanne has over 15 years of digital and brand marketing experience ranging from running 1+ Billion brands for Fortune 50 companies to leading early-stage Sales and Marketing for Silicon Valley start-ups and mid-size companies. She has extensive advertising, media and marketing experience building large brands, overseeing global media budgets and managing agency relationships in Brand Management and Product Management at Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
Most recently Susanne was the senior digital marketing leader for all brands globally across the Clorox Company. At Smaato she leads the Global Marketing function. A native of Silicon Valley, Susanne received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Princeton University and her MBA from Duke University.
Austin leads the team focused on helping agencies and brands maximize their access, strategy and reach across Smaato’s 90,000+ publishers.
With more than 16 years of advertising experience, Austin has an extensive background in both the traditional and digital media spaces. After starting in radio in Atlanta, Austin made the jump to digital in 2008. At eBay, Austin led several different teams for eBay Enterprise and helped bring eBay’s first-party audience targeting programmatic platform to the market. Most recently, Austin was the Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Rakuten Marketing, where he helped clients leverage Rakuten’s Omnichannel suite of Programmatic Display, Affiliate, Search and Attribution tools.
Austin is a proud graduate of the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business (Go Gators!), and he earned his MBA in Marketing from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Gareth manages Smaato’s global efforts in the areas of mobile video and native programmatic solutions. He works with teams across Supply, Demand, Marketing, Product and Engineering to deliver solutions and opportunities that work best for both publishers and advertisers.
Gareth has over ten years of experience in mobile and desktop video advertising technology and M&A. As the General Manager of Video for blinkx (now RhythmOne), Gareth built a consistent Top 5 comScore video property and also participated in M&A on five deals totaling over $100M in value. This helped position RhythmOne as a true cross-screen leader in the video space. Gareth has also served in several consulting and advisory roles, spanning established mobile exchanges and publisher networks to seed-stage and funded start-ups.
Gareth holds a degree in Business and Economics from Trinity College, Dublin.