Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Greg Stuart has taken over as the new chief of the Mobile Marketing Association.
In another sign that mobile commerce and mobile marketing are maturing, the Mobile Marketing Association, a mobile industry trade group, has appointed former Interactive Advertising Bureau chief Greg Stuart as its president and CEO. He succeeds Federico Pisani Massamormile, who has stepped down as interim CEO but remains as global chairman.
Stuart will oversee the group’s global operations and work with its members to “dramatically increase” marketing spend on global, the trade group says. Based in New York, he will also help brands, ad agencies and other companies involved in the mobile marketing industry to grow with it.
Stuart’s appointment follows an announcement last month by the trade group that, in response to member feedback, it would reposition itself to better serve its members’ needs while also promoting the benefits of mobile marketing.
“The need to evangelize the channel has changed to a need to educate brands and agencies on how to apply the reach, and personal and powerful effectiveness, of mobile for their brands,” Stuart says. “The time has come to bring together consumers, global marketers, agencies, the media, technology and carriers to build a best of breed medium in mobile."
Massamormile calls Stuart a seasoned leader. "His successful track record in galvanizing an association and building a new medium, along with his unique understanding of each constituent in our membership will be key for helping global brands and agencies make mobile a critical part of their marketing mix,” Massamormile says.
Stuart worked as president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group of media and technology companies in the online advertising and marketing industry, from 2001 through 2007. The group, which says its more than 460 members account for 86% of the online advertising sold in the U.S., increased its membership tenfold during Stuart’s tenure. During the same period, spending on Internet advertising nearly tripled, to $17 billion from $6 billion, the IAB says.
Since leaving the advertising group, Stuart has worked as an advisor, director and angel investor for venture capital-backed companies. He sits on the board of Zimbio, an interactive online magazine, or webzine, that covers celebrities. It claims nearly 20 million unique visitors per month and is financially backed by Menlo Ventures and August Capital. He has also been on the advisory boards of a dozen venture-backed companies in the fields of Internet search, mobile, video and social media.
In addition, Stuart has worked for ad agencies as well as advertisers, and has filled senior management positions with companies including Sony Online Ventures, Cars.com and the Flycast Ad Network. Stuart is the author of the book, “What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds.”