Board of Directors

Marc Andreessen
Director
Samir Arora
Chairman of the Board
Gary R. Effren
Director
Dr. Paul-Bernhard Kallen
Director
David Saltzman
Director
Fernando Ruarte
Director
Martin Weiss
Director
Heidi Roizen
Observing Director

 

Executive Operations Team

Samir Arora
Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Ernie Cicogna
Executive Vice President, Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer & Head of Operations
Dan Lagani
President & Chief Revenue Officer
Sal Arora
Executive Vice President & Chief Product Officer
Jill Byron
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Fernando Ruarte
Senior Vice President, Co-Founder, Ad Platform Engineering & CTO
Kari King
Senior Vice President, Sales Strategy & Vice President, Sales
 Victor Zaud
Senior Vice President, Co-Founder & Creative Design Director
Jennifer Salant
Senior Vice President, Video Producers & Content Creators

 

Founding Team

Fernando Ruarte, Victor Zaud, Susan Kare, Ernie Cicogna, Dianna Mullins, Rebecca Bogle Arora, Raj Narayan, Emmanuel Job, Samir Arora.

 

Mode Management Team

Samir Arora
Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Chairman of the Board
Ernie Cicogna
Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer & Head of Operations
Dan Lagani
President & Chief Revenue Officer
Sal Arora
Executive Vice President & Chief Product Officer
Jill Byron
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Fernando Ruarte
Senior Vice President, Co-Founder, Ad Platform Engineering & CTO
Kari King
Senior Vice President, Sales Strategy & Vice President, Sales
Victor Zaud
Senior Vice President, Co-Founder & Creative Design Director
Jennifer Salant
Senior Vice President, Video Producers & Content Creators
Raj Narayan
Senior Vice President, Co-Founder, Consumer Products Engineering
Jack Rotolo
Senior Vice President, Europe & Asia
Jane Loring
Vice President and Managing Director, Mode UK

 

Board Advisors

Jarl Mohn
Investor
Tim Draper
Founding Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Jim Breyer
Managing Partner, Accel Partners
Phil Schlein
Venture Partner, U.S. Venture Partners, former President and CEO of Macy’s California
Josh Stein
Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Carl Portale
VP and Publishing Director

 

Executive Bios

Samir Arora, Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Chairman of the Board Samir Arora is a co-founder and the first investor in Mode Media and has served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2006. He was the interim Chief Executive Officer from 2004 to 2006.  He is the Chairman of Information Capital LLC, a venture capital investment fund, since 1997.  Samir has more than 25 years of executive management experience with leading consumer and technology media brands and began his career in Silicon Valley at Apple Computer
Ernie Cicogna, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer & Head of Operations Ernie Cicogna has resumed the role of Chief Financial Officer, his first position at Mode Media. In addition, he is responsible for Global operations. In his tenure at Mode, Cicogna has played an integral role in establishing and launching markets in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Russia. Cicogna’s breadth of experience has positioned him to lead a variety business functions within Mode including: EVP and CFO (Mode’s first ) from 2004 to 2008; EVP, Glam Partners and Glam Publishers from 2008 to 2009; EVP and General Manager at Glam International from 2010 to 2012; EVP, Global Creators, Partner and Ad Operations. Cicogna is a co-founder of the company, and has served as a member of the board of directors from 2004 to 2009 and Director of Glam Media Limited, Glam Media SARL and Glam Media International, Ltd. He has more than 40 years of executive management experience with leading consumer and technology media brands. He began his career at IBM, where he worked for thirty years, of which 13 were spent living and working overseas.
Dan Lagani, President & Chief Revenue Officer
As President and CRO, Dan Lagani is responsible for Mode Media’s revenue including strategic sales, brand strategy and client solutions, media agency relationships, category development, and sales operations for the company with focus on North America. An accomplished media executive with experience in print and digital advertising sales, branded content marketing, and consumer subscription revenue, Lagani has led large-scale organizations and was the driving force behind the digital transformation of some of the world’s best-known media brands including: Reader’s Digest, Women’s Wear Daily, Better Homes and Gardens, and the Condé Nast Bridal Group. Most recently, Lagani served as President, North America, for Reader’s Digest Association, managing more than 500 employees with annual revenue of over $600 million. In addition to making Reader’s Digest the number one paid digital magazine on Amazon’s Kindle, he produced the business’s first top line revenue growth in 13 years, doubled online traffic and total digital revenue. Lagani’s other accomplishments include award-winning websites, television programs, live consumer events and Fortune 500 partnerships including a line of co-branded insurance with Humana.
Sal Arora, Executive Vice President & Chief Product Officer
As EVP and Chief Product Officer, Sal Arora is responsible for ad products; our consumer brands including: Glam, Foodie, Tend, Brash, and Bliss.com; content; native and social solutions; and our video and creator partners. Prior to joining Mode, Arora served in various engineering leadership roles at Microsoft, including Director of Engineering, where he led the development of the multi-device strategy and experiences for Microsoft Mediaroom, the world’s largest IPTV platform. Arora was also responsible for conceptualizing, developing, and shipping Mediaroom experiences on Windows Phone 7, Windows 7 Media Center, Silverlight, and Xbox, in deep collaboration with various Microsoft product, design, and commercial groups. Before joining Microsoft, Arora was co-founder and CEO of ibizu, an early stage social networking company creating online collaborative spaces, and the co-founder and Chief Technology Architect at NetObjects, a Web software and services company.
Jill Byron,Senior Vice President, Marketing
As SVP of Marketing, Jill Byron oversees sales marketing and client solutions as well as global corporate marketing and communications. A seasoned marketing veteran, Byron draws on her extensive corporate and ad agency experience to create immersive brand experiences for our clients and to lead Mode Media’s brand-building and marketing programs while contributing to overall strategic goals for the company. Byron left her six-year post at CBS Interactive as VP of Marketing where she led brand building, strategic planning, and program execution. Prior to CBS Interactive, she led marketing and advertising for Chevron Retail at Y&R San Francisco and before that led the Sybase mobile database repositioning campaign. Early in her career, Byron developed and executed global and regional campaigns for many leading consumer brands including Dreyer’s/Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, Fisher-Price, Horizon Organic Dairy, Rice-A-Roni and Dell Computers.
Victor Zaud, Senior Vice President, Co-Founder & Creative Design Director
As SVP and Creative Desgn Director, Victor Zaud oversees the creative direction and design for Mode Media’s corporate identity, as well as Mode’s portfolio of ad products, consumer editions and consumer properties. Prior to Mode, Zaud was the founder of the strategic design and technology firm, Zaudhaus, where he helped conceive, shape, design, and build some of the most notable technology products in use from companies including Arena Solutions, Dell, J2 Communications, Microsoft and PureStorage. Prior to Zaudhaus, Zaud was the Director of Product Design at NetObjects, a leading Web-Authoring Software company, where he was responsible for the development of NetObjects Fusion. Prior to NetObjects, Zaud was a principal designer and business consultant for The Understanding Business (TUB). He started his career in Apple’s Creative Services department on projects including the introduction and definition of Desktop Publishing and Hypercard.
Fernando Ruarte, Senior Vice President, Co-Founder, Ad Platform Engineering & CTO
In his role as SVP Ad Platform Engineering and CTO, Fernando Ruarte oversees our proprietary ad-serving platform, Adapt. In 2010, Ruarte led the development for the Adapt platform that enables the distribution of ads across the Mode ecosystem of over 6000 publishers. Ruarte also led the technology and delivery of our programmatic marketplace. A seasoned information technology executive, Ruarte has over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Mode, Ruarte was a vice president of engineering at ViaFone, NetObjects, Extended Systems, and SIF. He has served as a member of Mode Media’s board of directors since 2009.
Jennifer Salant, Senior Vice President, Video Producers & Content Creators
As Senior Vice President of Video Producers and Content Creators,  Salant is responsible for overseeing the strategy and development of the Mode community of content creators — over 6000 worldwide — and our growing roster of video producers. Salant comes to Mode Media after more than seven years with iVillage, where she led the business development team and oversaw secondary advertising revenue, licensing agreements, and digital commerce. Earlier in her tenure at iVillage, she helped chart the company’s strategic partnership efforts. Prior to joining iVillage, Salant was a business analyst for Mitchell Madison Group.
Jack Rotolo, Senior Vice President, Europe & Asia
As EVP, Europe and Asia, Jack is responsible for strategy and guiding the day-to-day sales and operations for Mode outside North America.  Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales from March 2009 to August 2009 and President and General Manager of Mode North America from September 2009 to March 2012.  Jack has more than 25 years of executive management experience with leading consumer and media technology brands, including PepsiCo and Apple Computer.

Board of Directors

Marc Andreessen, Director
Marc L. Andreessen has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2011. Mr. Andreessen is co-founder and a general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm founded in July 2009, and co-founder and Chairman of Ning, Inc. He served as Chairman of Opsware, Inc. from 1999 to July 2007 and as Chief Technology Officer of American Online, Inc. from March 1999 to September 1999. Mr. Andreessen co-founded Netscape Communications Corporation and served in various positions, including Chief Technology Officer and executive Vice President of Products from 1994 to 1999. He is also a director of Ebay, Facebook, HP and several private companies.
Samir Arora, Chairman of the Board
Samir Arora has served as Chairman of our board of directors since 2004. Samir is a co-founder and the first investor in Mode Media and has served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2006. He was the interim Chief Executive Officer from 2004 to 2006.  Samir is the Chairman of Information Capital LLC, a venture capital investment fund, since 1997.  Samir has more than 25 years of executive management experience with leading consumer and technology media brands and began his career in Silicon Valley at Apple Computer.
Gary R. Effren, Director
Gary R. Effren is a seasoned media financial expert, having served as longtime finance executive and CFO of Knight Ridder, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the top print media companies in the U.S. Prior to his 26-year tenure at Knight Ridder, Inc., Effren started his career in 1978 as an auditor at Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. (predecessor firm to KPMG). He received his undergraduate degree from Rider College and an MBA from the University of Miami in Florida.
Dr. Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Director
Mr. Kallen, who holds a PhD in Economics, joined McKinsey & Co in 1988 and became a partner in 1993. In 1996, he joined family-owned company Hubert Burda Media, initially as managing director for corporate finance, administration, personnel and managing director of Burda’s international publishing holdings. In 1999, Dr. Kallen was appointed Member of the Executive Board for Technology (Print, Internet, IT) in addition to his existing management duties. For the following years, of particular importance was the expansion of Burda’s Magazine Publishing, and the development of Burda Digital, which currently comprises approximately 50 internet companies.On January 1st, 2010, owner and long-time CEO Prof. Dr. Hubert Burda appointed Dr. Kallen Chief Executive Officer of Hubert Burda Media. The Group is active in international publishing, digital media, printing, as well as direct marketing and generates annual sales of approximately US $3 billion.
David Saltzman, Director
David Saltzman is Executive Director of the Robin Hood Foundation, and was one of its five founding board members in 1988. The Robin Hood Foundation, an all-volunteer organization started with $52,000 in assets, has grown into an institution that has raised and distributed more than $1.2 billion to fight poverty in New York City. He has also received an honorary doctorate and the John Hope award for distinguished alumni from Brown University, as well as the Global Leadership Award from Columbia University. Saltzman earned a Masters of Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.
Heidi Roizen, Observing Director
Heidi Roizen began her career in 1983 as co-founder and CEO of T/Maker Company, an early personal computer software company.  After T/Maker’s acquisition by Deluxe Corporation, Heidi became Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations for Apple Computer.  In 1999, she became a venture capitalist, first at Mobius Venture Capital and now at DFJ, a leading technology venture capital firm where she serves as the Operating Partner.  Heidi also currently serves on the boards of directors for DMGT (LSE:DMGT), ShareThis and Technorati.  Her prior board experience includes Great Plains Software, the Pacific Exchange, the Software Publishers Association and the National Venture Capital Association, in addition to numerous academic and non-profit boards.  Heidi also teaches the class “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” in the engineering department at Stanford University, and is the lead educator for the newly-formed DFJ Entrepreneurial Leaders Program at Stanford.  She has undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford University.
Fernando Ruarte, Director
In his role as SVP Ad Platform Engineering and CTO, Fernando Ruarte oversees our proprietary ad-serving platform, Adapt. In 2010, Ruarte led the development for the Adapt platform that enables the distribution of ads across the Mode ecosystem of over 6000 publishers. Ruarte also led the technology and delivery of our programmatic marketplace. A seasoned information technology executive, Ruarte has over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Mode, Ruarte was a vice president of engineering at ViaFone, NetObjects, Extended Systems, and SIF. He has served as a member of Mode Media’s board of directors since 2009.
Martin Weiss, Director
Martin Weiss is the CEO of Digital Brands International, the Hubert Burda Media unit focused on global investment opportunities in the consumer internet sector. Weiss is a seasoned veteran in the space and has been a longtime advisor for Hubert Burda Media, having supported a number of digital media initiatives since 1998. Prior to joining Hubert Burda Media in his current role, Weiss held the position of executive vice president of strategy and corporate development at telecommunications and media company, Millicom. Here, he was responsible for expanding and transforming the company’s digital activities in Latin America, the USA, and Africa. He was previously a partner at and founder of the management consulting company, Solon, where his work focused on developing digital growth strategies for international media companies and supporting leading private equity companies in mergers and acquisitions. Weiss is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Harvard University.

 

Board Advisors

Jarl Mohn, Investor
Jarl Mohn, also known as Lee Masters from his radio career, has served as a director since June 2008. Mr. Mohn has also served on the board of directors of Scripps Network Interactive since June 2008. From December 2003 until July 2008, Mr. Mohn served on the board of directors of CNET Networks, Inc., where he also served as non-executive chairman from October 2006 to July 2008. Mr. Mohn also previously served on the boards of directors of XM Satellite Radio, Inc. from May 2004 to July 2008 and the E.W. Scripps Company from 2002 until 2008. Mr. Mohn was the founding President of Liberty Digital Inc., a publicly traded subsidiary of Liberty Media Group involved in interactive television, cable television networks and Internet enterprises, and served as its Chief Executive Officer from June 1999 to March 2002. Prior to founding Liberty Digital, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of E! Entertainment Television. From 1986 to 1989, Mr. Mohn was Executive Vice President and General Manager of MTV and VH1. His professional career also includes twenty years in radio.
Tim Draper, Founding Partner, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Timothy C. Draper served as a member of our board of directors from January 2005 through December 2014 and is now a Board Advisor. Tim is a founding partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a venture capital firm partnering with visionaries for more than 25 years. Mr. Draper serves on the boards of directors of several private companies that are portfolio companies of DFJ.
Jim Breyer, Managing Partner, Accel Partners
Jim Breyer was the first founding advisor of Mode Media, and has maintains a critical role in the strategy and success of Mode. Jim has been an investor in over thirty consumer internet, media, and technology companies that have completed public offerings or successful mergers. Many of these investments returned over 20 times their cost to investors. In April 2011, Forbes published its Midas List of top technology investors and ranked Jim Breyer #1. In August 2010, Fortune Magazine named Breyer the #1 smartest investor in technology, and one of the 10 smartest people in all of technology. Mr. Breyer is currently on the Board of Directors at News Corporation (NWS) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (WMT), where he is the Lead/Presiding Independent Director, and serves on the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, and the Technology Operations Committee. Jim serves on the board of Dell Inc (DELL), where he is the Chair of the Finance Committee, and where he serves on the Incubation Advisory Board, the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. Jim also served on the Board of Marvel Entertainment (MVL) up until their acquisition by Disney (DIS), and he was founding Chairman of Marvel’s Strategic Planning Committee. Jim is currently the lead/co-lead investor/Director in several privately-held companies such as Brightcove (since 2005), Etsy (since 2007), Facebook (since April 2005) where he is the founding Chairman of the Compensation Committee, and Legendary Pictures. He is also an investor/project manager in international internet media companies such as RenRen (China), Vostu (Brazil) and several others. Jim is on the Strategic Investment Committee/Board of Accel-KKR and IDG-Accel China Fund, and is a founding Insight Partner of Technology Crossover Investors (TCV). Earlier, Jim worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York, and in product marketing and management at Apple, Inc. and Hewlett Packard.
Phil Schlein, Venture Partner, U.S. Venture Partners, former President and CEO of Macy’s California
Phil Schlein joined USVP in 1985 after a successful 28-year career as an operating executive in the retailing industry. For 11 years prior to joining USVP, Phil was President and CEO of Macy’s California. Under his leadership, Macy’s California sales grew from just under $200 million to almost $1.2 billion; profits grew from $17 million to $108 million. Phil began his retail career with R.H. Macy, Inc. from 1957 till 1984 and served on the Board of Directors of Apple Computer for eight years from 1979 to 1987. Since joining USVP, Phil has originated a number of investments in the consumer/retail sector including PETsMart, Fresh Choice and The House of Blues. In recent years, Phil has been active in the consumer products areas and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Kids Park, Sound ID, Specialty’s Bakery & Cafe, Tea Collections and other privately-held companies.
Josh Stein, Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Josh Stein is a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, where his current board responsibilities include Box.net, Eventful, Fynanz, GoodGuide, Polaris Wireless, Redfin, SugarCRM, and ViVOTech. He is also actively involved with the firm’s investments in Mode Media, Opscode, and Tremor Media. His previous investments include iList (acquired by IGN/News Corp) and Yardbarker (acquired by Fox Sports Interactive).Prior to joining DFJ, Josh was a Vice President at Telephia, where he managed a group providing strategic analysis and information to the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Previously, Josh was a co-founder, Director and the Chief Strategy Officer for ViaFone (NYSE:SY), a DFJ portfolio company and a leading provider of wireless enterprise applications. Josh has previously held positions in product management at Microsoft and NetObjects, and was a management consultant in the San Francisco office of The Boston Consulting Group.
Carl Portale, VP and Publishing Director
Portale was publisher at the Elle Group, Harper’s Bazaar, Mirabella, Good Housekeeping, Neiman Marcus magazine, and Town & Country.