Optimove hires AI expert Tal Kedar from Sears as its new CTO

Optimove screenshot

Online marketing services specialist Optimove has announced that Tal Kedar has been appointed the company’s new Chief Technology Officer. Kedar will play a key role in shaping Optimove’s technology and innovation strategies as the company expands its capabilities to help marketers build a more active and loyal customer base using artificial intelligence.

Tal Kedar Optimove

Tal Kedar, Optimove

Kedar brings deep experience in software development, machine learning, and retail, joining the company after spending seven years as the Director of Emerging Technologies at Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD). Before that, he served as Head of Algorithms at Fraud Sciences, a security company later acquired by Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL), where he oversaw the use of AI for online transaction verification and fraud prevention. While most companies today use AI and machine learning as marketing buzzwords, Kedar’s experience aligns with Optimove’s academic and scientific approach to leveraging these technologies for customer marketing.

At Optimove, Kedar will focus on translating business problems into AI-fueled technology solutions. More specifically, he will be working with Optimove’s leadership to build on their current innovation roadmap and identify areas where brands can further use AI to accelerate their customer retention through data-driven, emotionally intelligent marketing.

This announcement comes during a banner year for Optimove. The company recently announced record growth for 2016, including raising their first funding round of $20 million in private equity, expansion into EMEA and a 70% increase in its client base, which boasts names like 1-800-Flowers, Stitch Fix and AdoreMe. In the Forex sector, Optimove clients have included AxiTrader, Oanda and AvaTrade.

Optimove also just completed their first year in New York City, the company’s U.S. headquarters.

“It’s exciting to join Optimove at a time of such rapid growth and innovation. The company’s momentum is a testament to its leadership as well as its philosophy around AI — an approach rooted in science and academia, always with an eye on how to make insights immediately actionable,” said Kedar who also holds a Master’s in Computational Linguistics.

“In today’s competitive market, improving retention should be a marketer’s number one success metric. We focus on making it easier to achieve that with a scientific approach,” said Pini Yakuel, founder and chief executive officer of Optimove. “Tal’s extensive background designing AI software and creating technology for one of the country’s largest retail brands is invaluable as we work to stay ahead of our clients’ needs, and enable them to go back to what they love — the art and creativity of marketing.”

Optimove’s unique predictive customer modeling, real-time hyper-targeting, and multi-channel campaign automation technologies help brands maximize customer spend, engagement, retention and lifetime value. The company has offices in New York, London and Tel Aviv.

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