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Rocket Fuel Boosts Analytic Muscle with former Havas Digital Chief of Global Insights, plus Stanford Professor of Artificial Intelligence

Press Release

Company accelerates investment in analytics and automation to enhance advertising results

Redwood Shores, CA (June 23, 2010) – Rocket Fuel Inc., the company bringing rocket science to online display advertising, today announced today announced the addition of Jarvis Mak, who joins Rocket Fuel as vice president of analytics, and Stanford computer science professor Yoav Shoham, who joins the company’s advisory board. The addition of Mak and Shoham come at a strategic point in the company’s trajectory as one of the top providers of turnkey media and campaign management for major agencies and brand advertisers.

“Jarvis and Yoav share our vision of employing advanced technology in the service of advertising to make it more measurable, accountable and relevant, and we are delighted to have them on board,” said George John, chief executive officer of Rocket Fuel Inc. “Their expertise is crucial in helping us advance our platform and continue to develop the analytic-based automation that we will need to be successful as more and more name-brand advertisers and agencies come join the fold. Major brand advertisers will only move more marketing spend online if the web can deliver on the promise of advanced advertising capabilities and dramatically improved results. We welcome Jarvis and Yoav to Rocket Fuel to help us build towards this bright future.”

Yoav Shoham will advise the development team on state-of-the-art automated bidding and trading techniques and their utilization in commercial applications. Dr. Shoham is not just a leader of modern artificial intelligence and game theory, but uniquely experienced in leveraging academic work for real world applications. His knowledge will accelerate the development of the high-speed prediction and decision engine that is at the core of Rocket Fuel’s technology. Jarvis Mak will play a strategic role at Rocket Fuel, with responsibility for helping clients better understand the qualities and relevance of the audiences being reached. He will also play a crucial role in identifying key drivers of success for the advertisers Rocket Fuel works with, and folding these results back into Rocket Fuel’s platform. 

"My role at Rocket Fuel builds on my previous efforts at Havas, Yahoo, and Nielsen,” said Mak. “I’m now driving both the practice and automation that lets us analyze the results of advertisers’ campaigns and spot the connections that make us smarter – whether we are working with brand or direct response advertisers and their metrics.  Rocket Fuel's analytical technology allows me to do this more effectively than I've ever been able to before, and it's a fun job where most of the time I'm working to explain why clients’ campaigns worked so well on Rocket Fuel!"

Previously, Mak was with Havas Digital as a senior vice president and global director of research & insight, responsible for working with clients worldwide to help guide communication strategy through an insights-driven approach. Mak originally joined Havas Digital as head of research for Media Contacts in the US. Before joining Media Contacts, he was with DS-IQ, a marketing services firm in retail digital media, translating in-store campaign results into recommended targeting and optimization strategies. Prior to DS-IQ, Mak was at Yahoo! where he provided insights and solutions to key retail and travel clients. Mak also served as a director of analytics for Nielsen//NetRatings, where he spearheaded the MegaPanel research effort and managed the custom research team. Jarvis received his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley.

Yoav Shoham has served as the Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and is the recipient of multiple academic honors. Shoham is an authority on computer science and game theory – both from the academic and commercial perspectives. In connection with the latter, he has consulted widely on electronic commerce and has founded several successful e-commerce software companies – the best-known of which is Trading Dynamics (ARBA), which was sold for $400 million to Ariba.

About Rocket Fuel Inc.
Rocket Fuel Inc. is the company bringing rocket science to online display advertising. The company provides turnkey media and campaign management to deliver better results faster for major agencies and brand advertisers. Unlike self-serve platforms that burden media teams with learning new tools and executing complex campaigns manually, Rocket Fuel makes it easier – not harder – for advertisers to efficiently find and buy their target audiences. And unlike ad networks whose value-add is in a cobbled collection of sites or audiences, Rocket Fuel's data-driven advertising technology builds a custom campaign-specific audience model and automatically tunes campaigns to an advertiser's key metrics – whether their objectives are brand-oriented or performance driven. If you can measure it, Rocket Fuel can optimize it. The Silicon Valley-based company was founded by veterans from Yahoo!, DoubleClick, Epiphany and salesforce.com. Rocket Fuel was recently named Best Startup of 2010 by the San Francisco Business Times.


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Jarvis Mak, vice president of analytics