LivePerson, a global leader in cloud mobile and business messaging, announced major customer wins and new executive hires, alongside record demand in the fourth quarter, which includes the largest contract in the company’s history, worth more than $20 million over its lifetime.
In recent months, LivePerson has seen a significant shift of brands messaging with customers, using live or virtual assistants, into the mainstream. Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, signed a large contract for messaging and AI, as did the world’s largest international TV and broadband provider and one of the world’s largest banks. One hundred and one deals in all were signed in the fourth quarter, as major brands position themselves for the messaging era, which will soon be baked into both major mobile operating systems.
At the same time, LivePerson is attracting world-class talent, who see that the business world is making an enormous shift away from the 800 number and toward messaging on mobile devices. Alex Spinelli, who led Alexa OS for Amazon.com, will join as global CTO of LivePerson, as the company globalizes R&D and scales its service around the world.
Chris Greiner joins as CFO from cloud-based data analytics provider Inovalon, a large public company, where he transformed financial management and generated significant cash flows. Prior to Inovalon, he held senior positions as CFO/COO of the multibillion-dollar analytics group at IBM and at Computer Sciences Corporation, where he oversaw the financial management of a majority of revenue. From our acquisition of the BotCentral team, Eswar Priyadarshan joins as head of conversational design and brings strong technology expertise, having worked directly with Steve Jobs at Apple to launch its iAd offering and at Adobe to launch the in-browser PDF.
“We’re now seeing a rare but real paradigm shift at some of the world’s largest banks, telcos, and travel companies, to a new way of connecting with consumers,” says Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson. “Having deployed mobile messaging for many large brands, we’ve seen how it transforms customer care, and at twice the efficiency of traditional 800-number calls. But more importantly, we’re also seeing sales and marketing executives at multiple iconic consumer brands, up to CMO level, moving their efforts away from websites and toward messaging.”
Continues LoCascio, “The importance of this shift is exemplified in our hire of Alex Spinelli as global CTO. While running the development teams behind Alexa OS, he led one of the most significant and impactful technology initiatives in the world. At LivePerson, he will run our global engineering and product teams to scale messaging for our over 18,000 brands, and reduce expensive, consumer-hostile voice calls to contact centers.”
Says Alex Spinelli, “At LivePerson, I see a tremendously exciting opportunity to build something that will transform how consumers worldwide connect with the brands they use every day – whether it’s their bank, cable provider, phone company or airline. I’m looking forward to further developing LivePerson’s market-leading platform to support billions of messaging interactions and making life easier for consumers all over the world.”
In his role at Amazon, Spinelli was the global head of Alexa OS and focused on the core software systems and capabilities that underpin Alexa, the pioneering voice-assistant system, whose Echo devices sold tens of millions of units in 2017. He managed a distributed team, building systems used at massive global scale and the infrastructure layer to support it.
Before leading Alexa OS, Spinelli ran Search Experience at Amazon, the product discovery experience that powers search and browsing across billions of products. This included pioneering implementations of search query understanding to offer the right content based on customer shopping missions.
During his time at Amazon, and throughout his career, Spinelli has also done extensive, world-class work building agile approaches to infrastructure, which will be a key initiative at LivePerson, as it scales up to become the engine that underpins brand-to-consumer messaging around the world.
Before Amazon, Spinelli was CTO — responsible for global technology solutions — at McCann Worldgroup, which is one of the world’s largest marketing organizations, with 24,000 staff located across more than 100 countries. As CTO for North America and Asia-Pacific at AXA Technologies (a division of AXA), he built large-scale grid computing systems to enable large-scale predictive modeling.
Earlier in his career, Spinelli spent six years at Thomson Reuters running product and technology for news and media, including real-time, AI-driven news curation for financial professionals and ultra-low latency machine-readable news for algorithmic trading. These projects included innovative work to understand key insights and information connections in news to help identify unique trading opportunities, sentiment, and generate synthetic news. He also oversaw global real-time content and editorial systems for the journalists in 187 countries for text, pictures, and video, covering major events like the Olympics to real-time data reporting from the US Fed.