David Williams is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merkle Inc. He acquired Merkle in 1988 and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 2,900 employees in locations in the United States, China and United Kingdom, and is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) agency.
Under David’s leadership, Merkle has sustained 25% annual growth over the last 20 years and was recognized as a market leader by Forrester Research in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In 2014, Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 22nd largest agency of any discipline worldwide and the 7th largest CRM/Direct agency in the U.S. Also in 2012, Merkle was named to the “Ten Agencies to Watch” list in Advertising Age’s A-List Issue. David was recognized by Winning Workplaces and Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Best Bosses of 2006, and was the 2007 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
David is the author of the book, Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy, which was published in 2014 by Wiley Publishing. In the book, he shares his knowledge and experience, with the intent of helping world-class brands build stronger, more profitable relationships with their customers.
David currently serves on the board of directors for the Ad Council. He served for 6 years (2006-2011) on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association where he also sat on its Executive Committee. He also served for 3 years (2010-2013) as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Howard County General Hospital: A Member of John Hopkins Medicine. David is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written numerous articles and white papers about topics such as Customer Relationship Marketing, Database Marketing and Analytics, Digital Media and Marketing Technology.
He began his career at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment bank, and holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
Tim leads and manages Merkle’s business in Europe, integrating the company's various entities across the globe, including North America and Asia. In addition to the acculturation of Merkle's European staff of more than 400, he is focused on growing the company's business in Europe.
Tim brings more than 20 years of experience in database marketing and customer relationship management. Tim has worked to build and implement database marketing programs and strategies in a wide variety of industries for leading companies such as American Express, Continental Airlines, DirecTV, GEICO, and Hyatt Hotels, to name a few.
Prior to joining Merkle, Tim worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories as a consultant from 1990 to 1995. He was formerly with direct marketing agency Rapp Collins Worldwide where he built and led the analytical group. Tim joined Merkle in 1997 to build its analytical group, and joined with Patrick Hennessey to build and grow the Data Solutions Group which combined analytics and data to create a disruptive offering in the marketplace. Under the leadership of Tim and Patrick, Data Solutions grew to over $30M in revenue and employed over 150 statisticians.
In 2007, Tim and Patrick expanded their responsibilities and took over leadership of Merkle’s Client Management Group. In 2009, he was named to lead Merkle as Co-President, together with Patrick, working with Merkle chief executive officer David Williams to set Merkle’s vision and customer relationship marketing approach.
Tim holds a Master’s degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota.
Libby Barden oversees Merkle’s corporate human resources function, value proposition, and capabilities, which span recruiting and on-boarding new staff; employee development and engagement; reward and recognition programs; performance management; and compensation and benefits.
Libby is a recognized industry leader with a solid background in building teams that perform effectively within rapidly changing organizations. She joined Merkle in 2014 from Accenture, one of the world’s leading consulting companies, where she spent more than 20 years in a variety of senior level positions. Most recently, as the North America Area HR managing director, Libby was responsible for partnering with the executive leadership team to provide strategic direction and drive the people agenda/talent plan for the business, ensuring that the HR strategy properly reflected the business strategy. Prior to this role, Barden was the global management consulting HR managing director where she helped create a unique culture and value proposition within Accenture to drive growth in direct competition with other strategic management consulting organizations.
She holds a BA in mass communications and journalism from University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Colorado Leeds Business School.
George is Merkle’s CMO and is also responsible for global development. He has 30+ years' experience in building and leading high performing networks and teams globally. He has worked across all media including seven years leading the global advertising, digital and marketing services of Intel.
George joined Merkle in July 2014 from RKG where he was CEO, following Merkle’s acquisition. Prior to RKG, George spent 27 years at Havas/Euro RSCG. He was the Global Chairman and before that Global CEO of Havas Digital, a network he formed and led since 1997. Under George’s leadership Adweek, ranked Euro RSCG 4D, now Havas Digital, as the largest digital network globally for five years in a row.
From 2005 through 2008 George was Havas’ Regional CEO for Asia Pacific, India and the Middle East with responsibility for 28 offices and more than 1,800 staff. He was based in Shanghai.
George has worked in most categories and has deep tech and B-to-B experience. He's led and worked on Intel and IBM globally, as well as Dell across Asia Pacific. George also has experience in B2C, having worked on Hershey’s, Volvo, Jaguar, National Australia Bank, Novartis, JetBlue, Hyatt, Sheraton and 1-800-Flowers.
George is an accomplished industry speaker, thought leader and innovator. He keynoted on 'Digital – Data – Integration' at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 2001 and spoke there again in 2010. He was the Jury President of the Cannes CyberLion Jury in 2002.
Sean Creamer leads Merkle’s global finance group providing strategic and financial insight to the business, and helping prioritize opportunities that drive value creation. He oversees all of Merkle’s financial and accounting matters, including: forecasting, budgeting, financial planning and analysis, as well as the company's treasury, tax and risk management functions. With deep expertise in all facets of financial operations, Sean brings a balanced ability to develop and execute strategies that drive growth and competitive advantage on a multi-national level. He has extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions and with maintaining high performance while leading teams through transformative change.
Before joining Merkle, Sean had extensive experience working with public companies in a variety of industries. Recently, he served as CFO for The Madison Square Garden Company. During his tenure he co-managed the tax-free separation of the company’s network business from its sports and entertainment businesses. Prior to that, Sean spent nine years with Arbitron Inc., a media and marketing information services firm, where he was charged with overseeing all operational and financial activities for the company’s core businesses: ratings, qualitative, and software. He was also responsible for the execution of the company's global cross-platform, digital, and mobile growth strategies. He served as chief financial officer, then, chief operations officer, and ultimately chief executive officer of Arbitron, where he led the strategy team and negotiated the favorable terms of Arbitron’s acquisition by the Nielsen Company.
Before joining Arbitron, Sean served as SVP and CFO of Laureate Education, Inc. where he was responsible for financial planning and analysis, accounting, budgeting, investor relations, real estate, risk management, tax, and treasury functions. In addition, he has held a number of financial positions with increasing responsibility at Mobil Corporation (now Exxon Mobil Corporation) and Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).
A certified public accountant, Sean received a BS in Accounting from St. Joseph’s University and an MS in Taxation from Georgetown University.
As Chief Strategy Officer, John has responsibility for product strategy and technical development of Merkle's digital data, media, and technology solutions. This includes the development of MerkleONE, our cross-device, people-based platform and ID graph.
As part of this, John and his team manage the development of joint IP with our media, data, and technology strategic partners such as Adobe, Oracle, Google, Facebook, AT&T, News Corp and many others. These partnerships combine the power of MerkleONE with 3rd party publisher and technology platforms to enable the delivery of people-based targeting, personalization, and measurement.
Additionally, John and his team provide marketing strategy and solution architecture advisory to the CMOs and senior executives at our largest, most significant clients including MetLife, GEICO, DIRECTV, Dell, Disney, and Samsung.
John has more than 20 years of experience in management consulting, digital media, and CRM. He is a member of Merkle's executive committee and, since joining in 2008, he held several leadership roles, including management of Merkle’s businesses in Healthcare, Life Sciences, Wealth Management, Travel, Media, and Entertainment.
Prior to Merkle, John held management roles in marketing, distribution, and technology in Liberty Mutual’s Personal Markets division. He was previously a member of CapGemini Ernst & Young's CRM Strategy practice. John began his agency career in account management and strategic planning with Young and Rubicam, Rapp Collins, and iXL/Razorfish.
John is a frequent conference speaker and contributor to industry publications including AdExchanger, MediaPost, Digiday, DM News, and Ad Age. He is also co-author of the recently published book on key trends in digital marketing, “The Rise of the Platform Marketer.”
John is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and lives in Wellesley, MA.
Craig has been a member of the Merkle executive team for nearly a decade. In his current role as Executive Vice President, he leads Merkle’s Digital Agency Group, a business unit comprised of 750 employees who deliver integrated performance media agency services across search, display, social, mobile, email, web development, user experience, and creative services.
In addition to his Digital Agency Group leadership duties, Craig has led Merkle’s corporate development for the past four years. During this time Craig has steered the company’s acquisitions of IMPAQT, a market leading search agency; Social Amp, a Facebook preferred developer that enables the use of open graph data in customer communications; Fifth Finger, a mobile first experience shop; New Control, a digital and direct agency; and RKG, a performance digital media agency.
From 2010-2014, Craig held Merkle’s chief marketing officer position, driving corporate strategy for the business and spearheading the ground-up development of the agency’s marketing communication, PR, and events organizations. As CMO, he led the evolution and rebranding of Merkle from a database marketing company to a digitally enabled customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency, driven by data, analytics, and technology – a concept now known as Connected CRM®.
Previously, Craig was corporate vice president of Merkle’s Content Solutions Group, an organization that combined data and analytics to drive direct marketing acquisition services for Merkle’s clients across industries.
Prior to joining Merkle in 2006, Craig had a long career at Metromail, and then Experian (which acquired Metromail in the late 1990s). Among his positions there were vice president of data licensing, director of market development, director of interactive marketing, and various sales management positions. Craig joined Merkle in 2006, after serving as senior vice president of sales and account management for Experian Marketing Services.
In 2015, Craig and John Lee, Merkle’s Chief Strategy Officer, will co-author a book titled “The Rise of the Platform Marketer," which explores the competencies that marketers need in order to win in a world of digital addressability at scale.
Craig is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of CRM and digital media and has been published in numerous publications, including Advertising Age, AdExchanger, DM News, and Ad Week. He provides expert guest commentary on trends in the digital advertising space for various print, online, and television news outlets, most recently appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box in 2016. Craig holds a political science degree from Hofstra University.
Zhengda "Z" Shen oversees Merkle's analytics and data businesses, core pillars of Merkle's connected CRM capabilities and value proposition. Z provides oversight for delivery of quantitative marketing solutions to Merkle clients and is responsible for developing the operating group's future direction and growth strategy.
Z also serves as the President of Merkle's Asia Pacific business overseeing Merkle's global delivery centers in China as well as the development of businesses in the APAC region.
Z joined Merkle in 2000 and has served the company in a variety of leadership positions. Prior to his current role, Z held the position of EVP, Chief Operating Officer overseeing technology and operations. Earlier, he held leadership positions as SVP of Quantitative Solutions Group and Client Group Leader for Merkle's financial services and insurance vertical markets.
Zhengda holds a Master's degree in Applied Statistics from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administrative degree from The Johns Hopkins University.
Will Bordelon is an experienced global executive with over 18 years in professional services leadership roles across digital media, marketing technology, CRM, and management consulting. Over the years, Will has become a strategic advisor to executives at leading brands including Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, PNC Bank, Regions Financial, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
As executive vice president, general manager, Will oversees the banking, finance, payments, wealth management, and nonprofit industries for Merkle, representing about a quarter of Merkle’s revenues annually. Will is a member of Merkle’s executive committee and leads the New York office.
Prior to joining Merkle, Will held various leadership roles with Acxiom Corporation, including six years overseas in China, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. Will led Acxiom’s Asia Pacific growth strategy and worked with global brands to advance customer-driven business strategies in the region.
Will holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Louisiana State University and lives in New York City.
Matt leads Merkle’s Enterprise Technology Group and has 20 years of IT experience with 16 years focused on marketing technologies. Merkle’s Enterprise Technology Group is focused on marketing technology innovations that enable Merkle’s clients to achieve Connected CRM. These innovations are focused around Connected Recognition, cross-channel event management, real-time interaction management, and delivering personalized optimized consumer experiences.
He has helped clients evolve and improve their marketing efforts around multi-channel customer relationship management, and he has specific experience from traditional data warehousing to big data management and from analysis to channel execution. These efforts have included the integration of traditional channels to digital channels and media in order to support acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
Prior to joining Merkle, Matt was a senior executive with other leading marketing service providers. In those roles, he managed client marketing solutions, enterprise decision management, and marketing consulting practices. For one of those marketing service providers, Matt established and led the European consulting practice that provided strategic marketing advisory services covering marketing strategy, advanced analytics, and marketing technology. He has provided these services across multiple industries: financial services, retail, telecommunications, travel, and entertainment.
Matt was a member of the United States Air Force.
Neil is responsible for the technology aspects of Merkle’s services business, with particular focus on marketing technology services, as well as the overall operations of the company as it continues to grow both organically and through acquisition. Neil is charged with overseeing the expansion of Merkle's offerings and capabilities to drive greater standardization and quality in the delivery of services spanning strategy, implementation, and managed services. His team will ensure the evolution of Merkle’s global delivery operations and network in conjunction with its expanding global footprint.
Neil joined Merkle with a deep background in technology delivery and operations. His most recent role was with Unisys, serving as the Senior Vice President of Services and a corporate officer, where he led the transformation of the Unisys services business and played a major role in transforming the overall operations of the company. He was responsible for transforming the services business, which included developing the 5-year business strategy and plans, standardizing offerings, and implementing a full lifecycle set of services (advisory, implementation and managed services) across all lines. His efforts helped transition the company from a set of country-based businesses to global lines of service managed and operated at the region and country level. By implementing standardized and repeatable delivery models, Unisys was able to dramatically reduce cost and improve profitability.
Prior to Unisys, he spent twenty eight years at Accenture, where his last two roles were serving as a Global Client Account Lead for the company's largest consumer packaged goods client, and as the Managing Director of the North America Technology business. In the latter role, he led the development of Accenture's integrated technology services offerings, implemented a new growth-oriented operating model, and oversaw 22,000 employees domestically and 35,000 in global centers supporting the sales and delivery of over $8 Billion of annual revenue spanning all aspects of IT services.
Neil holds a BA in economics and finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Hap Brakeley is responsible for leading Merkle’s business development efforts across all vertical markets and overseeing the delivery of services and solutions to new customers.
A seasoned marketing executive with more than 30 years of industry experience, Hap has led business, technology, and market-driven organizational change projects for Fortune 1000 clients across a broad spectrum of industries.
Brakeley joined Merkle from Accenture where he spent more than 30 years in a variety of senior-level positions. Most recently, as the managing director of sales for North America, he was responsible for directing the North American sales team to bring innovative business solutions to Accenture’s clients and accelerating the growth of transformation sales throughout the firm. With his extensive outsourcing and new business start-up skills, Hap was responsible for developing Accenture’s capabilities, from setting strategic direction to delivering a full suite of services to a number of customers on a global scale.
Hap holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Dartmouth College. He currently directs several major scholarship funds for top female engineering students and sits on several boards.
Beverly is a seasoned attorney with more than 23 years of professional services experience across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including corporate transactions, governance, litigation, compliance and human resources. As SVP, General Counsel for Merkle, Beverly leads the legal department that serves as trusted advisors to Merkle, helping the company’s leaders to balance the needs of a growing organization with sound legal and business judgment.
She joined Merkle from Quintiles, where she spent over 15 years in a variety of senior positions, including global human resource operations, deputy general counsel and general counsel. Prior to Quintiles, Beverly was a commercial litigation attorney, handling complex disputes in state and federal court.
Beverly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia, where she majored in History and English. She obtained her law degree from the University of North Carolina, where she graduated Order of the Coif and was a member of the Law Review Board.