Rakuten Marketing has announced that Tony Zito will be made CEO following a three-year stint at the group. 

Zito joined the company as chief revenue officer in the aftermath of Rakuten Marketing’s purchase of mediaForge - a display ad business headed up by Zito until its buyout in 2012. 

He’s since formed part of a team which saw a 67% lift in growth over the last two years and the addition of almost 250 new personnel in 2014. 

As CEO, his new role will involve the overseeing of Rakuten’s marketing division in America, Europe and Australia through the company’s operations in eight different cities.

Zito spoke exclusively to PerformanceIN last year about how businesses should be striving to learn more about their customers and data in order to create better omni-channel experiences.

Chief in charge

Much has changed at Rakuten Marketing since Zito entered the company through his role as CEO at mediaForge. 

The company moved forward by adding more items to its product arsenal – striking deals for attribution firm DC Storm and product data-feed aggregator PopShops. Parent company Rakuten also made headlines in the publisher world last year through the $1 billion purchase of US cashback site Ebates. 

Zito will be in charge of helping his firm build off a strong year for its search, mobile, lead generation, attribution and display services, which also saw the creation of dedicated teams for its core products.

“I’m excited for the opportunity that lies ahead for Rakuten Marketing,” commented Zito.

“We’re extremely passionate about our vision of re-inventing omni-channel marketing to create what we’ve coined the omni-experience – a marketing solution and offering that puts the consumer at the centre.

“Having already delivered on the groundwork of this vision by integrating our channels, technology and teams, I sincerely believe that what we’re doing can change an industry, and I’m excited to be on the team that does it.”

High praise

Zito’s colleagues have already come out to praise his appointment as Rakuten Marketing CEO, while dropping hints regarding what he’ll bring to the position.   
“Tony’s entrepreneurial spirit and bold vision have been instrumental to Rakuten Marketing’s ascent as a rising star within Rakuten’s global organisation,” commented Yaz Iida, president of Rakuten in the US. 

“His new role is a testament to our confidence in his ability to build this business and lead the global market in consumer-centric omni-channel marketing.”

Rakuten Marketing also expanded its advertiser base in 2014, adding 1,000 new clients for service offerings such as Rakuten Affiliate Network, Rakuten Attribution, Rakuten Display and Rakuten Search.