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Skimlinks Founder and CEO Alicia Navarro Steps Away from Helm

Skimlinks Founder and CEO Alicia Navarro Steps Away from Helm

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Sebastien Blanc receives the torch as former chief executive and founder Alicia Navarro steps away from leadership after a decade at the helm.

The founder and CEO of content-to-commerce monetisation platform Skimlinks, Alicia Navarro, is stepping away from the leadership role to be replaced by chief revenue officer Sebastien Blanc, a former director at Quantcast.  

Chief product officer and co-founder, Joe Stepniewski, will also step down.

Having held the position for over a decade since founding the UK affiliate marketing business in 2006, Navarro told Business Insider that the decision to step down came having made the decision it was "better to grow the business than try and force an exit." 

Citing the need for a “different type of leadership”, Navarro has appointed Blanc to the role; a 15-year media and advertising industry veteran, investor, advisor and senior executive. Navarro will remain with the company as president, where she’ll continue to advocate the brand and find a potential buyer down the line.

Since joining from a director posting at US audience measurement and real-time advertising specialist Quantcast, Blanc has worked alongside Navarro for the last two years as CRO, where he was “instrumental in driving acceleration, growth and efficiency” for Skimlinks.

“Over the last two years, as CRO of Skimlinks, I have enjoyed working with Alicia and seeing her lead with a level of passion and dedication that only a founder can truly bring,” said Blanc.

“She built a great business and a great team. I am looking forward to building upon what already makes us special, and finding new ways to deliver value for our customers and opportunities for growth to our people.”

Consumer data reservoirs

Navarro’s departure from leadership is no reflection of the company’s ongoing health, which remains a leader in content monetisation through data-led affiliate marketing strategies.

The platform, which is currently in use on 4.5 million websites globally by companies including BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Condé Nast, The Wirecutter, and HuffPost, allows publishers to automate the affiliation of commerce-related content while syndicating the resulting shopping-intent data to marketers and merchants, helping them reach consumers interested in their products or brands.

This ‘data-as-a-service’ product - Audiences by Skimlinks - is the largest source of shopping-intent data available to marketers for use in the platform of their choice, with the company claiming to have shopping predictions available on 600 million of its 1.1 billion anonymously monitored customer profiles when it launched the offering in May last year.

“Since we led their Series C, Skimlinks has solidified its position as a lucrative partner to many of the world’s best-known digital publishers, becoming the undisputed leader in the category they created for commerce-related content monetisation,” commented Joe Krancki, a partner at investor Frog Capital.

“We’re thrilled to have Seb carry Alicia’s vision forward as the new CEO of Skimlinks and continue transforming the way publishers earn revenue from their content.”

With a product built largely around access to consumer data, however, Skimlinks now faces the challenge posed by new data privacy laws arriving next month across Europe.

Update: A previous version of this article stated Navarro had attempted to sell the business prior to stepping down. This was based on a misquote by Business Insider; PerformanceIN has been told this is not in fact the case. 

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Mark  Jones

Mark Jones

Mark manages all aspects of editorial on PerformanceIN as the company's Head of Content, including reporting on the fast-paced world of digital marketing and curating the site’s network of expert industry contributions.

Going by the ethos that there is no 'jack-of-all-trades' in performance marketing, only experts within their field, Mark’s day-to-day aim is to provide an engaging platform for members to learn and question one another, helping to push the industry forward as a result.

Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism- before making his return to the West Country to join the PI team in Bristol.

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