We are thrilled to officially announce that Stuart Simms has been named President of Rakuten Marketing, effective immediately. In this executive role, Simms will hold responsibility for all day-to-day operations, reporting to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tony Zito.
Stuart is a 26-year executive leader with proven expertise structuring, building and leading high-growth companies in the digital commerce, SaaS, and cloud-services domains. Simms joined the Rakuten Group as CEO of Rakuten Fits Me, a data and personalisation company serving Fortune 1000 brands and retailers. Under Simms leadership, Rakuten Fits Me significantly expanded its client portfolio and accelerated product innovation by transitioning to a software-as-a-service organisational structure. Simms also led the company to record growth and expanded its global market position to include entry into Asia in 2015 and the U.S. in 2017. As President of Rakuten Marketing, Simms will remain as Board Member of Rakuten Fits Me.
“We are extremely pleased to name Stuart as President of Rakuten Marketing,” commented Rakuten Marketing CEO Tony Zito. “He has an impressive history of strategic and operational accomplishments, and is a respected leader recognised for building and motivating teams who drive exceptional market success. Since his arrival to Rakuten Marketing by way of Fits Me, Stuart has demonstrated his ability to lead strategically focused teams that execute for long-term growth. I am excited for the vision and direction he brings in this critical role at a very important time in Rakuten Marketing’s evolution.”
Simms has held numerous executive leadership positions at major multi-national organisations. Prior to Rakuten Fits Me, he served as GM for Venda (sold to Netsuite) and Rackspace, where he ran the highly acclaimed European Cloud Services business. Previous senior leadership roles included responsibility for Microsoft’s Mobile Communications business across the Middle East and Africa. Through all positions he has been an early pioneer in new tech waves, including mobile, cloud, artificial intelligence, and data science; and a consummate leader and driver of organisational health and growth. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science (Honours) from the University of Liverpool.
“Rakuten Marketing has global scale, leading-edge technology, and highly talented people. Our industry is at an inflection point where unique data and artificial intelligence will have significant influence on the consumer experience, and I am excited to lead and continue growing an organisation that has always been at the forefront of the digital marketing arena,” added Simms. “I have complete confidence this team will continue to dominate the market by engaging consumer audiences with highly relevant and valuable advertising – all in close and strategic partnership with media companies and our publishers to drive growth for our global client base.”