SAN MATEO, Calif.--(FreeMonee Network, the world’s first and only gift incentive network, today announced that longtime Google Industry Director, Russ Laraway has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Merchant Sales. The addition of Russ to FreeMonee’s team of industry veterans is another step forward in the company’s growth and leadership of the gift incentive space for merchants.)--
“Russ was a major player at Google and really helped shape their success. He is a great addition to our seasoned management team”
In his new role, Russ will draw upon his nearly 20 years of sales, marketing, operations and entrepreneurial experience to grow and lead the merchant sales organization. His efforts will be focused on expanding the base of national and regional merchants currently participating in the FreeMonee Gift Network across 30 retail categories.
FreeMonee, which functions like a virtual gift card on an individual’s debit or credit card, allows consumers to purchase anything they want with the designated merchant, no strings attached. The company has experienced extraordinary growth since first launching to consumers in November 2011 and has already rolled out programs with four of the top eight card issuers in the U.S. Russ’ appointment and experience are instrumental to maintaining and building upon this momentum.
Throughout Russ’ seven years at Google, he led the company’s software and enterprise service advertising business in North America. He also launched and led the international sales and service operations for the AdSense product and subsequently helped to integrate Google’s $3.2B acquisition of DoubleClick. Russ joined Google from Pathfinders, a supply chain consulting company he co-founded, focused on helping mid-sized manufacturing companies become more efficient. Russ was one of just 20 people, out of 32,000, selected for the prestigious ‘Google Great Manager Award’ in 2011. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
“FreeMonee is shaping the future of direct response marketing, and I am excited to be joining the company at such an important time for the industry,” explained newly appointed Russ Laraway. “The superior technology and massive reach of FreeMonee Network delivers profitable, incremental sales for merchants at scale. The momentum that FreeMonee Network has quickly achieved by delivering its gift incentives reminds me of the early days of search advertising. Opportunities like this don’t come along often, so I feel lucky to join.”
“Russ was a major player at Google and really helped shape their success. He is a great addition to our seasoned management team,” said Gadi Maier, CEO and President of FreeMonee. “I am confident that he will help us extend our lead in the rapidly expanding gift incentive space.”
About FreeMonee Network
FreeMonee (www.freemonee.com) is the world’s first and only gift incentive network – connecting millions of credit and debit cardholders from the world’s largest financial institutions with national and local merchants. Financial institutions offer FreeMonee Gifts – cash incentives – to individual cardholders that can be used at popular merchants. FreeMonee Gifts function like a virtual gift card on an individual’s debit or credit card, allowing consumers to purchase anything they want with the designated merchant, with no strings attached. Through continued partnerships with the top U.S. financial institutions, the company expects 50 million households to have access to FreeMonee Gifts in 2012.