LiveRamp names new board chairman, former Acxiom director and interim CEO steps down

by Wesley Brown (wesbrocomm@gmail.com) 808 views 

LiveRamp, the former Acxiom spin-off now based in Silicon Valley, has replaced longtime chairman Jerry Gramaglia on the board of directors of the former Little Rock-based data marketing firm.

LiveRamp announced on Aug. 15 that Clark Kokich has been appointed non-executive chairman of the board, replacing Gramaglia’s who decided not to stand for re-election to the company’s board of directors earlier this year. Both Kokich and Gramaglia were named to the Acxiom board at the same time in August 2009.

Prior to joining the Acxiom board, Gramaglia was chief marketing officer and then president and chief operating officer for ETRADE Group Inc. In March 2011, he served a brief stint as interim CEO at Acxiom after former CEO John Meyer and CFO Christopher Wolf unexpectedly resigned.

Scott Howe was hired later that summer as the company’s president and CEO, and has remained in the same role with LiveRamp, now based in San Francisco. Prior to serving on LiveRamp’s board, Kokich served as executive chairman of the board of directors of Marchex, Inc, a mobile and online advertising company from 2015-2016.

“Clark is a highly experienced leader who will bring added depth and perspective to our board of directors,” said LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe. “His decades of industry and technology experience will be instrumental in accelerating LiveRamp’s success during our next chapter.”

“I want to thank Jerry for his leadership, mentorship and counsel during a period of incredible transformation and growth,” added Howe. “During Jerry’s tenure as chairman, we have more than quadrupled the value of our shares and transformed ourselves into a category-creating software business. Jerry has been a champion of shareholder value and a driving force on this journey over the past 10 years.”

More than a year ago, the former Acxiom Corp. sold its legacy data marketing division to New York City-based Interpublic Group of Cos. (IPG) for $2.3 billion. Following that deal, the Arkansas tech firm founded in Conway in 1969 transferred the Acxiom brand to IPG, changed its name to LiveRamp Holdings Inc. on. Oct. 1, 2018, and moved the company’s headquarters to the West Coast.

Shortly after separating from its Arkansas roots and changing its stock symbol to “RAMP,” the San Francisco firm also entered into a “transition period” to contemplate its next phase of growth, including terminating and modifying all compensation plans and benefits programs related to the former Acxiom Corp.

As a publicly traded Silicon Valley concern, LiveRamp has struggled to regain its footing from Acxiom’s legacy business, which is thriving as a key growth vehicle and subsidiary for New York City-based IPG. Earlier this month, LiveRamp reported a first quarter loss of $48 million, or 61 cents per share, on total revenue of $82 million.

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