Mr. John Harrobin is the former Chief Marketing Officer of Verizon

Mr. John Harrobin is the former Chief MarketingOfficer of Verizon. He served in various operational management and senior executive roles in a progressive career spanning 18 years and earned a reputation as a thought leader and strong executor. John was instrumental in Verizon Wireless’s rise to the top position in the wireless industry, forged strategic partnerships with Apple, Microsoft, and Google that shaped the mobile ecosystem, and transformed pricing, content, and distribution strategies for both Verizon Wireless and FiOS.

John has a consistent track record of building successful brands, identifying breakthrough growth initiatives, pioneering the use of data and digital tools, and developing integrated marketing programs that deliver value. He developed brand identity, advertising, and promotions and managed Verizon’s $1.5 billion+ media budget. He also introduced propensity modeling for customer acquisition and retention programs and econometric modeling for media investment decisions.

John also launched several new products and business units with the company, including mobile advertising (partnering with Microsoft to monetize), FiOS TV advertising (striking deals with Comcast and Time Warner to guarantee over $100mm of incremental margin per year), mobile content, mobile payments, and disruptive and profitable pricing models such as $9.99 Family Share Plans, Share Everything for wireless data and “Skinny Bundles” for FiOS TV. In addition, he led the effort to secure an agreement with Google to sell Android devices and, by launching Droid, helped take Android from less than 2% share to +20% within 45 days.

Mr. Harrobin has a robust understanding of content distribution and usage rights having been on both the buy and sell side of media. He led negotiations and partnerships with several teams, OEMs, celebrities, media outlets, and sports leagues including the NFL, NHL, and IndyCar. John has received numerous awards for integrated marketing campaigns including Effies, Telly, Webby, Pencil, Event Marketer and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). He has been recognized with several honors including Communicator of the Year, 40 under 40, Marketing 50, and Hottest Brands (Droid).

John Harrobin

John has a diverse career of executive leadership at Fortune 20 public companies while also interacting with start-up and private equity backed companies. He has led teams of over 600 members across four continents and has an exceptional track record for developing talent. He has keynoted several presentations at conferences including: AdAge Digital, Billboard Entertainment Live, CTIA, CES, and Mobile World Congress. John is currently a General Partner and Operating Advisor with a venture fund specializing in the Princeton University ecosystem and serves as both an investor and advisor to a handful of early stage media and mobile technology companies. In addition to his professional endeavors, John serves as a mentor to young entrepreneurs at TechStars and has served on a local school advisory board. He is a Certified Management Accountant and holds a Bachelors degree from Villanova University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

John Harrobin Additional Details

  • Harrobin’s energy and relentless focus on growth are equally applied in the B2B arena, where at Verizon he launched the Verizon Partner Program to penetrate the mid-market SME segment, growing indirect channel mix from 2% to over 40% in less than three years. He also formed the Commercial Committee to make informed capital spending decisions, aligned sales compensation to margin delivery through the Quota Review Board, and established an Executive Briefing Program to ensure top-to-top collaboration with 50 strategic accounts. He continued the tradition of growing revenue at NBC Universal where he served as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of the Content Innovation Agency, launching the Content Studio to package creative and media together and drive sales outside of NBCU’s intellectual property.
  • John was the 1st person in the United States, outside of Apple or its Agency, to produce an Apple TV commercial for the Verizon iPhone launch and worked extensively with Apple on all device launches. He benchmarked Apple’s brand voice, retail design, corporate communications, and merchandising tactics and subsequently revamped all of Verizon’s communications at every customer touchpoint, including over 5,000 direct and indirect agent stores.
  • In addition, John was among the first advertisers on both Facebook and Twitter. He was 1st (in any category) to initiate a Digital Upfront and 1st (in the TMT category) to pay digital Ad Networks based on Performance (orders vs. clicks) leading to a 5X increase in online sales and reduced CPO. John also issued the 1st RFP for a Data Management Platform (DMP) and provided seed funding through Verizon Ventures so that the selected partner (BlueKai, subsequently purchased by Oracle) could complete development.
  • John introduced Speedmatch, launched the FiOS gateway router, and developed new Triple Play bundles and service rep training to shift package mix to higher-margin packages and set recording-breaking growth while simultaneously increasing Online channel mix to over 20% of sales.
  • He identified and led Verizon Venture’s investment in Invidi to develop targeted and advanced advertising for FiOS TV and in Skyfire to provide mobile browser acceleration. John also struck an exclusive deal with Siri (before Apple’s purchase) to enable functionality on Verizon Android and Blackberry devices.
  • Harrobin represented Verizon on the Board of Directors of the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL), a global consortium consisting of Vodafone, Softbank, and China Mobile with a mission to promote standards that streamline and accelerate mobile application development. Masayoshi Son, Founder of Softbank, served as the board’s Chairman.
  • He also served on the cross-carrier Steering Committee for Softcard, a joint venture of T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon focused on mobile payments that was acquired by Google.
  • John also served on the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Board of Directors for nearly a decade and was active in their efforts to promote guidelines for privacy and self-regulation of advertising. At the request of the ANA he also served on the Council of the Better Business Bureau’s ARSC (Advertising and Self-Regulatory Council).

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