Chris is Marin’s founder and Chairman of the Board, and rejoined the Company as Chief Executive Officer in August 2016. From September 2015 to August 2016, Chris has served on boards of private companies as well as Marin Software. From May 2014 until September 2015, Chris served as executive chairman of Marin Software, and from the founding of the Company in 2006 to May 2014, he served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Chris has been a member of the Board since 2006.
Previously, Chris served as Chief Operating Officer of Adteractive, Inc., an online performance marketing company, from 2004 to 2005. In 2001, Chris co-founded and served as Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Sugar Media, Inc., a broadband services platform, until its acquisition in 2003 by 2Wire, Inc., a leading supplier of DSL equipment and services, which was subsequently acquired by Pace plc in 2010. Prior to that, Chris served in various capacities at BlueLight.com, LLC, Kmart Corporation’s ecommerce and Internet service provider subsidiary from 2000 to 2001, including as Chief Financial Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer. Prior to BlueLight.com, Chris spent 10 years at various investment banks, including Morgan Stanley and Evercore Partners, with his last role as Managing Director.
Chris holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, where he was elected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Chris' presence as a member of the Board brings his thorough knowledge of the Company into the Board’s strategic and policy-making discussions. He brings his extensive experience in finance, digital marketing and executive roles in the information technology industry into deliberations regarding the Company’s strategy and operations.
This week, we disclosed that Google and Marin have entered into a new 3-year revenue share agreement. The agreement supports innovation and choice in paid search management and optimization. Google has agreed to make revenue payments to Marin based on the total paid search spend Marin’s customers are managing on our platform across Google and other search publishers.
Independent solution providers like Marin improve the ecosystem and help advertisers succeed. With the revenue share payments, Marin will further develop and enhance our MarinOne platform to serve the needs of the world’s leading search advertisers.
Our goal with MarinOne is to complement the tools built by the publishers, expanding advertising abilities to analyze, automate and optimize their digital marketing campaigns. As an independent third-party, we help advertisers leverage their data and make better budget allocation decisions and deliver better results across all publishers.
This agreement provides an additional source of revenue and will support Marin’s investments in innovation and delivering value to our customers.
Digital marketing is an ever changing industry and we are in a great position to help our customers deliver more growth and maximize the return on their digital marketing investments.
2020 was likely the most unusual year of all of our lives, so I want to reflect on the past few months and then look forward to what we all expect to be better days in 2021.
The start of 2020 seems so distant. Marin first became aware of COVID from our team members in our Shanghai office early in 2020. At that time, it looked like a localized issue that would impact parts of China. I thought of SARs and MERS but didn’t think much of what might be to come. We quickly moved to enable our team members to work from home and supported them as they adjusted to public health restrictions.
From mid-March 2020 to now, Marin has operated on a fully remote basis with a focus on the safety and well being of our team members. Our team rallied to support each other and our customers and partners under these unusual circumstances. We learned that despite missing daily in-person social interactions our investments in technology and culture have enabled us to operate at a high level from home. I am proud of our efforts to help our customers work through the impact of COVID on their businesses.
On top of the pandemic, the United States and then the rest of the world also experienced a massive social change movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Marin is looking to play our part in moving society to greater racial justice with our investments in various Black Lives Matter initiatives, which include our providing pro bono software and services to Black-owned businesses as well as supporting a mentorship program.
Even with the challenges of 2020, Marin’s team continued to advance our products to deliver greater performance and time savings for our customers, the world’s leading brands and their agencies. Our cross-channel platform MarinOne was awarded Paid Search Technology of the Year. We expanded our support for paid search, social, and e-commerce ads across the leading publishers and gave advertisers more ways to drive higher returns from their online advertising investments. You can see a summary of our 2020 product highlights here.
As we close out 2020, we are not out of the woods yet, but we are encouraged by the vaccine rollouts and anticipate better days in 2021.
We wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season.
As we follow the news in the U.S. of the past week or so, we know this has been a very difficult time for Black people and all of us who care about racial equality and justice. The video of the murder of George Floyd by a group of Minnesota police officers is heartbreaking. It is the latest example of police brutality and systemic racism toward Black people in America.
We need to acknowledge that being Black in America is not yet the same as being White despite our ideals, best intentions, and the civil rights progress that has been made.
So, on behalf of Marin Software, I want to make clear that we stand against racism, racial injustice, and inequality, and we stand in solidarity with Black people everywhere.
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers on this difficult topic. We are asking ourselves: what can we do to be more of a part of the solution? I think we need to push ourselves to listen to Black voices and experiences to improve our understanding of the situation. I also would encourage each of us to take personal action to help make the world a more just, tolerant, and equitable place. I write these words based on events in America, but all of our team members worldwide can take them to heart. As Gandhi said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”
There are many organizations and initiatives doing great work and looking to make a real difference. For those looking for more information on this topic, two sites that you can visit are blacklivesmatter.com or naacpldf.org, and there is a helpful list of anti-racism resources here. You also might choose to engage in peaceful protest to show your support. Do what feels right for you, but I encourage you to do something.
As a company, Marin understands we must also do more. We commit to listening and learning. We commit to supporting the organizations that are already doing great work and looking to make a real difference. We will report back shortly to our employees, our customers, and our audience on our specific plans to do better.
Here’s to better days for America and our world,
To our valued customers and partners,
While everyone across the world continues to navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, Marin Software is committed to supporting your business throughout the course of this pandemic and to providing continuity of service at all times. Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by the virus. To those who are sick, we wish you a full recovery. To those who work in emergency services and patient care, thank you for your service and we are thinking of you.
While marketing may not seem “top of mind” right now, our mission is to enable you to continue, or adjust, your marketing operations, help you respond to the unique demands that your business may be facing, and keep your initiatives moving forward as appropriate. For 14 years, Marin has helped marketers measure, manage, and optimize their online direct marketing to deliver on their business requirements -- to acquire new customers, get their message out to a key audience, or build awareness. At this time of great change for all businesses, you can count on Marin to support you.
Marin’s leadership team is meeting frequently to assess and adjust to the situation as it evolves. We take guidance from government and public health authorities in each location in which we operate. Our first priority is the welfare of our, and our customers’, employees.
We are working tirelessly to help everyone stay safe while at the same time continuing to serve you. Please reach out to your local Marin team or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or if you need any additional help.
Chris Lien, CEO