In order “to reinforce” its “continued digital transformation”, local search and marketing solutions provider, YP, made two important executive appointment announcements. While Wendell Hicken has been promoted as the EVP of Technology, Stu MacFarlane has been roped in from Herbalife as the EVP of Consumer Platforms.
“This year, we evolved our strategy in order to better focus on serving our two distinct audiences – consumers looking for local services, and the businesses that want to connect with these searchers,” said David Krantz, CEO of YP. “We’re proud to announce two new leaders with proven track records who will continue to drive the aggressive development efforts around our technology and consumer properties.”
Hicken oversees development of YP’s best-in-class advertising platforms, technology platforms, and enterprise data systems.
Hicken has spent more than seven years at YP; he joined the company in 2009 and as Chief Architect played an integral role helping to build out its ad delivery platform, as well as leading the development of YP’s next-generation enterprise platform. Prior to YP, he was CTO for an acoustic music recommendation startup and served as VP of Advanced R&D for Parasoft, working on software development tools, compilers, parallel processing and more.
Meanwhile, MacFarlane is responsible for all aspects of YP’s consumer properties, including community building and innovations, and further developing YP’s mobile experience, and building out additional opportunities for consumers to connect more directly with businesses.
MacFarlane is an entrepreneur in local search and brings more than 15 years of experience in the industry to YP. Prior to YP, MacFarlane spent four years at Herbalife where he ran global mobile and web development efforts, following Herbalife’s acquisition of iChange, where he was CEO. MacFarlane founded both Insider Pages, a local search directory with consumer reviews that was later acquired by Citysearch, and MoxieGirl, a popular e-commerce and direct mail business. Additionally, MacFarlane served as Managing Director at Momentum Venture Management and Vice President of New Ventures at Idealab, where he invested in and advised early-stage technology companies.
YP claims that its flagship consumer brands — YP app and YP.com — are used by more than 70 million visitors each month in the US.