CEO Profiles: Scott Howe, Acxiom Corp.

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Mar. 26, 2012 12:00 am  

Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock hired Scott Howe last July to bring the company into the digital age.

The 6,800-employee data miner brought Howe in from Seattle, where he was a corporate vice president for Microsoft Advertising Business Group.

Howe succeeded interim CEO Jerry Gramaglia, who took over when John A. Meyer resigned a year ago.

Howe graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 1990 with an economics degree, then earned an MBA from Harvard in 1994.

From there, Howe climbed the leadership ladder, starting as a manager for The Boston Consulting Group, then moving to Kidder Peabody & Co. Inc. of Boston, then aQuantive of Seattle, which was acquired by Microsoft. At Microsoft, Howe managed emergent advertising systems from all realms of the digital sphere, ranging from search to mobile to in-game. Along the way, Howe also founded two interactive websites, King of the Web and Health123.com.

That digital expertise is what led Acxiom to select Howe.

"Scott has repeatedly demonstrated a creative and innovative capacity for the development, launch and delivery of new products and services, creating significant business results," Michael J. Durham, Acxiom's non-executive chairman, said in a 2011 news release. "He has extensive digital marketing and technology experience, and is a passionate executive with infectious energy and leadership abilities."

(Click here for a sidebar on Howe's compensation.)

As soon as he joined Acxiom, Howe began a countrywide journey to meet Acxiom's clients, calling it a "maniacal" focus on the company's clients.

"It's a good crazy," he said in July. "It's a singular focus, an overriding focus on our clients."

The hiring of two other digitally inclined executives followed Howe's appointment: CFO Warren C. Jenson, a former Amazon.com Inc. executive, and Chief Revenue Officer Nada Stirratt, who previously worked for MySpace and MTV Networks.

Next, Acxiom dropped its background screening company in a $74 million sale that Howe called "pivotal." The company, Acxiom Information Security Services, went to Sterling Infosystems Inc. of New York. Howe said the move was part of Acxiom's tighter focus on data and marketing services.

 

 

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