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management team

blekko's management team is an experienced group that has founded multiple successful startups and held leadership positions at major tech companies including Google, Netscape, and AOL.


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Rich Skrenta, CEO - Rich is a seasoned technology executive with nearly two decades of industry experience. Most recently he was founder and CEO of Topix, the leading online news community. Prior to Topix, Rich headed up engineering for a variety of products within AOL, including AOL Shopping, AOL Music and Netscape Search. Prior to AOL, Rich was the co-founder and CEO of NewHoo, which was acquired by Netscape and renamed the Open Directory Project. The ODP is the world's largest human edited directory of the web and used by Google, Yahoo, AOL and many other companies. Rich was an engineering manager at Sun Microsystems prior to NewHoo and has also had development roles at Unix Systems Labs and the Amiga UNIX Group at Commodore Business Machines. Rich holds a patent in network security, and has authored many well-known pioneering software efforts, including some early multi-user online games. Rich graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Computer Science.

Rich's favorite slashtags: /wineblogs, /sancarlos, /skrenta ... more


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Michael Markson, VP Marketing - For the past 8 years, Michael has been a marketing and business development executive with technology companies. Prior to blekko, Michael was a founder of Topix, where he was responsible for the company’s initial product marketing, its press launch as well as several of the post launch product initiatives. As VP Business Development of Topix, he closed deals with many top tier media properties (NY Times, Wash. Post, CBS, CNN, etc.), each of the major wire services (AP, Reuters, etc.) and many large sites (Yahoo, Ask, AOL, etc.). In addition, he led the process of selling the company to Tribune, Gannett and Knight Ridder in March of 2005. Prior to Topix, Michael was the General Counsel and Director of Business Development for Terraspring, Inc. Heading up the company’s strategic partner program, he created valuable alliances with entities such as HP and EMC and led the company’s efforts in its sale to Sun Microsystems. Prior to joining Terraspring, Michael was a transactional attorney for the New York offices of Brown & Wood. He has a BA in Economics from Wittenberg University, a JD from Capital University Law School and an LLM from Georgetown University Law School.

Mike's favorite slashtags: /sfgolf, /steelers, /chords ... more


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Greg Lindahl, CTO - Greg Lindahl was Founder and Distinguished Engineer at PathScale, at which he was the architect of the InfiniPath low-latency InfiniBand HCA, used to build tightly-coupled supercomputing clusters. PathScale was successfully sold to QLogic in 2006. Prior to PathScale's founding in 2001, he worked on commodity Linux clusters at HPTi, including the 1999 Forecast Systems Lab system, which was the first time a Linux cluster won a conventional supercomputing procurement. Prior to this, he worked on the Legion "grid" distributed OS project at the University of Virginia, and for D. E. Shaw & Co., a New York investment bank. Greg holds a MA in Astronomy from the University of Virginia, and a BA in Math and Physics with Highest Honors from Brandeis University.

Greg's favorite slashtags: /hpc, /early-music, /rendance ... more


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Keith Peters, Chief Architect - Keith was educated at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), and while his peers went on to become literal rocket scientists, Keith joined the web search group at Netscape/AOL in 2000, and continued to work on search technology at AOL in the E-Commerce and Music divisions. After a brief stint with the WinAmp group where he re-wrote AOL's embeddable media player, he left to work on news search technology with Topix LLC in 2004. There he worked on the deep algorithmic problems that the news space provided. Since blekko’s founding, he's been working on the even deeper problems that a full web search provides.

Keith's favorite slashtags: /vg, /buy, /sf ... more


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Chuck McManis, VP Engineering - Chuck McManis is a respected technical leader who brings two decades of experience to the blekko team. His experience includes four years at Google where he worked on a variety of initiatives in the operations group, five years at NetApp developing storage architectures that scaled into clusters, six years on the team that built FreeGate from startup to successful acquisition, and ten years at Sun Microsystems where he was part of the original Java group, the ONC/RPC architect, and key contributor to many of Sun's networking innovations. Chuck has an Electrical Engineering degree from USC with a minor in computer science.

Chuck's favorite slashtags: /science, /ereader, /tech ... more


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David Chang, VP Business Development - David currently heads up business development and distribution partnerships for blekko. Prior to blekko, David led US business development at Ask.com which was responsible for development of search partnerships with industry leaders in the areas of client software, internet service providers, online gaming and entertainment publishers. These partnerships resulted in revenue growth of over 10x during his 4 years in the role leading the team. Prior to joining Ask, David served in several executive business development roles at several leading internet properties including Excite, Earthlink, Yahoo, and MForma where he focused on forging distribution relationships across multiple platforms with numerous technology and media companies including AT&T, Verizon, Electronic Arts, and Cisco. David graduated from UCSD with a masters degree in electrochemical engineering with a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.