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Omnichannel firm hires ex-Walmart exec

BY Gina Acosta

SAN FRANCISCO — Omnichannel solutions provider RichRelevance has hired a former WalmartLabs executive to serve as its chief product officer.
 
Mahesh Tyagarajan will be responsible for product strategy and management, engineering and cloud operation and infrastructure. The company also named microstrategy and business objects veteran John Dickson as vice president of client services, where he will drive the expansion of RichRelevance’s position as the dominant provider of large-scale omnichannel personalization deployments around the world.
 
“We’re pleased to welcome Mahesh and John to RichRelevance as we continue to prove out the power of real-time data and personalization to improve every customer-facing function,” said Eduardo Sanchez, CEO of RichRelevance. “Our customers prioritize personalization as a strategic initiative within their organizations, and Mahesh and John bring a corresponding expertise in enterprise technology and deployments to accelerate success. Their vision and leadership will be critical as we continue to deliver the best product and open platform capabilities in the industry, and turn these innovations into real-world success.”
 
Currently more than 200 leading brands around the globe turn to RichRelevance to stand out in an omnichannel world where customer experience is increasingly a primary differentiator and competitive advantage.
 
Tyagarajan brings extensive product, architecture and engineering leadership experience to his new role at RichRelevance. He joins RichRelevance from Walmart, where he led the development of their Global eCommerce (GeC) Platform at WalmartLabs and created the roadmap for the modernization of their retail technology systems. His technology responsibilities at Walmart included e-commerce, omnichannel retail, point of sales (POS), store back-office systems, warehouse management, next generation logistics and mobile applications.
 
Previously, Tyagarajan held product, architecture and engineering positions at Ticketmaster, Paypal, eBay, DemandTec and Netscape. He received his Master in Computer Science and Chemistry from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India.
 
“Done correctly, personalization transforms every part of the customer experience around the shopper,” said Tyagarajan. “This is a simple concept, but a huge technology challenge in today’s complicated ecosystem of platforms and point solutions spread across digital, call center and store operations. There is a huge opportunity to cut through the complexity to deliver elegant, powerful products that have an immediate impact, building on RichRelevance’s strong foundation of data centers and open source code software like Hadoop.”
 
Headquartered in San Francisco, RichRelevance serves clients in 42 countries from 9 offices around the globe.
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Report: FMI asks for delay in EMV rollout

BY Dan Berthiaume

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is reportedly asking major credit card companies to delay the October 2015 mandate for U.S. retailers to comply with the Europay, Mastercard Visa (EMV) chip-based payment card standard. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FMI sent a letter to Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Financial Services asking for the deadline to be moved into 2016.
 
“Regardless of how strong the commitment or how many dollars invested, the reality is that the system will not be ready to meet the card networks’ arbitrarily-set mandate for the liability shift in October 2015,” Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, said in the letter.
 
Sarasin’s letter also said that retailers have to wait 16 weeks to obtain hardware that can read chip-based payment cards and that the mandate is taking effect just as retailers enter the crucial holiday selling season. Currently, retailers will have to start accepting liability for any fraud resulting from a chip-based card transaction if they do not have EMV-compliant equipment as of October 2015.
 
The FMI has not yet received a response from any card companies. However, MasterCard and American Express said will not change the date, while Visa and Discover had no comment.
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Amazon expands Prime to Atlanta

BY Dan Berthiaume

SEATTLE — Amazon.com Inc. has expanded Prime Now service to Atlanta. The expedited delivery service, offered exclusively as a benefit to Prime members, provides one-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items through a mobile app.
 
Prime Now is launching in select Atlanta ZIP codes and will expand to additional ZIP codes within the city soon. All Prime members can download the Prime Now app, and will be notified when the service is available in their local area. In Atlanta, Prime Now is available from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Two-hour delivery is free and one-hour delivery is available for $7.99.
 
Prime Now is currently available in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Manhattan and Miami. The service will continue rolling out to additional cities in 2015.
 
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