Leadership

The Who of Things

Technology-to-Value Architect, Product Visionary, CEO

David Johnson

David’s superpower is his uncanny ability to connect the dots and see what’s around the corner before others.

David’s superpower is his uncanny ability to connect the dots and see what’s around the corner before others. This ability inspires his inventions and innovations. David has always exhibited an insatiable appetite for new knowledge, infectious optimism, and a relentless focus on quality with speed. These characteristics have attracted the best inter-disciplinary architects, linguists, psychologists, AI engineers and development engineers to Decooda. David is proud that the team has mastered the tech, language, algorithms, and interfaces that make disrupting markets not only possible, but real. After an MIS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, David steadily climbed the sales ladder at several tech and digital marketing firms (including IBM), culminating in $300 million of sales attribution. He credits that success to focusing on big problems that matter and ‘understanding the causes of value destruction in order to deliver on the promise of value realization.’ A shared laser focus on solving big problems that create big value is what inspired David and Charlie to come together to launch Decooda in 2010 (yes, in David’s basement).
Maker of Things That Work Fast, Tech Visionary, CTO

Charles Wardell

Charlie has tackled some of the world’s messiest and most intractable problems by designing and implementing world-class BI platforms.

Charlie has tackled some of the world’s messiest and most intractable problems by designing and implementing world-class BI platforms. He and his teams have created and successfully introduced one of the world’s most powerful cloud and edge-based analytics engines ever (the Decooda CORE) based on MPP (massively parallel processing), grid computing, ML (machine learning), and AI (artificial intelligence). The fact is, Charlie is one of the best big data platform architects in the world. His superpower is weaving hardware, software, and database technologies into cutting-edge, high-performance solutions that provide insights at the scale and speed modern businesses require. Charlie’s perspective on tech enables him to see around corners well in advance. That ability, combined with David’s vision make the duo an amazing team. If intellectual curiosity was a degree, Charlie would have a PhD. His learning is always intensive, and it continues to this day. His theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills go deep, not in one discipline, but three: hardware, software and database technology. Ready to tackle anything in his lab, from a customized FPGA, to building the fastest big data platform, or designing a new application that integrates symbolic and connectedness AI, there seems to be nothing he can’t do. His secret? Being a natural systems thinker. Every problem gets his full attention, without bias, so he can always zero in on the best solution and not restrict himself or his team to the tools they already know. These reasons are what make Charlie one of the best architects on the planet, maybe the solar system.
Executive Vice President, CX Products at Decooda

Joe Wheeler

Joe Wheeler is the Executive Vice-President of Customer Experience Products for Decooda.

Joe Wheeler is the Executive Vice-President of Customer Experience Products for Decooda. In this role he is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the firm’s products, services and partnerships focused on the customer experience market.

Mr. Wheeler joined Decooda as a result of the acquisition of the CX Workout software asset, purchased from The Service Profit Chain Institute in February of 2020. The Service Profit Chain Institute was founded by Mr. Wheeler and Professors James Heskett and W. Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School, to partner with companies to bring the concepts associated with The Service Profit Chain® to life in their own organizations.

In 2008, Joe co-authored a new book: The Ownership Quotient, Putting the Service Profit Chain to Work for Unbeatable Competitive Advantage (HBS Press Dec 2008) with Professors’ Heskett and Sasser.

Prior to launching The Service Profit Chain Institute, Mr. Wheeler was the Quality and Productivity Executive for Bank of America. Prior to this, he was an Executive Vice President with The Forum Corporation where he managed the firm's Customer Experience Consulting Practice and co-authored a best-selling book on the subject, Managing the Customer Experience – Turning Customers into Advocates (FT Prentice-Hall 2002).

Mr. Wheeler completed his Masters in Business Administration at the Edinburgh Business School.

Executive Vice President of Engineering

Craig Harper

Craig Harper is the Executive Vice President of Engineering at Decooda.

Craig Harper is the Executive Vice President of Engineering at Decooda. In his role, Craig is responsible for the operational direction and management of the firm’s engineering, performance infrastructure, and technical leadership focused on the market offerings of Decooda.

With more than two decades of executive management experience, Craig brings his future-state driven, leading visionary strategies, pivotal initiatives, and radical problem-solving that propels growing companies to scale and gain competitive advantage with cutting-edge solutions to Decooda. Craig makes data-driven, industry-influencing decisions by leveraging an extensive, loyal professional network and advanced negotiation skills to ignite revenue growth. Inspirational, people-oriented leader heading the formulation of the company’s business technologies and digital strategies. Drove firms to S1 and public offerings with multiple successful exits.

Technical Expertise includes Highly Scalable Cloud Applications, Mobile IP Services, IoT, Networking, Security, Software Declared Networking (SDN), IT Operations Management, Big Data Platform Development, Datacenter Infrastructure, and New Product Development.

Chief Insights Strategist

Kirsten Zapiec

With nearly 30 years in Brand and Communication Research, Kirsten is both a pioneer and thought leader in the industry.

With nearly 30 years in Brand and Communication Research, Kirsten is both a pioneer and thought leader in the industry. Her mission is to leverage current, relevant research techniques to uncover the insight a brand needs for growth in today’s frenetic market environment.
Kirsten’s career has spanned both the client and agency side of the Market Research world; working with many brands, across many industries.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

• 5 years at Intel traveling the world as the lead of the global advertising research program. While at Intel, Kirsten also provided the insight necessary to develop Intel’s global brand strategy and had the pleasure of working on 7 Super Bowl Ads – one of which was yanked just hours before the Super Bowl based upon her research recommendation!

• She followed her passion for branding and advertising when she joined TNS in 2002. While at TNS she built a creative development practice in North America. She pioneered the development of techniques to explore emotive responses to advertising, changing the debate in creative testing. This work led to an Ogilvy award.

• At TNS she also focused on the role the digital world plays in brand and communications. She led the go-to-market strategy and launch of the first panel based digital media effectiveness approach; giving marketers, for the first time, confirmation of the impact of digital media on their brands.

• During her last few years at TNS, Kirsten led the North American Brand and Communications practice, leading the launch of cutting-edge research frameworks and techniques. Most notably, the renovated Conversion Model, a breakthrough in brand equity measurement.

• Most recently Kirsten was a Senior Brand and Communications thought leader at GfK where she focused on the relationships between people and brands.
Kirsten is also actively involved in industry wide initiatives and speaks at conferences such as the ARF, CASRO, MRIA, IIeX and TTRA.

Senior Vice President of Engage

Chris Esworthy

Chris is the “getter of done.” He manages Decooda Engagements and Presales. In all cases, that means doing what we said we would do when we said we would do it.

Chris is the “getter of done.” He manages Decooda Engagements and Presales. In all cases, that means doing what we said we would do when we said we would do it. Chris works closely with our Consulting Partners to make sure that they are successful. That is not an easy job but certainly one worth doing. Chris has led large sales and consulting teams in the past and knows what works. He brings that experience to Decooda. He is a scientist by training, with a master’s degree from Georgia Tech, and a businessperson by vocation, with an MBA from Emory Goizuieta. Chris combines the two to solve hard problems. Chris started remote working before remote working was cool. He and his family live in Spain and travel extensively, currently with a mask and a healthy respect for social distancing.

Board of Directors

David Johnson

Experienced sales leader that has generated $300+ Million in new business acquisition across the Fortune 500 and SMB market segments. Visionary entrepreneur that is relentless in his pursuit of revealing the whole story behind big data. Advocate for an interdisciplinary data science approach that connects human thoughts, feelings and behaviors communicated across all mediums in real-time in order to understand the “real” drivers of behavior.

Christopher K. Hill

Chris Hill has spent 20+ years working in sales, marketing, product and business development, and senior management positions at leading global technology companies. Mr. Hill is the President of Tsunami AR/VR, the leader in applied enterprise Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions, prior to that he was the President of OpenPeak, a provider of white label cybersecurity solutions for enterprise mobility management. Mr. Hill also spent 16 years with AT&T where he served as the Senior Vice President of Advanced Solutions, a new business unit he founded and grew to over $1B in annual sales during his tenure. He is a graduate of University of Virginia with a BA in economics and completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Varma PSK

Passionate about building startups and supporting them through their initial stages and help investors and entrepreneurs with valuations, fundraising and execution. He has formidable experience in managing R&D teams, running delivery organizations, providing strategic direction for companies, identifying market gaps and coming up with innovative solutions.

Val Rahamni

Thirty years of experience in general management in the technology industry, from start-up CEO to multi-billion dollar businesses. Popular public speaker from international conferences to leading business schools. Born in the UK, moved to the US in 2001 as part of Lou Gerstner’s team as CEO of IBM.

Randy Salisbury

More than twenty-five years of experience helping start-ups and early stage companies accelerate growth and enhance enterprise value via branding, positioning, client retention, communications and investor relations.

Every customer’s state of mind in real-time with Decooda