Breaking News: New Leadership at Efficient Frontier


Search engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier today appointed Ellen Siminoff chairman of the board and named president James Beriker as the new CEO and director.

In her four years as CEO, Siminoff grew Efficient Frontier from a team of eight to a leading search marketing technology and professional services company with 170 employees managing $450 million in annual search spend for 250 advertisers worldwide. As chairman, Siminoff will continue to guide and participate in the growth initiatives and the company’s strategic direction.

Efficient Frontier was the first search marketing firm to apply portfolio management theory (Wall St. equity trading algorithms) to the optimization of paid search listings. Efficient Frontier’s algorithms use historical data to model all possible bid combinations across a portfolio of keywords to allocate budget optiimally. The best possible return on investment? The so-called “efficient frontier.”

In a statement, Siminoff said Efficient Frontier has reshaped the SEM industry by applying advanced technology keyword optimization. Efficient Frontier pioneered the management of millions of keywords in Google’s invisible bid landscape, bringing predictive modeling to opaque search marketplaces.

The next generation of Efficient Frontier’s platform will enable clients to apply algorithms to emerging media auction marketplaces, including display and social search engines, as well as optimize advertising spend across multiple channels.

As CEO, Beriker will be responsible for the overall management of the business. His charge? Drive growth, product innovation and global expansion.

Prior to Efficient Frontier, Beriker held vice president, senior vice president and GM positions at online marketing services firm ValueClick and the ValueClick Media, Mediaplex, Commission Junction and PriceRunner brands.

Beriker was also the founder and CEO of Search123, a paid search engine that launched in October 2000 and was acquired by ValueClick in May 2003. Prior to Search123, Beriker practiced corporate law, representing early and mid-stage technology companies and entrepreneurs.

I had lunch with Jim a couple weeks ago when he was in New York. He outlined his vision to make Efficient Frontier the dominant worldwide optimization platform for all digital advertising. When he says EF is well on its way to achieving this goal, he’s giving notice that the digital advertising platform race won’t be Google-DoubleClick vs. Microsoft/Aquantive — with or without Yahoo, the company where Siminoff made her reputation as a dealmaker.

Part of the founding executive team of Yahoo!, Ellen Siminoff led business development, corporate development, and the small business and entertainment business units. Ellen has served on the board of directors for online ticket broker, StubHub, and is currently on the boards of US AutoParts, BuildDirect, 4Info, and Journal Communications. Ellen graduated Stanford’s Graduate School of Business with an MBA and has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Princeton University.

Geoff Yang, Efficient Frontier director and founding partner of Redpoint Ventures noted Siminoff’s skills as a dealmaker and innovator. He praised her leadership in building the largest independent SEM provider in the world.

“Efficient Frontier’s success is a testament to Ellen’s unquestionable dedication and leadership talents, and cements her standing in the Silicon Valley as a company builder and thought leader,” said Yang in a statement.

Look for more discussion in Techmeme.

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