UpLift, Inc., an innovative startup at the intersection of marketing and payments, welcomes Kevin Krone, vice president and chief marketing officer of Southwest Airlines, to its board of directors.
Krone has 23 years of experience at Southwest Airlines. As vice president and chief marketing officer, he is responsible for all aspects of Southwest’s marketing strategy and execution, including the oversight of the company’s brand development, advertising, promotions, mobile and digital strategy and execution. Prior to his promotion to vice president and chief marketing officer, Krone led marketing, sales and distribution at Southwest. Krone also oversaw the re-launch of the improved Rapid Rewards loyalty program in 2011, which powers one of the most successful VISA© co-brand credit card programs in the world.
Krone joins two other outside directors on UpLift’s board. Alex Rosen is Managing Director of IDG Ventures USA and a board member at numerous SaaS, cloud infrastructure, and e-commerce companies. IDG Ventures USA is part of a global network of technology venture funds with approximately $3.7 billion under management and over 200 active portfolio companies. Robert Soderbery is Senior Vice President of Enterprise Products and Solutions at Cisco, responsible for innovation and product development across the $25B core business at Cisco. Krone has been a board member of HomeAway (NASDAQ: AWAY) since May of 2013 through its recent sale to Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) for $3.9 billion.
“Technology innovation and entrepreneurship have always been a strong interest of mine. I have been following UpLift’s rapid growth and am excited to help fuel its success. This is a team that can deliver complex, powerful technology at scale faster than any other group I have ever seen,” said Kevin Krone, vice president and chief marketing officer of Southwest Airlines.
Additionally, Krone will become the Chairman of UpLift’s Marketing Advisory Board. Beginning in 2016, Krone will be inviting leading marketing executives from across the travel industry and ecommerce to look ahead at the frontiers of marketing and payments.
“Southwest is known for its maverick style, and Kevin exemplifies this spirit. As UpLift reinvents payment marketing, we need a marketer with big company experience who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. This is precisely how Kevin operates. He’s an ideal fit for UpLift,” said Brian Barth, CEO and co-founder of UpLift.
UpLift was founded by Brian Barth and Stu Kelly, co-founders of SideStep. SideStep invented the travel metasearch business and was acquired by Kayak in 2007 for $200 million. In 2012, Priceline purchased Kayak for $1.8 billion.
UpLift’s Payment Marketing Platform empowers large online merchants to promote preferred payment types, drive customer acquisition, build loyalty and expand co-brand card usage. Working initially with travel companies and e-commerce merchants, UpLift’s payment analytics enables merchants to gain real-time payment insights, influence payment choice and optimize marketing results. UpLift is easy to implement and compatible with all payment systems. UpLift has raised $8.2 million in its Series A financing, led by IDG Ventures. Learn how your company can transform payments into a competitive marketing advantage at www.UpLift.com.
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