Alexander Group’s 2017 Strategy Forum


Keynote Speakers


Eric Johnson

EVP, Global Advertising Revenue & Sales Operations

Eric Johnson is the Executive Vice President of Global Advertising Revenue & Sales Operations. In this role, he leads the U.S. and international multimedia ad sales team efforts. Eric is responsible for all sales activity across all of ESPN’s businesses, including the ESPN television networks, ESPN Print and Digital Media, X Games, ESPN Syndication Events, ESPN Audio, ESPN Deportes, and espnW. Outside of the U.S., he works directly with ESPN’s sales offices in Buenos Aires, San Paulo, London, Singapore, Sydney and Miami, Fla., to drive revenue for ESPN’s international properties.

In 2008, Johnson was named #25 on the Mediaweek 50, a list of “the most indispensable executives shaping the future of media,” and was CABLE-FAX’s 2010 VP & Above Sales Person of the Year (Honorable Mention). Additionally, under his leadership, ESPN’s multimedia sales teams have been honored by a 2012 Jack Myers survey that ranked ESPN’s #1 among TV sales organizations (tied with ABC). This follows a recognition in 2008 from min (Media Industry Newsletter), which named Eric’s team the “Multiplatform Sales Team of the Year.”

Currently, Johnson sits on the Board of Directors for IAB and MPA. He is also on the Advisory Board for VIDEONOMICS.
Eric’s tenure at ESPN began in 1999, where he served as an account executive for West Coast account television sales. In 2003, as a vice president of national ad sales, he took over management of the West Coast television sales team and served as senior vice president of multimedia sales, overseeing offices in Burbank and San Francisco, Calif. from 2006-2007.

Prior to joining ESPN, Johnson worked at TIME magazine in Los Angeles, following a term of service on the advertising agency side of the business. From 1992-1999, he worked as a media planning/strategist executive at Deustch LA, Grey Advertising, and Foote, Cone & Belding.

Johnson graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.


Beth Ann Vaughn

Vice President, Worldwide SaaS Sales & GTM Transformation
IBM Cognitive Solutions

Beth Ann Vaughn is currently leading IBM’s SaaS transformation as Vice President, Worldwide SaaS Sales & Transformation in the Cognitive Solutions Unit. In this strategic role, she is driving the overall Go-To-Market strategy for IBM’s Software as a Service portfolio. This includes introducing new sales roles, compensation plans, incentives, tools, customer programs and business processes for the direct sales force.

Beth Ann also has oversight of IBM Software’s contracting process and maintaining the Security & Privacy posture for the portfolio. Finally, Vaughn works with the product development, support, and delivery teams to ensure that SaaS offerings are competitive and continuously bring exceptional business value to LOB clients.

Formerly Beth Ann was Director, WW Sales Execution & Strategy for Industry Solutions, a $2B+ IBM Unit with over 2000 sales professionals. This was a Chief of Staff type role for the Vice President of IS Sales and included running Sales Operations, Enablement, Incentives, and M&A (case development, planning and integration). Her M&A project experience included Coremetrics, Unica, i2 Group, Cúram, Emptoris, Tealeaf, DemandTec, Xtify, Deaja, StoredIQ, and Silver Pop.

Vaughn also led global Industry Software sales as a Director in Retail, CP and T&T from 2006 to 2010 with specific leadership responsibility for shaping Industry business solutions and frameworks. The distribution Sector grew from $1.0 to 1.4B during this time based on annualized revenue.

Throughout her career, Beth Ann has held a wide range of sales, marketing and leadership roles within IBM the majority across various Fortune 100 Retail and Global Automotive accounts.

Vaughn earned her B.S. degree in Mathematics from Michigan State University.


Tim Willey

Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy & Insights

Senior Executive responsible for transitioning Symantec to the Cloud business model, delivering ‘Security-as-a-Service’.  With objectives to enable growth for the Cloud business and grow profitability through delivering zero-touch automated customer and partner experiences.  Owns the end-to-end design and delivery of the Subscription platform and supporting infrastructure, including enabling the product roadmap transitioning to SaaS, redesigning the Go-to-market model for Solution-led customer lifecycle management, and building the underlying Subscription Q2C and R2R infrastructure.  Go-to-market strategy changes include designing and launching a new partner model, changes to sales coverage and compensation and new Subscription-aligned pricing and licensing models.


Executive Panelists


Lee Brown

Chief Revenue Officer

Lee Brown is Chief Revenue Officer of BuzzFeed where he leads all US advertising revenue, client services, and advertising operations.

Lee came to BuzzFeed from Tumblr and Groupon where he built their national sales organization from scratch and secured a number of key accounts.

Before that, Lee spent 10 years at Yahoo, beginning as a Senior Account Executive and advancing to Vice President of East Coast Sales. His regional sales team generated close to half of Yahoo’s North America media revenue from customers in every industry vertical and across search, video, mobile and social advertising.

Brown currently serves on the board of the Ad Council and is an occasional guest lecturer at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.


Sean Giancola

Chief Revenue Officer
New York Post

As Chief Revenue Officer, Sean leads the NY POST’s commercial business units, all operations (print, digital, revenue management, national sales, corporate development, marketing and pricing) cross/internal–divisional platforms, and partnerships. He oversees the company (and its affiliated divisions) revenue producing units, digital operations, finance, business development, as well as leading the company’s National advertising sales, marketing, strategy and new market expansion.

Giancola is a publishing and digital leader with 20+ years of integrated media and sales management experience across multiple categories and territories. He built successful sales teams, marketing organizations and business units focusing on delivering Fortune 1000 solution-based, cross-platform advertising programs for top clients.

Prior to joining the NY Post, Sean led multiple teams responsible for AOL’s sales efforts in key markets including NY, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. These teams spanned across AOL’s portfolio of Content marketing, Native solutions, Mobile, Social, Technology/Programmatic and Video products. During his tenure, Giancola built sub-category specific strategies teaming with cross-functional groups in sales, product, business development, marketing and research. His teams successfully leveraged all AOL assets including owned and operated sites, programmatic technologies and platforms, mobile, video, production, and native formats.

Giancola received his BS in Marketing from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.


Marty Hollerbach

Area Vice President – Eastern & Canada

Marty Hollerbach is accomplished executive with 25+ years in Sales and Sales Management positions in the Technology Industry.  During his career, his focus was on significant increases in sales productivity, market penetration, and new account development producing results that consistently exceeded annual business objectives.

In his current role, Marty leads a team of Vice Presidents and Account Executives for SAP’s cloud and commerce solutions covering Eastern U.S., Canada and specialized industries for North America.

Marty was selected to lead the CEC (Customer Engagement & Commerce) Program which is the foundation for interesting things SAP is doing with their customers.  In addition to impacting their customer’s clients through solutions that enable improved sales and service, SAP is offering proactive marketing efforts to its customers through marketing software for intelligent targeting and messaging.  Lastly, commerce solution offerings allow customers to more effectively provide a platform that encourages internet commerce and minimizes cart abandonment.

Prior to SAP, Marty served as the VP of East Strategic Enterprise Accounts for Salesforce where he led sales of Platform Cloud Software Solutions throughout global enterprise client companies.

During a previous 5-year tenure at Oracle, Hollerbach was the Area VP for Global Strategic Accounts and Area VP for the Central Region.  At New World Systems, (a privately held $100M ERP software provider) – he grew new account and professional services revenue nationally as a VP of US Sales.

Prior to this, Marty served in various management roles including VP Sales at Lucent Technologies, VP of Sales at Sequent Computer Systems, and VP of Sales at Unisys.

Marty’s specialized areas of expertise include successful turnaround of business operations, strategic planning, sales leadership, focused customer strategies and initiatives, and team building.  He received his degree in Marketing at Michigan State University.


Marta Martinez

Chief Revenue Officer
Intersection Co.
(Former SVP of Advertising – AOL)

In her current role, Marta Martinez drives revenue across Intersection as it scales its growing digital media portfolio (including LinkNYC, LinkUK and the MTA New York City Transit On-the-Go kiosks), to new solutions, products and markets globally.

Marta brings more than 15 years of leadership experience in digital advertising and media to her role. Prior to Intersection, Martinez enjoyed a long tenure at AOL in senior management roles including: Global Head of Video Sales, Senior Vice President of Advertising and Head of Sales Strategy & Operations.

Previously, Marta served as an Advisor of Innovid where she led and managed sales strategy and operations functions for AOL Advertising including business operations and planning; design of innovative sales force effectiveness initiatives and the development and packaging of advertising solutions for clients. At HAVAS – one of the top three global agency holding companies – she managed Global Business Development as an Executive Vice President and as was Global Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Product Development at HAVAS Digital. She led management teams on identifying and implementing strategic partnerships, organic investments and acquisitions.

Martinez is an industry veteran and has a wealth of experience in the interactive advertising space and a recognized perspective on industry innovation.

She served as Chief Marketing Officer and as Senior Vice President of Operations & Business Development at MediaMath – where she focused on helping media and data partners activate and monetize their assets via its TerminalOne™ platform. This made them accessible to dozens of agencies that have adopted the platform to power media trading efforts.

She also previously served as an Associate Vice President at Marchfirst in their Media, Entertainment and Technology practice and a management consultant at Cluster Consulting. There she led numerous engagements in the media, publishing and telecom industries across Europe. Prior to this she was a Management Consultant at the firm in the U.S. and Cluster in Europe, where her observations and insights were sought by clients including The Walt Disney Company, AT&T, Universal Studios, Aprilia, Planeta Publishing and the city of Bilbao.

Martinez served as a Member of the Board of Advisors at Integral Ad Science, Inc. (also known as AdSafe Media Inc.)

Marta earned her M.B.A. from Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and Master in Science in Business Administration from ESADE in Barcelona.


Sal Patalano

Chief Revenue Officer
Lenovo Software

Sal Patalano began his career as an Associate Director at the University of Miami (Florida) where he co-founded the Microcomputer Institute in the School of Continuing Studies.

As a serial entrepreneur he founded his first IT company, which focused on developing and publishing software for Apple’s revolutionary Macintosh personal computer in 1983. After selling that company in 1988, he spent time as a consultant within the software distribution industry. Starting in 1990 Sal co-founded the first of several IT companies focused exclusively on the resale and integration of IBM software.

As one of IBM’s first software channel partners in the early 90’s, his company delivered mainframe- and AS400-based solutions across multiple market segments and industries. Coinciding with IBM’s formation of Software Group in the mid-90’s, he went on to build, lead and sell a succession of successful system integration businesses prior to joining IBM as a professional hire in 2007. As a worldwide Vice President he held sales, channel, operational and transformational roles.

In 2014, Patalano moved into a channel leadership role for CA Technologies as Vice President Global Marketing, where he was responsible for all channel and business partner-marketing activities.

In his current role as Chief Revenue Officer for Lenovo Software, Sal leads global sales and marketing and is chartered with building a high margin software and solution business within Lenovo.