Swedish PIM vendor inriver deepens North American push with new senior executive hires

This is all part of a change in strategy following the company’s purchase by a growth-focused American venture company, which also includes the appointment of a new CEO.

Brooke Cunningham, Chief Marketing Officer, inriver

Swedish firm inriver, which makes software that enables revenue-driving product information management [PIM] for their customers, has announced the continued focus of their expansion in North America with two new C-level appointments. Brooke Cunningham has been named Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) while Brad Habansky becomes inriver’s Chief Sales Officer. The moves build on a strategic initiative which began a year ago following the purchase of the Swedish-held portfolio company by growth-focused American equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, followed by the appointment last fall of  Niels Stenfeldt as CEO to drive that more aggressive growth strategy.

Product Information Management is designed to provide a single source of data truth for all information in very large companies, available through a single hub.

“Functionally, PIM products help clients manage large numbers of products, including SKUs and product descriptions and imagery, but going well beyond that.” Cunningham said. “They use it to manage their product set and significantly increase their efficiency. It is a particularly important differentiator for sophisticated global businesses. We also have partnerships that extend it as parts of other commerce solutions, like SAP, Salesforce and commercetools.”

As might be expected, retail, particularly big ones, is a huge market for this type of solution.

“We also do well in branded manufacturing, with customers like New Balance and  Ethan Allen, as well as with industrial manufacturing companies, who we provide with a huge efficiency improvement,” Cunningham stated.

Cunningham, who was most recently CMO at Datto, following a long tenure at Splunk and earlier ones at Qlik, CA Technologies, and SAP, is new to the PIM space, and was recruited to inriver by Stenfeldt, who she knew from SAP, after Stenfeldt took over the CEO role in September 2022.

“I was amazed this was a new category,” she said. “I have always been focused on partners and Niels knows partners and understands partners.”

Partners are a significant prong within the inriver Go-to-Market strategy, and have been there for some time.

Brad Habansky, inriver’s Chief Sales Officer

“There has been a significant amount of the bookings through partners,” Cunningham indicated. “Our North American presence is also accelerating.  Brad is also from North America, where he worked at commercetools. We now have a third of our total team in North America. I’m investing a lot in marketing activity in North America and we are looking to expand more here. In Canada, our partner of note is Absolunet, a commerce consulting firm which was acquired last year by Valtech.”

This more aggressive strategy, along with the new senior North America-based executives, are part of a ramping up on inriver’s aggressive growth strategy.

“After inriver was acquired last year by a growth-oriented private equity firm, which had been working with Niels as a strategic advisor because he had both broad leadership experience and market familiarity in this specific market,’ Cunningham said. “Thomas A Lee and Partners saw the opportunity to accelerate growth for inriver, and bringing Niels in and then bringing myself and Brad on board  were part of that  growth focus. It also includes a customer-focused group building long standing renewable customers, which is underpinned by partners,  and which is led by our new SVP of Global Partners and Alliances, Gauri Chawla.

The strategy for the year ahead represents an unfolding of those same principles.

“We want to raise awareness, particularly among partners in retail, and branded or industrial manufacturing, or with commerce vendors like SAP and Salesforce,” Cunningham said. “We are the best bet for mid and large sized enterprises, and we are looking for partners to help us continue to grow in North America.”

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