Adobe, Yext and Kaltura Veterans Join JW Player Team

Blog 4 min read | Dec 10, 2016 | JW Player


Adobe executive Stephan Rioux will lead JW Player’s Enterprise Sales team, industry veterans from Kaltura and Yext also join leading video solutions company.

NEW YORK – Dec. 10, 2016 – JW Player, the world’s most popular video player and leading digital and mobile video solutions company, today announced the hire of three pivotal players to lead several new strategic initiatives designed to drive the company’s continued global expansion.

Stephan Rioux, former Adobe vice president of Sales for Media, Publishing and Agencies, Financial Services and Retail verticals, will lead JW Player’s newly created Enterprise sales team as Senior Vice President. Amin Makhani, an 8-year veteran of acquisition marketing at Yext is JW Player’s new vice president of Digital Marketing. And Elad Ophir, a solutions engineering professional formerly with Kaltura and the Israeli Defense Ministry,  has been tapped as the senior director of Solutions Engineering.

The new appointments underscore JW Player’s continued acceleration into the enterprise space and around the world. In 2016, the company added more than 2,000 new enterprise customers that pushed the overall client base close to 20,000. With enterprise customers ranging from Univision, Hearst, Red Bull, VICE Media and iHeartMedia, JW Player’s footprint now spans 193 countries and its technology is live on more than 2 million sites with over 1.3 billion monthly unique viewers across all devices. Its rapid growth comes as nearly all companies and brands turn increasingly toward online and mobile video as a strategic imperative.  

“Stephan has the depth of experience to help take our business strategy to the next level and will provide the leadership to build stronger relationships with large media, broadcasters, and publishers,” said Chris Mahl, president of JW Player. “I am excited to have someone with his extensive background in strategy, and customer solutions, as well as a proven track record of delivering strong results in complex environments ensuring we meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers.”

Enterprise Customers

The newly developed enterprise team will focus its efforts on building close partnerships with large media, broadcasters, publishers and agencies to streamline their digital media and video workflows, helping shape the direction of products, roadmaps, and solution offerings for publishers. Driving strategic solutions and developing go to market sales strategies throughout the Americas, Rioux will work closely with the world’s largest publishers to create innovative approaches to distributing and monetizing video content.

He consistently led Adobe as a top performer with several promotions over the years. In his most recent role as VP Sales, he managed a team of 3 AVPs and 30 Sr. Account Executives.

“The JW platform continues to be the highest performance video solution driving the deepest customer engagement, viewer satisfaction, and publisher success globally,” said Rioux. “First came the Digital Publishing revolution in 2010 with the launch of the iPad. Now we’re a seeing a renewed Digital Video Revolution with new devices such as Apple TV, Gaming consoles, Roku, 360 VR and JW is a driving force in helping publishers increase engagement, deliver more relevant content and drive net new revenue streams as well as increasing existing revenue. I look forward to helping the company scale as it continues to drive growth in the enterprise space.”

An honors graduate in Finance and Management Information Systems from Laval University, Quebec City, Rioux began his tech career as a developer with a Canadian technology company which was acquired by Adobe in 2002.

Digital Marketing

In this newly created role, Makhani will be responsible for Identifying market expansion opportunities, scaling acquisition via digital marketing, and nurturing the customer lifecycle. Prior to JW, Amin spent nearly 8-year leading acquisition marketing at Yext. While there, the company grew from one small office and 30 employees to 5 global offices and over 550 employees. He has a bachelor of science degree in Math and Economics from Duke University.

Senior Director of Solutions Engineering

Another recent addition to the leadership, Elad Ophir has been tapped as the Senior Director of Solutions Engineering. In this role, Ophir oversees the technical customer lifecycle, from evaluation to implementation, ensuring maximum adoption and utilization.

Ophir joins JW Player from Kaltura, where he filled multiple roles, from Director of Project Management to most recently the Senior Director of Solutions Engineering. He also worked as a Technical Project Manager for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Elad brings with him almost a decade of experience in video technology and workflows.

About JW Player

JW Player is the New York-based startup that pioneered video on the web and is now innovating for the future. Started in 2008 as the world’s first open source video player, today the company’s customers span the globe across 193 countries and range from Fortune 500 companies to individual bloggers. The company’s flagship product, JW Player, is live on more than 2 million sites with 9 billion video streams to 900 million monthly unique viewers across all devices—phones, tablets, and desktops. Nearly five percent of all video streams worldwide are delivered through JW Player. In addition to the player, the company’s services include video hosting and streaming, advertising, and analytics.

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