The Blue Kangaroo Team at ChoozOn


We're ordinary shoppers like you who found it difficult to manage our way through the blizzard of deals out there and found the relationships with our favorite brands getting lost in all that noise. We created a startup called ChoozOn Corporation a couple years ago to change this, and recently renamed its consumer service Blue Kangaroo.

ChoozOn was founded in 2010 by former executives - and old friends - from Yahoo! and Microsoft with over 70 years of combined experience in the Internet technology, data services, and online marketing industries.

ChoozOn Corporation is an American company with main offices in Seattle, the Philadelphia, and San Francisco areas. Marketing partners, users of Blue Kangaroo services, and the Press are always welcome to contact us.


Nick Weir, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & Chairman More...
Nick was formerly Yahoo!'s Vice President for Data Strategy, and has long been an advocate for more transparent, permission-based marketing services that put consumers in full control of the personal data that they share with the companies who sell things to them. A recognized expert in data valuation and privacy, Nick co-founded Yahoo!'s Data Governance Team and represented Yahoo! to the industry in matters regarding user data collection and use. Indeed, Nick was recently singled out by the Internet Advertising Bureau to receive its 2011 Service Excellence Award, recognizing his leading role in the development of the IAB's new Data Usage Control Primer. Nick was formerly a Vice President at Goldman Sachs Co., and President and COO of Strategy.com, an online consumer services company. A person of diverse scope, Nick originally was an astrophysicist who received his doctorate degree from Caltech, after graduating from Harvard (where, among other things, he was president of America's oldest collegiate theater group, Hasty Pudding Theatricals).

Laurence Marks

Chief Executive Officer More...
Prior to becoming CEO at Blue Kangaroo, Laurence was The Roo’s Chief Revenue Officer where he managed the business side of the Company including business development, marketing, editorial, content development, account management and strategic planning. Before Blue Kangaroo, Laurence was VP of Business Development for mobile marketing and advertising solutions provider Velti, launching the company's mobile ad exchange and attracting leading mobile operators, advertisers and publishers as partners. As a business and content development executive at leading media companies such as Yahoo!, Internet video company Mevio, and interactive TV platform provider, OpenTV, Laurence drove revenue-generating partnerships and introduced competitive content monetization initiatives. Laurence holds a Bachelor degree from Miami University, a Masters’ degree in International Economics and European Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.

Kefah Issa

Vice President of Engineering More...
Kefah manages engineering functions at ChoozOn, where his rigorous standards and versatile technology background have proved essential. Kefah brings over 15 years of hands-on experience in most facets of software engineering and development, delivering high-demand, scalable solutions for clients that have included Microsoft, Orange, Emirates Airlines, Estarta Solutions, and D1G.com, among many others. Kefah received his Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Jordan.

Paul Nichols

Director for Business Development More...
Paul is a veteran of performance marketing, being one of the first people hired at Ebates.com - the industry's first cash back loyalty site - where he provided leadership over 10 years in a variety of capacities. Subsequently, Paul founded Publisher Focus, a consulting firm to guide partner development for a wide range of performance-marketing startups in fields as varied as virtual currency, flash sales and behavioral targeting. Paul has served on the publisher advisory boards of the three biggest affiliate networks and has been a guest speaker at many Internet marketing-related conferences. Prior to his career in affiliate marketing, Paul was a prosecutor with the San Mateo County (California) District Attorney's Office. Paul earned his BA at the University of California, Berkeley and his JD at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Barry Owen

Director Brand Content More...
Barry leads the ChoozOn team responsible for selecting and optimizing the offer content on our service. Barry was Managing Editor of PC Magazine when it vaulted from a slim bimonthly to a record-breaking fortnightly special-interest magazine. Later, as Executive Editor, he helped found PC Labs, an early model for objective testing of digital technology. As an editorial consultant, Barry has helped develop and manage print and web properties for many clients, including All Things D, Aon, Apple, IDG, Isuzu, Microsoft, Presto, Ziff-Davis, and Xerox PARC, among others. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, Barry was a seasonal U.S. Forest Service firefighter during college and for several years thereafter.

Usama Fayyad, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & Board Member More...
Usama is a world-renowned pioneer in the world of data and is one of the founders of the fields of data mining and corporate data strategy. He was formerly Yahoo!'s Chief Data Officer and Executive VP, as well as founder of Yahoo!'s research organization. A serial entrepreneur who founded his first startup, Audience Science (formerly DigiMine) in 2000 after leaving Microsoft, Usama sold his second company, DMX Group, to Yahoo! in 2004 and remained on Yahoo!'s senior executive team till late 2008. Prior to ChoozOn Usama was founder and CEO of Open Insights, a data strategy and data mining consulting firm working with the largest on-line and mobile companies in the world. Usama's professional experience also includes five years at Microsoft directing the data mining and exploration efforts and developing database algorithms for Microsoft's Server Division. Prior to Microsoft he was with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he did award-winning work on the automated exploration of massive scientific databases. Usama earned his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, and holds advanced degrees in electrical and computer engineering, and in mathematics. Usama is also active in academic communities and is a Fellow of both the Association for Computing Machinery and the Association of the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence; he is Chairman of the ACM SIGKDD. Usama is passionate about Big Data, personalization technology and shares Nick's passion for empowering consumers to extract more value from the brands trying to reach them.

Hunter Madsen, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & Board Member More...
Hunter leads the user experience, marketing, sales and business development teams. As a senior partner, Hunter co-founded the digital marketing practice at advertising agency giant J. Walter Thompson/USA in the early Nineties, pioneering the outreach programs online for major brands such as Sprint, Sun Microsystems, and the State of California's Board of Tourism. Subsequently, he led marketing and commercial strategy for Wired magazine and its online properties during their heyday. At Yahoo!, Hunter established the product marketing unit of Yahoo! Worldwide Sales in 2003, where he led go-to-market for the company's behavioral targeting systems, online promotions, and other advanced advertising services. Most recently, Hunter managed digital media across Western Canada for Postmedia Network, the nation's largest metro news chain. Originally a social scientist, Hunter received his doctorate and master's degrees from Harvard University.