Catalina, the market leader in shopper intelligence and personalized digital media that converts shoppers into buyers, today announced that it has named Gerald “Jerry” Sokol Jr. as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
A pioneer in personalized marketing, Catalina is undertaking a comprehensive transformation to deliver innovative marketing solutions to its customers – whether in-store, online or via mobile devices – anytime and anywhere. A turnaround expert with diverse experience transforming businesses, restructuring debt and developing entrepreneurial executives, Sokol intends to swiftly accelerate Catalina’s emergence as a digital leader that sits squarely at the intersection of marketing, analytics and technology.
Sokol has a proven track record in managing, restructuring and growing companies in rapidly evolving environments. His extensive expertise leading technology and consumer-focused companies spans operations, sales and marketing, and finance across a wide variety of markets, including the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Australia and Latin America.
From 2009-2013, first as CFO and then as CEO and President of Vertis Communications, one of the largest printing and targeted direct marketing companies in the U.S., Sokol successfully led the company through its restructuring.
Earlier in his career, Sokol spent 10 years at AOL, where he held numerous leadership roles, including Executive Vice President of International Operations and Strategy. In this role, he managed AOL’s international joint ventures and oversaw product development and product marketing, marketing analysis, product pricing, distribution and strategic alliances.
In his most recent role as Amtrak’s Chief Financial Officer, Sokol was responsible for managing more than $11 billion in assets, more than $1 billion of debt, and a multi-billion-dollar operating budget.
“Our board believes Jerry’s experience and digital background, coupled with his demonstrated ability to solve strategic challenges, make him the right leader to transform Catalina and drive the company successfully into the future,” said Josh Lutzker, Chairman of Catalina’s Board of Directors.
“Catalina has the assets and positioning in the market to grow. It has a scalable and customer-focused business model that delivers highly personalized, precise marketing programs across channels that turn shoppers into buyers in a way that is differentiated, effective, and efficient,” Sokol said. “The company’s renewed commitment to innovation will provide retailers and brands with the best possible products to increase their financial returns. I am looking forward to leading the company as Catalina becomes an even more meaningful strategic partner delivering data-driven marketing solutions that help customers connect with consumers anytime, anywhere.”
A Michigan native, Sokol received his master’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado, Denver. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
Catalina’s personalized digital media drives lift and loyalty for the world’s leading CPG retailers and brands. Catalina personalizes the consumer’s path to purchase through mobile, online and in-store networks powered by the greatest shopper database in the world. Catalina is based in St. Petersburg, FL, with operations in the United States, Europe and Japan.