Ave Wrigley

CTO

I am an experienced CTO, with over 20 years experience of running technology departments in digital video distribution and archiving, digital marketing, e-commerce solutions and mobile development. I have been responsible for technology strategy, software development, infrastructure, product support and technical services. I have managed global teams of 20-30 in London, India, Cambridge, Eastern Europe and New York.

I am currently CTO at ctrlio. ctrlio is a startup that is revolutionising the digital marketing ecosystem by putting power in the hands of the consumer. It is reversing the model where brands target messages to consumers based on inferences based on their behaviour, to one where consumers manage their own intentions, and offer them to brands. This approach is currently being used to help people find the best mobile phone contract, based on their actual usage, and is being to other verticals (broadbans, utilities, personal finance, etc.).

I am also CTO at Veeemotion. Originally a video creation and sharing app that provided unique control of how you share your video with family and friends, and allows you safely and securely archive all of your digital memories, it now provide a similar application to communities that share a common interests, like sports clubs and schools.

Before Veeemotion, I was Interim CTO at AppSwap, a social cross platform app discovery platform that allows you to navigate the ever-growing number of apps on the market for free, across all platforms.

Previously, I was Interim CTO at PrismaStar, a SaaS solution provider for product data services, guided selling technology and behavioural analytics, running the develoment team, managing a transition to an agile development methodology, and creating a product roadmap and strategy to take the business forward.

Prior to that, I was CTO at TagMan, market leader in tag management and digital marketing platforms. TagMan created the first independent tag management product, and have constantly innovated in page performance, dynamic attribution and cross platform tracking. I oversaw a period of rapid growth, with challenges of maintaining an agile approach to software development with scaling a platform with deals with over 5 billion requests per month, collecting and reporting on 600 million online transactions and the marketing activity that led to them.

Prior to that, I was a Head of Technology for one of the UK's cutting edge media technology companies, ITN ON.

I have a research background in speech and natural language technology, information retrieval, and web technology, working at Canon Research Europe, ETL in Japan, and Universities of Bristol and Surrey. I have a PhD from Bristol University.

Employment History

Chief Technology Officer - ctrlio (June 2015 - present)

As CTO of ctrlio I manage a small development team delivering an innovative digital marketing solution that reverses thedigital economy to put power in the hands of the consumer. I have managed the rapid delivery of our own service to help people get the mobile phone contract for them, as well as a platform to supply similar functionality for 3rd party sites. We have also developed B2B components of this platform to enable brand to make personalised offers to people based on their intentions. This has been built using React / Angular, node.js and python on AWS.

Chief Technology Officer - Veeemotion (December 2014 - present)

As CTO of Veeemotion I have build a first team of iOS, Android and back-end developers to accelerate the development of the apps, and build a robust, secure and scalable platform to support the growth of the business. In the first 3 months we have released an Android version of the app, and made 2 major iOS feature releases, deployed an entirely new service API, integrated with Google Tag Manager for end-to-end campaign tracking and analytics. I have also put in place a 2 week agile sprint process to ensure focus, prioritisation and flexibility.

Interim Chief Technology Officer - AppSwap (September 2014 - December 2014)

As Interim CTO of AppSwap I oversaw outsourced development of this cross-platform social app recommendation platform to MVP on a very agressive timetable, managing integration with ecommerce tracking platforms for monetisation, and building a campaign management platform.

Interim Chief Technology Officer - PrismaStar (May 2014 - September 2014)

As Interim CTO of PrismaStar I run the development and infrastructure teams, and have put in place agile practices to improve effective delivery of products and services. I also, in conjunction with the Senior Management Team and the Advisory Board, developed a technology strategic roadmap.

Chief Technology Officer - TagMan (May 2010 - April 2014)

As CTO of TagMan I was a member of a leadership team that has grown the company four fold over the 4 years that I was there. We provided a software as a service (SaaS) product for e-commerce businesses to manage and optimise their digital marketing activity. We not only created the space, but constantly innovated in areas such as:

The key challenge for me has been to combine growth, scalability and agility to deliver a product that continues to lead an aggressively competitive market in both the EU and the US. We have made a big investment in agile development, over several iterations, which has delivered an end-to-end product development cycle that allows us to respond quickly and plan more effectively.

At the same time, we have had to deal with the challenges of being a first mover; we have developed and released several major product upgrades, and managed an industrialized migration process outsourced to a support team in Serbia.

I have restructured the technology department to include Technical Services and Product Support, which has facilitated a focus on delivering self service, using implementation and support metrics to optimize product development in areas such as certification of tag templates.

Due to the mission critical nature of the service we provide (on high volume e-commerce sites) and the data we collect (both marketing campaign and transactional data the feed substantial commercial decisions), as well as the privacy and security focus of the ecosystem, technical operations has been a very high priority. We deliver performance SLA (sub 300 ms) which are unique in the sector at high volumes (5+ billion requests per month). We have developed an innovative bespoke scalable architecture, and then transitioned to best-of-breed web scale technology (e.g. Hadoop) while maintaining a live service without disruption. We collect and aggregate and report on large volumes of data (~1TB per day), and provide real time data in the browser at scale.

One of our key recent areas of innovation is mobile and cross platform tracking and tag management, which I have overseen through outsourced development (Mobile Impossible) which has enabled use to deliver a unique product across multiple platforms (IoS, Android, Flash).

TagMan was successfully sold to Ensighten in Q1 2014.

Head of Technology - ITN ON (1999 - 2010)

I was a Head of Technology for one of the UK's cutting edge media technology companies, ITN ON, and was a member of the Senior Management team. ITN is the UK's leading commercial TV news production company, and makes news programmes for ITV and Channel 4, and ITN ON is a business unit which produces video products for web and mobile.

I oversaw major change in the business, led innovation, and managed major projects to develop a business supplying video, text and images to a wide range of web portals, mobile operators, newspapers, and broadcasters. ITN ON created products specifically for web and mobile, from news and weather to showbiz, movies, gaming, books, fashion and sport.

Customers and partners included:

We successfully employed a wide range of business models, from supply contracts and service solutions, to advertising funding, to syndication and revenue share. We also extended our production and business areas into mobile TV, DVD cover mounts, and broadcast TV.

As Head of Technology, I was responsible for all areas of technology at ITN ON. This includes integration with ITN's broadcast technology infrastructure, managing development project both internally and externally, creating content management and distribution solutions for authoring, transcoding, and delivering video and metadata across the matrix of products and customers. I was also responsible for infrastructure and systems management for our hosted services.

The world in which we operated was very fast moving, with short windows of opportunity and narrow margins of profitability. One of my main contributions is to have created both a development environment and a technology infrastructure that provided a flexible environment enabling us to repeatedly get onto new platforms fast, with low overheads. Examples of this are our highly successful youtube channels and iphone apps, both of which generate significant revenues through advertising.

In all, we produced over 50 videos per day, totalling nearly 2 hours, encoded it into over 20 video format and delivered to over 30 clients using a wide variety of different metadata formats and delivery methods.

We ran a leading news website (itn.co.uk) and mobile site (m.itn.co.uk), iphone apps, youtube channels (amung the all time most viewed channels. Overall we received over 25 million video views of our products per month.

Previously at ITN I also ran a development team for ITN Source (itnsource.com) which was the worlds leading moving image archives, with 750,000 hours of film and video. In partnership with Sony, we developed an integrated digital asset management system to support e-commerce through the website.

Other activities

Canon Research Centre Europe (CRE)

Web Technology Project Leader: Aug 1996 - July 1999

Speech & Natural Language Group: Sept 1993 - Aug 1996

University of Surrey

Royal Society Fellowship (September 1992 - September 1993)

Worked on the SUNDIAL project, the largest EC funded speech technology programme, to develop a telephone information system with a spoken interface; my work was on language modelling for ASR.

ETL

STA Postdoctoral Fellow (March 1992 - September 1992)

ETL is the largest Japanese government research laboratory. My work here involved research into language modelling, and adapting a speech based Japanese language dialogue system to English.

Bristol University

Research Assistant (1989-1991)

I helped to develop a speech recognition system, collaborating with IBM Science Centre at Winchester and RSRE at Malvern, using the probabilistic LR parser developed for my Ph.D.

Education

Bristol University (1986 - 1989)

Ph.D. in "Probabilistic Context-Free Language Modelling in Speech Recognition".

Bristol University (1982 - 1985)

B.Sc. in Psychology and Philosophy (2:1).

Publications

Other Activities

I have championed open source and free data, and have developed an award winning website (schoolmap.org.uk) to present schools information on a map.