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Management

Get to know the team.

Gil Elbaz

Founder and CEO

Gil Elbaz is an accomplished entrepreneur and pioneer of natural language technology. Founded in 2008, Factual is Gil's second startup. In 1998, Gil co-founded Applied Semantics Inc. (ASI) which developed contextual advertising products, including ASI's AdSense. In 2003, Google acquired ASI and Gil stayed on through 2007 as the director of engineering for the Santa Monica office, continuing to work on AdSense.

Gil earned his bachelor's degree from Caltech with a double major in Engineering and Applied Science and Economics. Gil serves on the Board of Directors of the X Prize Foundation.

Bill Michels

SVP Product and Partnerships

Bill joined Factual in 2009 and is responsible for all product management and business development functions. Prior to Factual, Bill worked at Yahoo!, where he was most recently Senior Director of Product Management Yahoo! Search. In this capacity he was the GM for Yahoo! BOSS, which under him grew from inception to over +1B queries/month. Prior to that he was the Director of International Search Business Operations and Product Strategy, a +$1B P&L with 500+ employees across 15+ countries.

Other experience includes Equity Research Associate at UBS on the #1 ranked Institutional Investor telecom research team. At one point he wore a white coat and worked in a solid-state physics research lab. Bill has an MBA from Columbia University Business School and a BA in Geology from Colby College.

Rob Jonas

SVP of Revenue

Rob joined Factual as the SVP of Revenue in 2016 and is responsible for driving Factual’s revenue growth and scaling the revenue organization globally. He joined us from PubMatic, where he ran strategy and operations for the revenue team as the Global Chief Revenue Officer. Before his role as CRO, Rob oversaw and led PubMatic’s strategy and operations for revenue management across EMEA and APAC, including launching operations in Japan.

With an extensive background in the tech industry, Rob has worked as the Vice President and Managing Director of EMEA at InMobi, Director of Strategic Partnerships of EMEA at Google, Director of New Business at Yahoo, and Business Development Director at Overture for Northern Europe.

Rob is a graduate of Oxford University and has completed executive education at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, both in the United Kingdom. He is an active mentor in the technology startup community, working with Seedcamp in the UK and most recently with Techstars in Los Angeles.

Boris Shimanovsky

SVP of Engineering

Boris joined the Factual team in 2008 and is responsible for all engineering and technology functions. Prior to joining Factual, he was CTO at Xap, which he helped build from eight employees to a thriving business with millions of users and over a hundred employees.

When Boris was in the seventh grade and dinosaurs still roamed the earth, he took his first programming course and wrote a videogame as his first class project. His junior year in college, he built a site that quickly became the web’s 27th most trafficked and then optimized it enough to run from two machines in his den. He’s not retired now because he really wanted to graduate.

Boris holds a BS in Physiological Science and an MS in Computer Science, both from UCLA. He put himself through school working night shifts as an ambulance driver. Boris lives in Los Angeles with his badass wife and three amazing children. He is a lousy philosopher, a mediocre poet, and will someday become a great chef.

Brian Czarny

SVP of Marketing

Brian joined Factual in 2017 as Senior Vice President of Marketing and is responsible for driving all aspects of marketing for Factual, including strategy, brand, communications, product marketing and growth. A senior marketing and product veteran, he brings more than 20 years of marketing experience in building and managing results-oriented teams for fast growing technology companies.

Brian came to Factual from Telesign, a leading communications platform as a service company, where he served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and oversaw all product marketing, branding, and marketing communications for the company through the company’s acquisition by BICS in April 2017. Prior to TeleSign, Brian was VP of Marketing and Product for cloud-based identity and access management provider Symplified, through its acquisition by RSA in July 2014. And has previously held senior management positions with leading security companies Webroot and MessageLabs (now Symantec).

Brian received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Penn State University and currently serves as a mentor for Techstars, helping emerging technology startups with marketing and strategy initiatives.

Ahad Rana

Director of Engineering

As Director of Engineering, Ahad leads the team responsible for building and maintaining the software infrastructure that helps Factual crunch through the large amounts of data required to build high quality datasets. Ahad joined Factual in 2010.

Before Factual, Ahad helped lead engineering efforts at the CommonCrawl project, where he was an early adopter of Hadoop and Amazon’s EC2 platform. Prior to this, he held technical and leadership positions at Google, AOL, and others and worked on a variety of interesting projects including distributed systems, web browsers, and control systems, to name a few.

When not compensating for the ever shrinking half-life of engineering knowledge by revisiting the beauty of code-as-data in Lisp (but now Clojure), exploring Category Theory in Scala, debating the pros and cons of Rust vs. Go or Spark vs. MapReduce, or trying to comprehend which Flux framework to use, Ahad splits his remaining free time between teaching his kids stuff and exercising.

Michael Birnbach

VP of Finance and Operations

Michael joined the Factual team in 2011 and is responsible for all finance functions, as well as operations [including people operations (HR), engagement, legal, compliance, real estate, and compensation]. He is an active participant in industry trade groups, such as the Los Angeles CFO Roundtable and Index Ventures Portfolio Finance Leaders Group.

Before joining Factual, Michael analyzed and advised private equity groups on national real estate portfolio acquisitions and distributions. He also conducted private wealth management for individuals and Fortune 500 companies while at Oppenheimer and Smith Barney/Citigroup. Prior to that, Michael honed his deal-making skills in the entertainment industry, first on the agency side at ICM in the film division and then on the production side at various production companies at Warner Brothers and MGM.

Michael earned his BS in Economics from Chapman University. Michael’s other interests include tennis, real estate, biographies, and movies.

Ocean Fine

VP of Agencies and Strategic Partners

As the Director of Agency and Strategic Partnerships, Ocean is responsible for driving awareness and adoption of Factual’s Location Targeting Ad Solutions.

A digital advertising veteran with 15 years experience working for and with agencies and brands, she loves working on the newest technologies in mobile and has a proven track record for building and growing teams that focus on all aspects of mobile channel enablement, from sales, strategy and planning to launching first to market innovative mobile companies. Before joining Factual, Ocean was Director of Sales for AT&T AdWorks, directed the Account Teams at VeriSign’s Mobile division via an acquisition of m-Qube where she helped build their Mobile Marketing client base. She started her career spending 5 years working agency client side at Euro RSCG 4D, a division of Havas Worldwide.

Ocean holds a BS in Sociology and a Masters in Communications and Media Studies, both from Clark University.

Kristian Wilson

VP of Partner Services and Revenue Operations

Kristian leads Factual’s Account team responsible for partner onboarding operations, and growth.He is a proven leader in the digital advertising industry, most recently specializing in building custom advertising marketplaces in the mobile app space.

Kristian embodies a deep entrepreneurial spirit, with experience building companies from start-up to mature corporations. Prior to joining Factual in 2014, he was the VP of Advertising Services at Burstly which was acquired by Apple Inc. Prior to Burstly, Kristian was a founding member of Adconion Media Group, which was acquired by Amobee. Over his career, Kristian has developed deep domain experience in all facets of display and mobile advertising, including sales, operations, ad-serving and management.

Kristian holds a BSBA degree from the University of Denver, with concentration in Marketing and Management.

Brinton Harris

Sr. Director Business Development

Brinton joined Factual in 2009 as part of the original business team and now manages licensing deals for our Global Places Data.

Prior to Factual, he was the first BD hire at YuMe Inc (NYSE: YUME) where he helped launch their publisher video ad network and grew it to what was at the time the largest in the space. Other experience includes four years of business development for Yahoo! Search Marketing in Los Angeles with a focus on Health, Lifestyle, and Finance verticals, and managing digital strategy for large global brands as an Account Director for online ad agency Avenue A in New York (now Razorfish).

Brinton earned a BA of History from Yale University. He grew up in Seattle and used to enjoy camping, swimming and biking, but now he gets most of his exercise chasing his three young boys.

Mandeep Mason

Managing Director - Europe

As Factual’s Managing Director of Europe, Mandeep’s focus includes supporting existing global partners and developing new partnerships with marketers, enterprises and advertising technology partners in Europe. He is also responsible for overseeing and expanding Factual’s operations and footprint across the region.

With over 13 years of mobile advertising, data and technology experience, Mandeep’s specialties include leading go-to-market strategies and execution for new markets, driving revenue growth, and building partnerships with agencies, advertisers and ad tech companies. His most recent position was General Manager of PlaceIQ’s European business and before that, he was International Director for Mobile Advertising Sales & Strategy at Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, Mandeep spent five years working in leadership roles within Nokia’s mobile advertising group (including time at subsidiary NAVTEQ), where he helped build an early mobile display advertising network and later helped pioneer one of the industry’s first global location-based advertising propositions.

Mason has held advisory board roles for the IAB and MMA in Europe, where he has helped to drive industry standards and best practices for location data. Mason holds a degree in Business Management.