Richard Webb, Chairman / Founder

Richard Webb founded Red Ocean in 2005 to fund disruptive ventures and more recently co-founded Start Mesh to mentor and develop disruptive and innovative data , resource, media, and commerce enabling platforms. He has incubated over 15 ventures, some which have been successfully sold to larger organizations or floated on public stock exchanges. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of The Inspiration Room, the CEO/Founder of South Bondi and is a Director of Tradiee, Tribesta, Chatter3, Kühl, Lexia Analytics, and Legaler.

His venture fund, Red Ocean, was an early investor in Effective Measure. Founded in 2008 he joined the Board at inception as a non-executive Director and assumed the role of Chairman and CEO of the company between 2011 and 2014. Effective Measure now operates in 41 countries and has become the world’s largest Profile Validation Platform, auditing over a billion unique device profiles and helping the largest publishers, ad networks, advertising agencies and advertisers globally through its unique technology and insights of predictive consumer behaviour. Deloitte recognised Effective Measure as the 63rd fastest growing technology company in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014. Once a year Deloitte publishes the Deloitte Technology 500 ranking, and in that announcement Effective Measure was recognised for posting revenue growth over the previous three years of 485%. Effective Measure was also recognized by Red Herring Magazine as one of the top 100 technology companies in the Asia Pacific Region in 2012 and by Ant Hill Magazine as one of the Coolest Companies in Australia in 2010.

Prior to his involvement in Effective Measure he was the CEO of the largest publicly listed education and technology company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Renaissance Corporation. During his time there he prepared the company for the end of its exclusive role as the distributor and largest retailer of Apple Computer products, by consolidating its many disparate entities under a single brand, YOOBEE, and significantly reducing its cost base. YOOBEE was awarded the new brand of the year in New Zealand in 2011. The company successfully sold it’s technology distribution division in 2012 and it’s retail and education division in 2014.

Prior to his time at Renaissance he founded and became the first CEO of the publicly listed global interactive communication group, BlueFreeway. During the company’s first two years under his leadership the company grew to 540 staff servicing over 1,500 publishers and advertisers through direct sales offices in 25 cities and 19 countries, exceeding its first year IPO prospectus earnings forecast by 20%. In 2008, the company was successfully sold to specialty media and communications company, IPMG, which sought to diversify its mature print media portfolio with high growth digital media assets. The BlueFreeway assets continue to represent the largest area of growth for IPMG today.

Prior to starting up BlueFreeway, Richard was the CEO of Citect; the world’s largest publicly listed independent industrial automation software company. During his time there, the company developed and launched a number of patented cloud-based products and expanded its geographic footprint to over 85 countries, delivering record revenue and profits. He successfully sold Citect to the French publicly listed conglomerate, Schneider Electric in 2006, tripling the company’s share price during his tenure.

Prior to his role of CEO at Citect, Richard was the CEO of Red Sheriff, a world leader and innovator in Internet audience measurement technology, from 1999 until he successfully sold Red Sheriff to Nielsen in 2004.  Under Richard’s leadership Red Sheriff grew its revenue thirty-fold, authored and secured technology patents which today serve as the underlying base for the collection of most meta-data, raised product development and geographic expansion capital in New York and London, expanded its global presence from a start up in Australia to become the world’s largest web analytics and market intelligence vendor servicing over 1,200 clients in 52 countries. He successfully sold Red Sheriff to Nielsen and post the sale Richard assumed the role of President for Nielsen for the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions.

Richard has held more than 85 company board directorships in 23 countries and continues to actively support new technology startups globally. He has also served as the Managing Director – Oceania for Sensient Technology Corporation (NYSE: SXT), CEO – Asia Pacific for Cott Corporation (NASDAQ: COTT), and has held various senior management roles in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East with PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) and Anheuser Busch (NYSE: BUD)

He is frequently asked to speak at world conferences on a range of disruptive ideas. A few of these include:

  • ESOMAR (Geneva) – The media mix landscape (2004)
  • Industrial Automation (Amsterdam) – Cloud-based control systems of the future (2006)
  • Mining Indaba (Johannesburg) – Mining control systems and the future of automation (2007)
  • AdTech (New York) – The future of online advertising (2008)
  • TEDxAuckland (Auckland) – The creative class and the future of small nimble economies like New Zealand (2010)
  • AdTech (Singapore) – Big data and the future of key metrics which will drive commerce (2011)
  • I-COM (Rome) – Can emerging markets lead the next media revolution? (2012)
  • I-COM (Rome) – One-to-one relationships; are they transnational? (2012)
  • iMedia (Bali) – The advertiser-led revolution (2013)
  • Online Publishers (Cape Town) – The next wave of media metrics (2013)
  • DigIT (Karachi) – The next phase of media development and it implications for developing markets (2013)
  • On Fire (Sydney) – Incubating disruptive ideas (2014)
  • CEO Summit; Creating Future Cities (Sydney) – The new drivers of the global economy (2014)
  • CEO Summit; Creating Future Cities (Sydney) – Raising equity in the brave new world (2014)

Richard holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Management (Thermodynamics) from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Syracuse University in New York. He is a licensed professional engineer in the US states of New York and Florida. He has four children and is a dual US/Australian citizen.