Phone408 420-9239

Mark Torrance

Chief Technology Officer

21 years of executive leadership, product and engineering strategy, engineering management, and hands-on software development including machine learning, big data, online advertising, robotics, user centered design, and data visualization

9/2009 — present
Rocket Fuel — Online advertising performance DSP and DMP
Chief Technology Officer
  • Hired and managed 70-person Machine Learning, AI/Optimization, and Web Apps teams from Series A (20 people) through IPO (4 years of 145% CAGR, 1200 people, $400mm+ revenue)
  • Managed onshore engineers in 3 offices plus offshore contractors through 2 firms
  • Invented and managed development of core technology including machine learning based predictive models, multi-objective optimization, automatic campaign pacing, bid strategy, global margin controls and fully automated model A/B testing resulting in performance 8x better than Google
  • Invented and built key visualizations for transparency and analytics: marketing that learns, bid landscape, audience inspector, model attributes, analyze w/ pivot table, conversions globe
  • Instrumental to over $50m in sales in over 200 strategic meetings with executive decision makers at companies such as P&G, Mazda, Group M / WPP, Microsoft, BMW, Chase, Citi, Amex; also prospects, investors, industry and financial analysts including Forrester and Gartner
  • Wrote thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn, Ad Exchanger, and other industry publications, and serve as Chief Scientific Advisor of the Rocket Fuel Institute
  • Served as technical and strategic advisor as member of eStaff and reporting directly to 2 CEOs
  • Organized and led Architecture Review Committee for discussion of all major engineering initiatives
  • Organized and led monthly Innovation Council including management of product development backlog for advanced R&D project work by both Labs and regular engineering teams
  • Awarded 2 patents for inventions related to first party cookies in advertising
2002 — 2009
Vinq — 40-person profitable web design and development consulting firm
Founder / CEO / Principal Consultant
  • Designed and built RADAR Mail for SRI as working demonstration of DARPA funded tech (sister project to Siri), employing AI and ML in a new custom web email client. Jointly own the IP. $4m
  • Designed and built Prior Art Workbench for Stanford Tech Licensing Office for patent research. $2m
  • Redesigned website for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. $1.5m
  • Designed and built KnowledgePlex CMS, and DataPlace open source GIS tool like Claritas, for Fannie Mae Foundation. Subcontractor Placebase became Apple Maps team. $50m over 6 years
2000 — 2002
Knowmadic — Business process workflow and web scraping for energy sector
Chief Technology Officer
  • Designed and built new desktop UI in Java for business process workflow, OCR screen scraping
  • Pitched to VCs and secured Series A funding from Hummer Winblad and 3i
8/1993 – 6/2000 — One of first 500 sites on web, first finance site
Founder / CEO
  • Grew from 0 to 1 million average daily unique users, averaging 50 page views per session
  • Built robust investor relations business with 30% of Fortune 500 as clients
  • Hired and managed 9 direct reports at VP or COO level
  • Grew to 80 employees; Sold for $77m stock to Red Herring in March 2000
Skills Product and Technology Strategy, Management, Innovation, Rapid Prototyping, Agile, Lean Startup
Big Data: Hadoop, Hive, HBase, Apache Spark, MLlib, Big Data, Deep Learning, Regression Models
Languages and Frameworks: Java, Scala, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, Ruby, Node.js, React, Rails, Perl, d3, git, mysql, Vertica
Design: User Centered Design, UX, Interactive Data Visualization, Nielsen-Norman principles
Gallup Strengths: Strategic, Ideation, Maximizer, Futuristic, Winning Others Over
Education Massachusetts Institute of Technology — S.M. EECS 1994: Thesis Natural Communication with Mobile Robots
NSF Scholar, “All-but-dissertation” completed in Ph.D. program through 1996, on “intelligent room”

Stanford University — B.S. Symbolic Systems 1991, with distinction. AI concentration.
Implemented TR Trees, robot sims, and Agent Oriented Programming demos for Nilsson, Shoham, Rosenschein