|Alma mater||University of Odense, London Business School|
|Occupation||Chief Executive Officer, The Huffington Post|
|Known for||Entrepreneurship, Digital media, Strategy, Online advertising|
Since December 2012, Maymann has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Huffington Post, based in New York. Maymann’s tenure has been focused on the transition of The Huffington Post towards becoming a profitable, global media company.
Maymann started his internet career in Denmark in the mid 1990s after he graduated from the University of Odense with a degree in Economics and International Marketing. His final university thesis – about the commercial opportunities presented by the internet – was inspired by a fieldtrip Maymann took to the US in 1994, during which he was exposed to the internet for the first time, and which ultimately laid the foundation for his first business ventures.
In 1995 Maymann founded Neo Ideo along with two old friends, Morten Lund (a future investor in Skype) and Lars Holm Hansen. Neo Ideo was an internet consultancy advising Scandinavian companies on internet strategy  and Maymann served as Managing Partner until 1999, when the company was acquired by global advertising agency Leo Burnett. As part of that acquisition Maymann joined Leo Burnett first as its Strategic Director responsible for managing the firm’s major Scandinavian clients, but ultimately becoming Global Discipline Head of Leo Burnett’s Marketing Service practice Arc Worldwide.
GoViral and AOL
In 2005 Maymann co-founded GoViral, an online video distribution company that developed video advertising platforms able to track, distribute and host video ads across multiple online sites. With Maymann’s guidance the company evolved from being primarily involved in video production to focusing on platform development, allowing it to quickly scale its operations.
In February 2011 GoViral was acquired by AOL for $96.7m. Maymann was reportedly initially opposed to the sale, preferring instead to continue building the business. However, despite being the single biggest shareholder, he ultimately acceded to the desires of the other shareholders and agreed to the sale.
After the integration of GoViral into AOL, Maymann was promoted by CEO Tim Armstrong to be the Senior Vice President of International of the newly formed AOL Huffington Post Media Group, which had been formed after AOL’s purchase of the Huffington Post for $315m, only weeks after the acquisition of GoViral. In this role Maymann was primarily responsible for creating and managing the international strategy of the Huffington Post as well as AOL’s various content brands.
The Huffington Post
In December 2012, after almost two years in his international role at AOL, Maymann was announced as the Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post, in what was seen as the latest step in that brand’s transition to a standalone company within AOL.
Since coming to the helm, and working alongside editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington, Maymann has overseen the growth of the Huffington Post’s traffic from 45 million to 90 million monthly unique visitors and has grown its staff to around 1,000 people worldwide. The Huffington Post is now expected to be profitable for the first time in 2014.
Key focuses of Maymann’s tenure as CEO of the Huffington Post have been its international expansion, the creation of an innovative online streaming video site called HuffPost Live and the re-organization of the domestic business in order to drive better monetization across the site.
Under Maymann’s guidance, the Huffington Post’s international expansion has been rapid: after only two years international visitors now account for roughly 44% of its total traffic. The Huffington Post has primarily established partnerships with existing major news organizations in each country, a strategy that has enabled rapid growth to be carried out while keeping investment costs down. The Huffington Post currently has international editions in Canada, the UK, Le Huffington Post in France (in partnership with Le Monde), El Huffington Post in Spain (in partnership with Le Pais), L’Huffington Post in Italy (in partnership with Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso), Huffington Post Deutschland (in partnership with Tomorrow Focus AG), Huffington Post Japan (in partnership with Asahi Shimbun), Al Huffington Post Maghreb covering Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco (in partnership with private investors), Brasil Post in Brazil (in partnership with Abril Group) [link20], and Huffington Post South Korea (in partnership with Hankyoreh News). A number of additional international editions are being planned, notably including India and China. Each new market is entered with a financial goal of profitability within two years. In furtherance of its goal to be a global media organization, international editions now meet at global summits to help improve collaboration.
In August 2012, The Huffington Post launched HuffPost Live - an innovative interactive TV format, which it streams for eight hours each weekday from a studio in its New York Office. HuffPost Live consists primarily of interview-based content and often incorporates viewers who are encouraged to contribute directly and in real time. The site now attracts roughly 100 million monthly views and approximately 20,000 people have contributed to HuffPost Live segments via VOIP networks such as Google Hangout and Skype. The site recently announced that it had reached the milestone of one billion total views and HuffPost Live content is also used to supplement editorial content on the huffingtonpost.com site.
The development of HuffPost Partner Studio, the in-house content creation agency of the Huffington Post, has been another of Maymann’s enhancements of the Huffington Post’s monetization capabilities. HuffPost Partner Studio is a team of editors and strategists that works collaboratively with brands to optimize, and in many instances create, native and branded advertising content to be distributed through the Huffington Post platform. This has also been described as a ‘brands as newsrooms’ approach. Whilst the HuffPost Partner Studio team is made up of staff with editorial backgrounds, all sponsored content appearing on the site includes clear identification of the content’s sponsor. In addition to the content creation itself, many of the benefits of using the agency come from its familiarity with the Huffington Post’s site and the traffic patterns of its audience, as well as access to the Huffington Post’s real-time audience and traffic tracking technology. As a senior marketing manager has been quoted as explaining:
[They have] the knowledge of what’s newsworthy, when should it be placed, how should it be discussed or talked about so it’s more compelling to a wider audience. They bring that guidance and expertise to us to make sure how, where and when we’re telling a story is lined up all in the right way.”
Pricing for HuffPost Partner Studio programs ranges from $40,000 to up to $1 million, depending on the level of assistance and the desired distribution of the campaign. The Huffington Post now expects about one-third of its advertising revenue to come from native and content marketing.
Continuing entrepreneurial activity
Maymann maintains an active portfolio of angel investments focusing largely on media, tech and gaming companies.
Maymann’s wife is a doctor, also from Denmark. They have three children: one girl and two boys.
While living in Denmark, Maymann spent a brief period playing handball at the highest level. He remains an avid runner and triathlete and has completed more than 20 marathons.
- ‘Jimmy Maymann discusses building a global media brand’, The Next Web, 4/23/2013 http://thenextweb.com/media/2013/04/23/huffington-post/
- ‘Jimmy Maymann: Dane in charge of the Huffington Post’, Jyskebank.tv, 3/6/2014 https://jyskebank.tv/013855554731551/jimmy-maymann-danskeren-i-spidsen-for-huffington-post
- Profile: Jimmy Maymann, CEO of The Huffington Post, LBS Business Strategy Review, [undated] http://bsr.london.edu/lbs-article/793/index.html
- ‘Business diary: Jimmy Maymann’, Financial Times, 3/14/2011 http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/46357cbe-4e6e-11e0-98eb-00144feab49a.html#axzz33gmWN1XS
- Jimmy Maymann: personal overview, CrunchBase, viewed 3/29/2014 http://www.crunchbase.com/person/jimmy-maymann
- Bloomberg Businessweek Company Overview: GoViral Limited, 05/30/2014 http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=60227713&privcapId=54256792
- ‘How GoViral sold for $96.7 million – with Jimmy Maymann’, Mixergy, 10/11/2013 http://mixergy.com/jimmy-maymann-go-viral-interview/
- ‘AOL buys GoViral for $96.7m’, The Guardian, 1/31/2011 http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jan/31/aol-buys-goviral
- ‘My Liquidity Moment’, The Financial Times, 06/23/2011 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/46357cbe-4e6e-11e0-98eb-00144feab49a.html#axzz32UGjTQiw
- Betting on News, AOL Is Buying The Huffington Post, The New York Times, 2/7/2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/business/media/07aol.html?_r=0
- ‘Huffington Post sold to AOL for $315m’, The Guardian, 2/7/2011 http://www.theguardian.com/world/richard-adams-blog/2011/feb/07/huffington-post-sale-aol-ariana
- ‘HuffPo is not for sale, except maybe at the right price’, Gigaom, 11/16/2012 http://gigaom.com/2012/11/16/huffpo-is-not-for-sale-except-maybe-at-the-right-price/
- ‘Huffington Post Names New CEO’, The New York Times, 12/6/2012 http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/huffington-post-names-new-c-e-o/
- How Huffington Post uses data in the newsroom and beyond’, Journalism.co.uk, 5/8/2014 http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/how-the-huffington-post-uses-data-in-the-newsroom-and-beyond/s2/a556679/
- ‘Three things to know’, Arise Xchange, 01/23/2014 http://www.arise.tv/xchange/arise-xchange-23-01-4598
- ‘AOL banks on HuffPost to turn profitable next year’, Reuters, 12/23/2013 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/aol-banks-huffpost-turn-profitable-122707599.html (Use the original source instead; http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-aol-huffingtonpost-insight-idUSBRE9BM0D620131223)
- ‘Huffington Post is serious about online video space as brands’ aggressive global expansion continues, says CEO Jimmy Maymann’, 5/6/2014 http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/05/06/huffington-post-serious-about-online-video-space-brands-aggressive-global-expansion
- ‘Two years later, Huffington Post, AOL like the connection’, USA Today [undated] http://www.usatoday.com/videos/money/business/2013/02/09/1905185/
- ‘AOL banks on HuffPost to turn profitable next year’, Reuters, 12/23/2013 http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-aol-huffingtonpost-insight-idUSBRE9BM0D620131223
- ‘Almost Half of The Huffington Post's Traffic Comes From Overseas: Can it catch up on the revenue side?’, AdWeek, 12/15/2013 http://www.adweek.com/news/press/almost-half-huffington-post-s-traffic-comes-overseas-154519
- 32. ‘Wir geben unseren Lesern eine Stimme’, Tomorrow Focus AG, 04/28/2013 http://www.focus.de/finanzen/videos/jimmy-maymann-ueber-die-huffpo-wir-geben-unseren-lesern-eine-stimme_vid_36861.html
- ‘Huffington Post CEO Maymann on Growth, Japan’, Bloomberg TV, 12/14/2012 http://www.bloomberg.com/video/huffington-post-ceo-maymann-on-growth-japan-eI1rEXXrQTuIEtsaSz4KIg.html
- ‘Huffington Post plans launch in India’, Beet TV, 3/30/2014 http://www.beet.tv/2014/03/india.html
- ‘Wir geben unseren Lesern eine Stimme’, Tomorrow Focus AG, 04/28/2013 http://www.focus.de/finanzen/videos/jimmy-maymann-ueber-die-huffpo-wir-geben-unseren-lesern-eine-stimme_vid_36861.html
- HuffPost Live has 92M Monthly Views, Arianna Huffington Says, 11/13/2013 http://www.thewrap.com/huffington-post-arianna-huffpost-live/
- ‘HuffPost Live offers interactive streaming news’, Android Authority, 8/15/2012 http://www.androidauthority.com/huffpost-live-streaming-news-network-108176/
- ‘Huffington Post CEO Maymann: HuffPost Live nears break even, eyeing global expansion’, Beet TV, 3/27/2014 http://www.beet.tv/2014/03/maymannlive.html
- 23. Making News and Getting Views: HuffPost Live Hits a Billion, 2/14/2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/making-news-and-getting-views-huffpost-live-hits-a-billion_b_4784622.html
- ‘Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Maymann on how the network will break even globally this year’, The Guardian, 09/27/2013 http://www.theguardian.com/media/video/2013/sep/27/huffington-post-jimmy-maymann-advertising-week-new-york-video?CMP=twt_fd
- ‘HuffPo CEO on breaking into global markets, cross-platform content’, Ad Exchanger, 4/10/2014 http://www.adexchanger.com/publishers/huffpo-ceo-on-breaking-into-global-markets-cross-platform-content/#more-90379
- ‘Huffington Post bring rapid=response native ads to the homepage’, AdAge, 5/2/2013 http://adage.com/article/special-report-tv-upfront/huffpo-digitas-bring-fast-paced-native-ads-homepage/241273/
- ‘Native advertising: How it works at the Huffington Post’, 10/8/2013 http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2013/10/native-advertising-how-it-works-at-the-huffington-post/
- ‘How Huffington Post uses data in the newsroom and beyond’, Journalism.co.uk, 5/8/2014 http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/how-the-huffington-post-uses-data-in-the-newsroom-and-beyond/s2/a556679/
- ‘HuffPo pushes further into sponsored content’, Digiday, 8/2/2013 http://digiday.com/publishers/huffington-post-branded-conten/
- Huffington Post CEO on native ads, content personalization and UK plans’, Marketing Week, 5/20/2014 http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/sectors/media/news/huffington-post-ceo-on-native-ads-content-personalisation-and-uk-plans/4009831.article
- Jimmy Maymann, LinkedIn profile, viewed 5/30/2014 http://www.linkedin.com/in/maymann