|Alma mater||University of Odense, London Business School|
|Occupation||Executive Vide President, President of Content and Consumer Brands, AOL|
|Known for||Entrepreneurship, Digital media, Strategy, Online advertising|
From December 2012 to September 2015, Maymann served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Huffington Post, based in New York, during which time he 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 oversaw the growth of the Huffington Post’s traffic from 45 million to 200 million monthly unique visitors and grew its staff to around 1,000 people worldwide. In 2014, The Huffington Post broke even with $146 Million in revenue.
Key focuses of Maymann’s tenure as CEO of the Huffington Post were 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 was rapid: after only two years international visitors accounted for over 50% of its total traffic. The Huffington Post primarily established partnerships with existing major news organizations in each country, a strategy that enabled rapid growth to be carried out while keeping investment costs down. The Huffington Post currently has 15 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. In July 2015, HuffPost Arabi launched, followed by Huffington Post Australia in August 2015. 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 consisted primarily of interview-based content and often incorporated viewers who are encouraged to contribute directly and in real time. The site attracted roughly 100 million monthly views and approximately 20,000 people 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, that Huffington Post Partner Studios experienced 124% YoY growth in 2014, and that HuffPost Live content was being used to supplement editorial content on the huffingtonpost.com site.
In early 2016, Huffington Post Live announced proposed changes to its video production structure. These changes include scaling back its 8 hours of live publishing daily to focus on producing video for HuffingtonPost.com and various social media platforms. Huffington Post will continue to produce live content around cultural and political events.
The development of HuffPost Partner Studio, the in-house content creation agency of the Huffington Post, was 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.
Content and Consumer Brands at AOL
In September 2015, Maymann was named Executive Vice President and President of Content and Consumer Brands at AOL. In this position, he leads AOL’s portfolio of content brands, as well as AOL's content strategy and OTT operations, which altogether reach a global audience of around 400 million unique visitors every month. In January 2016, Maymann shared his plans for the year ahead to increase AOL’s video content production across its brands.
Continuing entrepreneurial activity
Maymann maintains an active portfolio of angel investments focusing largely on media, tech and gaming companies.
Maymann-Holler’s wife is a doctor, also from Denmark. They have three children: one girl and two boys. Jimmy Maymann-Holler took his wife's name after their marriage.
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.
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- Jimmy Maymann, LinkedIn profile, viewed 5/30/2014 http://www.linkedin.com/in/maymann