Kobo Management Team
Founder and Vice Chair
Michael is a tech executive who has been involved with the startup and growth of four Internet companies: Kobo, Critical Path, DocSpace and Zip2.
He is the Vice Chair at Kobo, the global leader in eReading, which he founded in December 2009. Michael served as Chief Executive Officer until February 2014. Kobo, owned by Japanese Internet giant Rakuten, serves millions of people in 190 countries worldwide.
Prior to founding Kobo, Michael developed routing technology at Microsoft, search engine technology at Zip2 (sold to Altavista for $300M), founded and sold DocSpace for $568M in 2000, and worked tirelessly to turnaround Critical Path – a global provider of messaging services that ran one-third of the world's email.
Michael is currently a member of the Founder's Board at Round 13 Capital, Board of Trustees at the Ontario Science Centre, Advisory Board of OMERs Ventures, and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University and a Masters of Science in Financial Engineering from the University of Toronto. And once upon a time, Michael designed a high temperature superconductor propulsion system that won Gold at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and numerous other awards and sponsorships from NASA, Rockwell Aerospace and Intel.Read more less
Takahito "Taka" Aiki
Chief Executive Officer
Takahito "Taka" Aiki is the Chief Executive Officer at Kobo, and brings with him a wealth of experience to the role. He began his career at Japanese telecoms giant NTT before embarking on his first of two successful stints at global management consultancy Bain & Company, where he was named Coach of the Year and managed the Firm’s Project of the Year in 2006. Taka also spent 2 years at Tsutaya, Japan’s largest chain of video rental shops and bookstores. There, he helmed corporate planning and marketing for Tsutaya Online, where he led growth in online membership from 2 to 5 million members.
In 2007, Taka joined Rakuten, Inc., where he was assigned to the company’s struggling telecoms business, Fusion Communications, which was losing 3 billion JPY per year at the time. In 2009, he was named CEO, where he has overseen a 180-degree turnaround in Fusion’s business, which is now a reliable profit centre for Rakuten that now generates 2 billion JPY per year in profit. In addition to leading Fusion, Taka has also managed 6 other Rakuten Group businesses, including Media and Marketing Research and is a Rakuten, Inc. Managing Executive Officer.
Taka graduated from Cornell’s MBA program in 1999 and is an avid book lover and a big sports fan, especially of the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles baseball team.Read more less
President & Chief Content Officer
Michael is President and Chief Content Officer at Kobo, and works closely with CEO Taka Aiki to further develop Kobo’s world-class platform, while keeping sustainable and long-term profitable growth central to the organization’s strategies. He brings tremendous insight into what readers want and continues to inspire Kobo with his creative ideas and passion for eBooks and eReading; on the content side, Michael is responsible for sales, publisher and industry relations, content acquisition, and the merchandising experience across Kobo's web and mobile services.
Prior to joining Kobo, Tamblyn was the founding CEO of the supply chain agency BookNet Canada, where he launched the national sales reporting service BNC SalesData. Tamblyn also co-founded Canada's first online bookstore Bookshelf.ca, purchased by Indigo Books & Music in 1998, where he also served as Vice President of Online Operations.
Michael holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.Read more less
Chief Technology Officer
Trevor is the Chief Technology Officer at Kobo, and is responsible for the innovative technology behind all facets of Kobo’s world-class eReading service. He oversees the engineering practice that holds quality and innovation in high regard, while always keeping the key focus on what customers want and need in a digital reading ecosystem. Previously, Trevor held the role of Enterprise Architect at Kobo, where he devised actionable strategies to support the company’s business goals by employing best practices, while ensuring development and operational reliability for internet-scale architectures.
Prior to joining Kobo, Trevor held various roles at Infusion, where he grew his experience as a trusted advisor through his work across a diverse set of verticals including retail, travel & hospitality, and financial services.
Trevor holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Ulster.Read more less
Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer
Alan MacNevin is Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer at Kobo, and is responsible for driving revenue and customer acquisition by harnessing innovation and strengthening customer relationships. He has unparalleled knowledge about Kobo’s customers, and focuses on the full lifecycle of the customer relationship from acquisition to retention. In his role, Alan oversees content sales and customer value optimization, marketing, customer care, and business development.
Prior to joining Kobo, he held marketing positions at Chapters Online, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), and Bell Mobility. Most recently, Alan served on the executive team at Sirius Satellite Radio as Vice President, CRM, where he was also a founding member of the management team for the Canadian organization.Read more less
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Kio is the Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer at Kobo, and oversees both the finance team as well as the operational end of the business as it applies to the human resources department and the facilities function for Kobo HQ and its other holdings. His mandate is to assist teams across the organization to think through both the financial implications and operational aspects of any given initiative and their impact on the customer experience.
Prior to joining Kobo, Kio worked for Rakuten on post-acquisition integrations for companies such as Wuaki.tv, The Grommet, and Webgistix; in his role, he established reporting processes to ensure efficient communication between acquired companies’ and Rakuten’s executive management teams. Before Rakuten, Kio also spent a large part of his career at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting Co., where he worked in Finance Transformation Services.
Kio is a Chartered Member of the Security Analysts Association of Japan, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Keio University. He most recently received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business.Read more less
Executive Vice President, Finance
As Kobo’s Executive Vice President, Finance, Dan is responsible for keeping the company’s financial house in order as Kobo grows its market share and expands globally. He is responsible for setting the financial strategy and overseeing the finance department’s activities, which include financial planning & performance management; internal controls & compliance; and operational support for all areas of the business. Since he joined Kobo in its first year of operation, Dan has played a key role in the achievement of many Kobo milestones, including the establishment of foundational system implementations during the start-up phase; sell-side deal support throughout the Rakuten acquisition phase; and leading financial due diligence initiatives in the course of closing several key strategic partnership agreements and acquisitions that have proved pivotal in Kobo’s on-going hyper-growth initiatives.
Prior to joining Kobo, Dan held several executive finance positions at growth-oriented technology companies including: Novator eCommerce, PlateSpin, and Open Text where he contributed to strategic decision-making and the establishment of foundational processes connected to the financial objectives. Prior to his experience in the technology field, Dan worked at KPMG while attaining his professional accountancy designation.
Dan holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University; he also holds his Chartered Professional Accountancy designation.Read more less
Executive Vice President, Supply Chain
Scott is the Executive Vice President, Supply Chain at Kobo, and is responsible for leading all elements of the global supply chain and operations, which include forecasting, vendor management, inventory, cost management, distribution, and compliance. Utilizing his supply chain experience, he established business processes specifically built to efficiently support Kobo’s global expansion and distribution needs, while improving flexibility and reducing costs. He works closely with the Partner Management team to further drive sales of Kobo’s products, which include E Ink eReaders, Android tablets, and accessories.
Prior to joining Kobo, Scott held senior supply chain management and operations positions at Spin Master, where he managed large inventories worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year and was instrumental in supporting significant revenue growth. He also worked at Celestica, where he held a variety of roles and worked on top accounts such as Motorola, Sun Micro Systems, and Juniper.
Scott studied Business Marketing at Sheridan College.Read more less
Executive Vice President, Partner Management
Wayne is the Executive Vice President, Partner Management at Kobo, and is responsible for strengthening and building the company’s relationships with retail partners around the world. In addition, he is responsible for driving global sales growth for Kobo’s tablets, eReaders, accessories, and services. In his role, he oversees the device sales and channel marketing teams.
Prior to joining Kobo, Wayne held senior leadership positions at Motorola Mobility Inc., including Corporate Vice President - Global Enterprise Sales, Corporate Vice President - Consumer Products Business, and Vice President – Consumer Services & Strategy. He also served as a Region President at Verizon Wireless where he was responsible for managing more than $1 billion in revenue and a team of 800 employees.
Wayne holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, a Master’s of Science in Telecommunications, and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing.Read more less