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.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. Aiki 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, Aiki 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, Aiki 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, he has also managed 6 other Rakuten Group businesses, including Media and Marketing Research and is a Rakuten, Inc. Managing Executive Officer.
He 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.less
Chief Marketing Officer
Colin is the Chief Marketing Officer at Kobo, and is responsible for building and expanding the Kobo brand internationally through comprehensive strategies across multiple disciplines, including marketing, brand and advertising, public relations, events, sponsorship, and corporate social responsibility.
He brings to Kobo more than 20 years of strategic Marketing expertise and a proven track record of success across a breadth of industries including Consumer Packaged Goods, Foodservice, Brewing, Advertising, Media and Technology with Tier 1 brands such as Coors Light, AT&T, XM Satellite Radio and McCain Foods.
Colin holds a B.A. in Economics from The University of Western Ontario a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.less
Chief Technology Officer
Dan is the Chief Technology Officer at Kobo, and brings more than 15 years of technology experience to his role. Prior to Kobo, Dan was the VP of Strategy at Indigo Books & Music where he led the company’s IT strategy, architecture, and project governance. Before Indigo, he worked as the VP of Hosted Solutions at Critical Path, leading the team that developed a hosted messaging platform used by telecommunications companies and enterprises worldwide. Dan started his career as a Chief Architect for DocSpace, an Internet-based document management platform, where he was responsible for the design of all technology solutions.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Concordia University.
Chief Strategy Officer
Hiroto brings with him 20 years of strategic planning and management experience within the ever-evolving online space. He is responsible for Kobo’s strategy development and execution. He also serves as an Executive Officer for Kobo’s parent company, Rakuten Inc.
Prior to his current role, Hiroto held executive positions at three of Rakuten’s subsidiaries: Fusion Communications in Japan, as well as Rakuten LinkShare and Rakuten Loyalty in the US. Through his philosophy of integration and collaboration with management teams, he was able to successfully grow the organizations by accelerating their growth and profitability.
His career began at Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., where he spent 13 years working on growing the company’s internet business. During that time, he was a founding member and the General Manager of Bitway Corporation, one of the top eBook aggregators in Japan. His prior experience includes business development between US and Japan, corporate development, and corporate finance in Japan.
Hiroto holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Keio University in Japan and an MBA from University of Rochester with a concentration in Competitive and Organizational Strategy and Entrepreneurship. He was recognized with the Karl Brunner Award for the highest record of academic achievement (GPA).less
Chief Content Officer
Michael is the Chief Content Officer at Kobo, and 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, Michael was the founding CEO of the supply chain agency BookNet Canada, where he launched the national sales reporting service BNC SalesData and authored the publishing technology call-to-arms "Six Projects That Could Change Publishing for the Better."
Tamblyn also co-founded Canada's first online bookstore Bookshelf.ca, purchased by Indigo Books & Music in 1998, and served as Vice President of Online Operations.
Michael has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.less
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Greg is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Kobo, and is responsible for all financial, operational and administrative aspects for the company. Prior to Kobo, Greg worked at Opalis Software Inc. where he was CFO; the high-growth, venture-backed software company was successfully acquired by Microsoft in 2009. Before his time at Opalis, Greg was with Cyberplex (TSX: CX), a leading publicly-traded technology firm, where he spent five years as Corporate Controller. He also held senior positions with Tokmakjian Limited where he was responsible for all accounting and administrative aspects of the company's international division; while there, Greg played a key role in hitting $100 million in revenue.
Greg is a Certified General Accountant, has a Business Administration Diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, and holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science Degree from the University of Calgary.less
Executive Vice President, Business Development
As the Executive Vice President, Business Development at Kobo, Todd oversees the company's global business development efforts, including international expansion initiatives.
Prior to joining Kobo, Todd was Director of Business Development at Amazon.com. Before Amazon, he was the CEO of CleverSet, an ecommerce services company, acquired by ATG (NASDAQ: ARTG) in 2008; post-acquisition, he was named ATG's VP, Personalization. In his career he has also led business development efforts for two online education companies and worked with two venture capital firms.
Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario.
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Wayne joined Kobo in 2012 after 20+ years of broad cross-functional and leadership experiences in major technology and consumer goods companies such as Motorola, Ameritech, Verizon Wireless, and General Electric. He is responsible for driving global growth of the P&L for tablets, eReaders, accessories, and services, and managing all of Kobo's customer relationships.
Prior to joining Kobo, Wayne held senior leadership positions at Motorola Mobility Inc. including 3 years reporting directly to the CEO. While at Motorola, Wayne's roles included Corporate Vice President - Global Enterprise Sales, Corporate Vice President - Consumer Products Business, and Vice President – Consumer Services & Strategy.
Prior to joining Motorola, Wayne was a Region President at Verizon Wireless where he was responsible for managing over $1 billion in revenue and a team of 800 highly motivated team members. Wayne's favourite book is "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom, and he is currently reading "Kill Shot" by Vince Flynn.
Wayne holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, a Master’s of Science in Telecommunications and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing.less