As a strong leader and passionate visionary, Richard has built successful Internet companies and brands in mobile applications, remote access, online media, entertainment, advertising and software. His track record spans iconic brands such as Nokia, Slashdot, SourceForge and ThinkGeek. His acumen in providing B2B and B2C technology market strategies has generated solid revenues/profits for multinationals and startups.
Richard’s most recent project is CEO of Syntonetic, Inc., a software pioneer in music profiling and recommendation technologies. Syntonetic’s latest product is Moodagent, a mobile app that helps consumers easily create music playlists based on their mood. He led the company’s expansion into American and international mobile, CE and online music markets, directing the company’s global business strategy, partnering, sales and marketing.
Most recently he was head of new businesses for services at Nokia. He explored new business opportunities for Nokia, led the Connected Digital Home and personal connectivity services lines, guided and spun-off the company’s entry into the mobile sports and fitness markets.
Earlier he was CEO at Avvenu, Inc. (acquired by Nokia), a venture backed mobile services company that enabled consumers and business users to access documents, photos and music on their home and office computers from their mobile devices and remote computers. He secured funding, improved operational efficiency, and directed transformations in business strategy and customer experience while achieving a 300% increase in Avvenu’s subscriber base.
Prior to Avvenu, he was Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Open Source Development Network at VA Software Corporation/OSDN, Inc. (now Geek.net). At OSDN, he brought together 11 Internet properties, including Slashdot, Sourceforge.net, Freshmeat and Thinkgeek, to pioneer community-driven business models for technology news, discussion, downloads and collaboration.
He propelled OSDN to a top ten Internet media network within 2 years, garnering over 15M uniques per month and 1.5M registered members. In parallel, he turned an annual $11M loss into a $2.5M profit, while doubling revenues to $24M, in 3 years.
Earlier, French brought secure remote access applications to market as Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Emerging Technology Group at NetManage, Inc. of Cupertino, CA. He also served as President & CEO of Infoscape, Inc. of San Francisco, an early stage Java tools startup.
French gained 10 years of large company experience through Vice President and General Manager roles at Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, CA and Groupe Bull of Paris. Positions at Oracle included leadership of the Enterprise Platform Division. He led the newly formed unit to revenues of $1.8B and improved margins by 33%, while slashing delivery times and increasing quality.
At Groupe Bull, he was General Manager of the U.S. Software Products and Systems and Vice President of the Worldwide Software Business divisions, where he led entry into new markets and restructured unprofitable product lines.
French started his career at the Toronto office of Cincom System, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH. Beginning as a programmer he moved through engineering and product management positions and then became Director, Strategic Relationships with responsibility for alliances with HP, Sun and Unisys.
He is frequently cited in the press and has spoken at important industry events such as CES, Digital Hollywood, Canadian Music Week, LinuxWorld and OracleWorld. He has also addressed general audiences through a series of panels at the Commonwealth Club of California.
He received his Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife Barbara.