Wikia Begins Next Growth Phase With Two Key Executive Hires

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Press Release – October 11, 2011) – Wikia, the largest network of collaboratively published entertainment, gaming, and lifestyle content and a Top 50 network site, has named Craig Palmer to the position of Chief Executive Officer to lead the company through its next critical growth phase. Palmer has appointed Jennifer Betka as Wikia’s new Senior Vice President of Marketing, who will steward the company’s effort to broaden brand awareness and drive community engagement.

“Craig is a perfect fit for Wikia’s next stage of growth, which will rely on efficient processes that can help us rapidly scale our community, revenue, and profit,” says former CEO Gil Penchina, who led the company from a 10-person startup in 2006 to the popular network it is today with nearly 50 million global monthly uniques. “Craig’s history of building successful businesses in content, online media, and technology makes him well-equipped to lead Wikia.”

Palmer joins Wikia with over 25 years of industry experience, most recently as President & CEO of Gracenote, whose digital media content and technology is embedded in almost all top digital media brands. Under Palmer’s eight years of leadership, Gracenote enjoyed a dramatic increase in revenue, employee growth, international scope, and industry footprint, and was purchased by Sony in 2008 for $260M.

Before Gracenote, Palmer helped lead diverse companies such as Aspect Development, eWanted, Cadence Design, and Hewlett Packard, which gave him extensive experience in content, Internet, and technology markets. Palmer has a history of leading companies to success as evidenced by both Gracenote and Aspect Development, which had an IPO and was eventually sold for over $9B in 2000 — at the time, the largest software sale in history.

The other new face on the Wikia executive team, Jennifer Betka, will enhance and expand the company’s portfolio of media content sites, and diversify Wikia’s core audience. Nielsen’s Q3 2011 Social Media Report has already identified Wikia and LinkedIn as the two social destinations that males 18-34 are most likely to visit.

Betka has developed both brand and audience for leading media companies including AOL, Time Warner, Veoh, SIRIUS XM, and the LA Times. She has a successful track record of conceptualizing and executing large-scale content marketing programs for music, sports, and entertainment fan communities, as well as driving revenue for media portfolios. Leveraging the depth and breadth of Wikia’s passionate audience, Betka will look to define new media formats and knowledge-based targeting that advance the role of collaborative content. “We are uniquely positioned to deliver meaningful ways for both content creators and marketers to embrace the social publishing space,” she explains.

“With Craig and Jennifer’s vision and leadership added to our already stellar executive team, Wikia is going to move fast through the next growth phase,” says Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikia and founder of Wikipedia. “We’re ushering in a new standard of user experience, welcoming the person who goes beyond the ‘like’ button to generate something of value to themselves and their communities.”

About Wikia:

Wikia is the definitive place for people to collaboratively pursue their interests and share their knowledge on the web. Using Wikia, anyone can form new communities around any subject they love or participate in over 275,000 existing communities by reading or contributing new content. With over five million pages of rich content, Wikia’s communities are the most authoritative information about any topic on the Internet. Launched in 2004 by co-founders Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley, Wikia attracts more than 50 million global unique visitors per month and is a Top 50 Internet site according to Quantcast.

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