Tongal, a global creative community, announced it has promoted its co-founder, James DeJulio, to CEO, in addition to elevating five executives, in order to accelerate its growing platform revenue and continue to provide a content solution for its expanded roster of brand and entertainment partners.
Tongal’s Board of Directors has unanimously elected its President, DeJulio, to succeed its previous CEO and co-founder, Rob Salvatore. Nearly ten years ago, DeJulio co-founded the company with a vision to level the playing field for emerging creative talent around the world by building a meritocratic platform that connects them to brands and entertainment companies.
“James has an incredible vision for the future of content creation, complemented by execution experience and the passion to drive Tongal through its next level of growth,” said Jeff Lieberman, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners and Tongal board member. “We look forward to the future under his leadership and watching James continue to push boundaries and move the industry forward.”
As CEO, DeJulio will harness the power of Tongal’s creative community, supported by an ever-advancing technology platform, to solve the most vexing problem in content creation and delivery: matching an accelerating level of differentiated content consumption with content creation on-demand. He will also oversee the company’s expansion into new verticals and offerings.
“Our mission is to bring the world’s creative work to the world’s creative talent, no matter where they are or whom they know” said DeJulio. “I’m proud to be leading Tongal as we continue to drive the democratization of the global creative economy. Earning a living as a filmmaker is no longer the exclusive domain of people with a 902 dot dot zip code. Since the inception of Tongal, our global community has proven time and again that it can exceed expectations of what’s possible in an open model by consistently developing studio-quality animation and live-action on demand for every distribution platform.”
The team’s executive growth comes on the heels of a banner year leading into Tongal’s 10th anniversary in 2019. Over the past 12 months, the company reimagined its business model by formalizing a SaaS platform offering that saw revenue growth of over 300%. Tongal also continued to diversify its portfolio of partners across the entertainment and lifestyle spaces. This included developing digital content for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, as well as marketing, advertising and influencer content for partners like Nat Geo, MGM, LEGO, NBCUniversal and Twentieth Century Fox.
New hires and promotions among the executive team include:
- Caleb Light-Wills, the very first Tongal employee and a former Tongal creator and community member, will now serve as Chief Creative Officer, with a focus on developing and implementing strategic, long-term partnerships.
- Lesley Worton is being promoted to President & Head of Production, where she will focus on working across all departments, as well as overseeing platform output and project management for Tongal partners.
- Tina Walsh, who previously joined Tongal from Hasbroas VP of Content Strategy, is now elevated to Chief Brand Officer, overseeing client relationships, account management and strategy.
- Pete Bourdon will be joining Tongal from NEJ, the reverse logistics platform, as CFO. Pete was previously CFO at TopCoder and brings extensive experience working in the open innovation space.
- Scott Killinger is being promoted to VP of Production and will be overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Production team.
- Amy Wecker is being promoted to Head of Marketing & Communications, and will now be responsible for developing and delivering the vision of the company to the marketplace and media.