Francis is a product design leader and technologist with a background in software development. He is a systems level design strategist, manager of high performance teams and has deep monetization expertise in digital advertising.
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY INNOVATION DESIGN & ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACADEMY • INDUSTRY ADVISORY GROUP • JAN 2021 - PRESENT
Founding member of Rutgers IDEA Industry Advisory group. IDEA is a program that provides students practical experience in design and entrepreneurial thinking. Help develop curricula centered around design thinking. Provide career mentorship to students for STEM and design oriented fields.
VERIZON MEDIA • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DESIGN, AD INNOVATION / EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES • JUN 2017 - PRESENT
Design strategist for native digital advertising across Verizon Media’s portfolio of owner operated sites including Yahoo (Home, Finance, Sports, Mail and Entertainment), TechCrunch and Huffington Post. Leads a team empowered to envision the next generation of editorial and ad experiences for multiple channels including desktop and mobile web, mobile app, OTT/CTV and Digital Out of Home.
Drive and execute design deliverables for cross functional partners including advertising demand and supply side sales, monetization product management and engineering, ad operations and design teams for properties across Verizon Media. Investigate how technologies such as XR, IOT, computer vision and 5G can be leveraged for immersive experiences. Leverage UXR and bucket testing to maximize return on ad spend based on advertising placements and interactive experiences.
YAHOO, INC • DIRECTOR OF UX DESIGN • OCT 2016 - JUN 2017
Head of Design for Brightroll Ad Exchange, the highest monetizing ad platform at Yahoo. Drive future vision, support product initiatives and lead research/design explorations spanning display, video and native ad exchange ecosystems.
Partner with product, engineering and sales management teams to define strategic and tactical priorities against corporate goals and resources. Strategize plan for design continuity among disparate products. Work closely with engineering teams to understand capabilities and constraints of technology stacks that affect UX. Recruit, mentor and manage high performance design talent.
YAHOO, INC • SENIOR DESIGN MANAGER • JUN 2012 - SEP 2016
Managed design team for portfolio of products ranging from Yahoo’s Demand Side Platform (DSP), audience data management, ad tech operations tooling and creative ad format innovation for premium display, video and native ad inventory.
Served as Co Chair for IAB Display Guidelines Working Group. Designed and prototyped native ad formats that were precursors to Yahoo Gemini Search & Native Ads. Received on Yahoo’s behalf industry awards IAB Mobile Rising Star and Vivaki Tablet Lane for tablet ad format designs. Awarded file patents for interactive video and responsive design for ad creatives.
YAHOO, INC • STAFF PROTOTYPER • MAY 2010 - JUN 2012
Designed and developed rich media ads for desktop and mobile web.
Prototyped HTML5 rich media ad formats for display and mobile O&O monetization. Documented best practices and ad format specifications for internal ad operations. Provided design and development support to Sales and Global Ad Agency partners for high spend premium ad executions.
SELF EMPLOYED • FREELANCE MOBILE APP DEVELOPER • NOV 2008 - MAY 2010
UI design and app development for Tangoe mobility services and Grab Radio streaming radio service. Developed parsing and display rendering engines for Poem Flow. 1st place Award winner for MIT Linked Data Hack Competition in which Sir Tim Berners-Lee was jury member. Winner of Microsoft Boston Music Hack Day iPhone app category for streaming music app utilizing SoundCloud API.
ALLURENT, INC • UX ARCHITECT • NOV 2006 - OCT 2008
Developed rich internet applications and solutions for the e-commerce shopping lifecycle. Front end development and prototyping in Adobe Flex/Actionscript 3. Developed web landing page applications for Borders Books and Alltel Wireless and apparel catalog application for Anthropologie
COMPETE, INC • SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER • SEP 2003 - NOV 2006
Compete was an Internet web predictive analytics company. Architected Internet Explorer event sink data collection agent in C++/Win32Browser Helper Object (BHO) toolbar development for Internet Explorer.
PICASA (GOOGLE) • SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER • MAY 2002 - JUN 2003
Picasa developed digital photo management software and was acquired by Google in 2003. Developed secure e-commerce application for photo print ordering in C++/Win32. Developed FTP based uploader of image files.
ELSEVIER SCIENCE • SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER • FEB 2001 - JAN 2002
SONICBIDS • FOUNDING CTO • NOV 2000 - JUL 2001
Helped bootstrap Sonicbids, an online marketplace for the live-music industry. Work with executive management team to define product vision. Designed information architecture for site and managed design team. Defined IT strategy and managed offshore development team.
ICAST, INC • SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER • FEB 2000 - JAN 2001
iCAST was a CMGI company. Application development for the iCASTER, a Windows media application. Developed CD audio ripper at SCSI/ASPI layer in C++. Help developed audio playback engine using third party codecs for MP3 and WMA audio formats. Designed UI and provided functional specification for a radio tuner.
HARMONIX MUSIC SYSTEMS • SOFTWARE ENGINEER • OCT 1996 - FEB 2000
Harmonix specializes in interactive music software. Was the first full time engineering hire and worked on development of “The Axe”, a precursor to the Rock Band video game franchise.
Developed Microsoft DirectX based audio engine for multiple buffer audio stream playback and leveraging Win32 mmsystem services for MIDI and time synchronization. Developed in house sound design tool for constructing virtual instruments. OEM Developer Relations with Microsoft, Creative Labs, Aureal Semiconductor, Sonic Implants, Yamaha, VLSI Technology and Staccato Systems.
CAKEWALK • SOFTWARE ENGINEER • JUN 1994 - OCT 1996
Cakewalk produces Windows music production software. In addition to software development, assisted in product technical support. Sole developer for the Virtual Jukebox, a multimedia playlist application. Developed Cakewalk’s first generation DirectX reverb plug-in. Responsible for release engineering and international localization in five languages.
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY • MS, BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING • SEP 1991 - MAY 1994
Research Thesis in Short Utterance Speech Recognition. Specialized in speech processing, psychoacoustics, neural networks, and fuzzy logic.
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT • BS, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING • SEP 1986 - MAY 1991
Gold Medalist Recipient of the New England Whitaker Award. Runner-up EE Senior Design Awards.