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Jeff Holden

Jeff Holden
Founder & CEO, Pelago, Inc.


Jeff Holden co-founded Pelago, Inc. in January, 2006 and has since led the company to raise capital (Series A) from Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bezos Expeditions and Trilogy Equity Partners and to develop and launch Whrrl, Pelago’s flagship product provides users with a next-generation local discovery experience powered by social networking and LBS and which can be accessed via the Web or mobile device.

Prior to founding Pelago, Jeff spent almost nine years (1997-2006) at Most recently, Jeff was the Senior Vice President responsible for Amazon’s consumer websites, worldwide. In this role, he oversaw the end-to-end customer experience (search, navigation, personalization, social computing, ordering, merchandising, automated email) as well as Amazon’s online traffic initiatives (the Amazon Associates program, search engine optimization and search engine advertising) and the experimental platform that enabled Amazon to conduct quantitative experiments with regard to consumer behavior and measure incremental value of new initiatives.

Before moving into the website-focused role, Jeff was the Director of Supply Chain Optimization Systems at Amazon (for approximately 4 years). In this position, Jeff led the design and development of Amazon’s unique and powerful forecasting, inventory planning, order fulfillment optimization and transactional purchasing systems. Jeff championed the idea that fulfillment planning could be sufficiently real-time that the order pipeline could be connected directly to the fulfillment planning engine to generate optimal plans from which shipping promises are made to the customer during the check-out process. The system realizing this vision was launched in 2001 and continues to power the Amazon site today.

Prior to Amazon, Jeff spent five years (1992-1997) at D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P. in New York. Jeff joined the firm as a software engineer; his first assignment was to help Jeff Bezos build and launch the Third Market strategy, one of Shaw’s early sell-side strategies. After Bezos left to found, Jeff remained at Shaw as the Vice President responsible for the firm’s front office software infrastructure.

Prior to joining D. E. Shaw & Co., Jeff earned his BS and MS in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Location: Regency Ballroom
Jeff Holden (Pelago, Inc.)
People vote with their feet and there is substantial information contained in human activity in the real world. Previously, that data was inaccessible, but thanks to LBS we can capture, in digital form, the places people go. This data set is the real-world analog of a clickstream on the Web; call it a “footstream.” Tapping the footstream will completely alter the mobile experience as we know it. Read more.
Location: Regency Ballroom
Mat Honan (Wired magazine), Nihal Mehta (Buzzd), Dennis Crowley (foursquare), Martin May (Brightkite), Jeff Holden (Pelago, Inc.)
An exploration of the evolution of location-based social networking and how location-based applications will impact the way everyday users interact with the friends and find nearby venues and events. Includes several founders of past and current location-based social networks, including Brightkite, Buzzd, Dodgeball and Moximity. Read more.