Growing up as a teenager in the 80s, Todd Larsen worked summer jobs for the local newspaper chain, while diving deeply into online services and other technologies as an early adopter. He has worked much of his 27-year media career at that intersection of traditional media and digital technology.
Todd spent 13 years at Dow Jones, growing the digital business of the Wall Street Journal from a fledgling paid service to a $300 million high margin engine for the company. He served as the company's president for two years, overseeing a $2 billion P&L, including both consumer and business to business divisions.
At Time Inc., Todd served as an Executive Vice President and President of the News and Sports titles (Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated) before adding responsibility for People and Entertainment Weekly. He focused on jump-starting the digital and video efforts for the company, driving the total audience of Time Inc. from 50 million per month in unique visitors to more than 100 million unique visitors in just two years. He also created the video team, which has become a major revenue growth driver for the company.
Todd joined Blurb in January 2016 and is excited to lead Blurb to its next level of growth and success.
"That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger."
Chief Financial Officer
In the fifth grade, Gene created his own filing and cross-reference system for the negatives of the photographs he was organizing into albums, just in case anyone ever asked him for a copy. Nobody ever did, but he was content knowing he was fully prepared. Gene still has them.
He’s been using those sharp organizational skills in e-commerce for 24 years, from joining the founding team of macys.com to running the books as CFO at Rafter, a fast-growing college textbook rental business. He also helped create beautiful wedding photography products as CFO and COO of Bella Pictures.
What gets his attention these days? Getting family, friends, and dog together in the wine country, collecting art, enjoying theatre in his native San Francisco, and jazz music.
Gene's favorite quote:
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Gene's first Blurb Book:
La Familie Domecus, 1799-2012
Chief Marketing Officer
Seasoned marketing executive Liz Allen has over 25 years’ experience leading global marketing strategy, brand development, and operations across a variety of industries. Passionate about building and turning around high-profile consumer brands, she’s been instrumental in ramping up marketing efforts—and results—at retail, technology, and consumer goods and services companies, such as Apple, Gap, LucasArts, Cost Plus World Market, and Boston Market.
Prior to Blurb, Liz was the Chief Marketing Officer for At Home, where she led all aspects of rebranding the home décor chain from Garden Ridge, including the naming, store design, website, advertising, corporate communications, and go-to market plans. She also established the marketing foundation for the company in preparation for a successful IPO. Liz also served as General Manager of Bella Pictures and Bella Events, two photography-based startups.
She spent her early career with advertising agencies in San Francisco and New York. Committed to all things marketing, including leading teams to success and encouraging up-and-coming marketers, Liz is a contributing lecturer and advisor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the Academy of Art College, and the Miami Ad School. She is also a frequent speaker at marketing and technology conferences.
Recognized as a brand marketing expert with a balance of strategic, analytical, and creative skill sets, Liz spends her days thinking about how to delight the customer and allow them to showcase their creativity through Blurb.
When she takes off her marketing hat, she can often be found entertaining friends and family, taking dance classes, and joining the occasional flash mob. She’s also a Green Bay Packers fan.
Liz's favorite quote:
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
Liz's first Blurb Book:
A beautiful collection of photographs documenting her son’s first year, complete with snaps of fabulous friends and amazing adventures. (Only seven more books to go!)
Senior Vice President/General Manager
Media and tech executive Kelly Leach is passionate about quality content and is excited to have joined Blurb with its focus on providing the means for anyone and everyone to put their own amazing content into book format. She has spent her career helping to grow the businesses of venerable brands such as The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Prior to joining Blurb, Kelly was most recently CEO of Piano Media, a technology platform company offering analytics and commerce solutions to help media companies develop consumer digital revenue streams.
Kelly is well-suited to overseeing international strategy, which together with product and business development, round out her responsibilities at Blurb. She spent three years based in London where she was Dow Jones’ Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal’s European edition. In that role, Kelly led the expansion of the Journal’s digital business in the region, including the launches of local language editions of wsj.com in Germany and Turkey.
Prior to her stint in London, Kelly served as General Manager for The Wall Street Journal in the U.S. where she oversaw several substantial new projects, including the global launch and expansion of WSJ Magazine, the launch of the Greater New York Section and the revamp of the Saturday edition known as WSJ Weekend. Kelly began her tenure at Dow Jones as the Director of Planning and Analysis for the digital business of The Wall Street Journal. She joined Dow Jones from Time Inc. where she led the development of a digital archive of 80+ years of Time Magazine.
Kelly is a self-proclaimed foodie, travel enthusiast, and avid cyclist.
Kelly's favorite quote:
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."
Kelly's first Blurb Book:
More Koala chronicles Kelly’s first trip to Australia. Her second Blurb book is a perpetual work-in-progress capturing the photos and memories of her four-month sabbatical traveling in Italy, Spain, Japan, Vietnam, Argentina and Mexico.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Bruce Watermann has been in the business of making other people’s stuff look good for over 30 years. Just ask Apple, HP, Walmart, Costco, Getty Images, and Columbia Records—he’s helped them all. As a member of Blurb’s first Executive Team Bruce created the Blurb Global Print Partner network at company launch, which for the first time allowed color bookstore-quality books to be created affordably one at a time, worldwide.
Before Blurb, Bruce helped take Bill Gates’ digital artwork vision into the real-world business that became Corbis Corporation by building and managing the vast global film and print scanning operation that created its multi-million image archive. He has been at the intersection of analog and digital print from the industry’s infancy, taking traditional photography and printing skills into the online era.
Bruce can be frequently found wherever ink meets paper, speaking at industry events, and always looking for ways to make our authors’ books look better.
Bruce’s favorite quote:
"If a man only likes victory he must always come late for the battle."
Bruce’s first Blurb book:
Mariner Memories (Seattle Mariners, that is)