My Career Arc – INTOO CEO Yair Riemer

Career Arc

Posted on

September 6, 2019


Intoo CEO Shares His Career Story

What was your very first job?

In high school I worked at my local public library in New Jersey. I spent my breaks reading Sports Illustrated in the periodicals room.

How did you find your first job?

You couldn’t apply online to work at the Randolph Township Public Library in the ‘90s so I’m pretty sure I walked to the front desk and asked for a paper application.

What was your most exciting/unique job?

UNIQUE – In high school I worked for a local professional artist, a painter, helping her pack, ship, and transport her valuable art collection to and from local art galleries and residences. I’m now an expert in bubble wrap and have been up close and personal with hundreds of 36 x 36 acrylic canvas masterpieces.

EXCITING- In college I worked for an experiential marketing firm in NYC called DVCx. One of our flagship clients was Nokia and I worked on the team that released the Nokia 3650 – the first ever “camera phone” introduced to the North American market. As part of my job marketing and promoting the new device I ended up working at sporting events, amusement parks, beer festivals, and other NYC area events introducing a phone with a camera to the public for the first time in this country’s history. It was a blast seeing people out and about at an amusement park with their families, taking their picture, recording their email, and sending them that moment in real time. It’s a great reminder of the awesome pace of technological innovation, as it was only 15 years ago that we were walking around with flip phones. Digital cameras never had a chance. It was also the second company that I worked for John Palumbo (he was President at DVCx and I previously worked for him at Big Fat Promotions) and he’s been one of my professional mentors and friends ever since (20 years!).

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A sports agent or sports journalist.

What did you go to school for?

I studied History as an undergraduate and later earned my MBA, focusing my coursework in entrepreneurship and marketing.

Describe your career arc.

I graduated from college and ended up in Tel Aviv where I worked for a company in the online casino / online gaming industry and got introduced to the power of content marketing and the power of SEO at a young age. Israel is often dubbed “Startup Nation,” so being thrown into an entrepreneurial culture helped shape my appetite for speed, risk, and big dreams. In addition to completing my MBA, I got my core business training at a strategy consulting firm in Boston, where I spent a few years trying to solve real world problems for companies large and small. I got to be pretty decent at Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel thanks to that experience, and I was surrounded by extremely smart people, and really enjoyed the ‘learning’ part of my career.

That said, I always knew that an entrepreneurial/startup environment was where I would be able to express myself and enjoy myself the most, so when an opportunity arose in Los Angeles to join a startup focused on mobile solutions for the higher education space (as the iPhone had just launched) I took the opportunity. I led product, biz dev and marketing efforts as a founding team member of that startup, and we struck deals with colleges and universities to get all of their disparate content from the web (student media such as radio/TV, newspaper, athletics, directory, campus info, etc.) onto the mobile phone for students, alumni, prospective students and their families, and community members to feel connected to the school in the palm of their hand. A decade ago, this was a novel concept. That led to my role helping build (B2C marketplace) where I served as General Manager, VP of Marketing and CMO before leading the business’ sale to Chegg, which led to focusing on the B2B HR tech space and my current role at Intoo.

What would you do if you could retire today?

Spend more time with my family, travel, read more, play more chess, and work with organizations devoted to youth and educational initiatives.

What brought you to Intoo?

I’m the first employee of the company. More seriously though, I met our co-founders Robin and Paul and their experience, enthusiasm, and vision attracted me to the project.

How do you like working here?

Startups provide ample opportunity to explore new concepts, try and fail fast, and make a difference. Intoo is no different. For someone who’s curious, driven, and loves constantly changing landscapes, a startup environment like Intoo is a great fit.

INTOO Staff Writer

INTOO staff writers come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience writing about topics that matter to the HR and business communities, including outplacement, layoffs, career development, internal mobility, candidate experience, succession planning, talent acquisition, and more.

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