Consumer >> CEO Interviews >> April 6, 2004


STEPHEN MESSER is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LinkShare. Since founding LinkShare in 1996, Mr. Messer has lead the company's efforts to create a unique pay for performance network that helps businesses minimize customer acquisition costs and maximize their online revenue-generating potential. Under Mr. Messer's leadership, LinkShare was recognized by Deloitte and Touche in 2002 as the number one fastest growing technology company in the New York region. LinkShare was also awarded the Best Affiliate Network Provider in 2002 by ABestWeb, a leading resource for affiliate marketing. Mr. Messer was awarded the Best Service to the Industry award, recognizing his extraordinary achievements and contributions in the creation and development of the affiliate marketing industry. One of the few marketing service providers to have weathered the dotcom fallout, LinkShare today is profitable and counts a majority of the Fortune 500 among its clients. Prior to founding LinkShare, Mr. Messer was the Assistant Director of the Columbia University Institute of Tele-Information produced and directed many studies on cyber-communications and telecommunications. He continues to serve as an Affiliated Research Fellow at the Institute. Mr. Messer also worked with the Department of State during the 49th General Assembly of the United Nations in the Sixth Committee and Security Council. Mr. Messer holds a Juris Doctorate from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lafayette University in Pennsylvania. He is admitted to practice law in New York and is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association. Mr. Messer is currently active in the Internet community, serving on the board of the Association for Interactive Media (AIM), a division of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Mr. Messer also sits on the boards of other venture-backed companies, such as Vente (formerly WFSDirect). Mr. Messer is a Limited Partner in many venture capital companies and sits on the advisory board of Industry Ventures, a provider of capital and strategy to early stage companies in the software and services companies. As one of the earliest developers of the Internet as a business application, as well as a vocal advocate of the Internet, Mr. Messer has been quoted in many newspapers and other publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Nikkei, and Internet Retailer Magazine, and he has appeared on national business programs such as CNBC, CNNfn, and the Fox News channel. Mr. Messer has also spoken at major industry events, such as the DMA, Internet World, and Harvard University CyberSymposium, and appeared as a guest speaker at prestigious business schools such as Columbia Business School, New York University's Stern School of Business, and Wharton. Profile
TWST: Stephen, can we start off then with a historical overview of


Mr. Messer: LinkShare started in 1996. The company was founded with four

people, and all four people serve in the