Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the platform for Brand Verified Answers in search, has appointed Christian J. Ward as the company’s EVP, Chief Data Officer. Ward is a data industry veteran who will rejoin Yext in a new role, guiding the company’s clients as they unleash the value of their data to provide Brand Verified Answers to consumer questions through knowledge graphs structured for search.
“Harnessing structured data to grow businesses is in Christian’s DNA. At Yext, he forged some of our most critical data partnerships with the largest tech companies in the world,” said Howard Lerman, Founder and CEO of Yext. “As we embark on a new phase in our mission to put perfect answers everywhere, we are excited for Christian to help our customers grow in his new role as Yext’s Chief Data Officer.”
“Today, we are seeing search transform from keywords to questions, and it’s up to businesses to provide Brand Verified Answers to each query. In order to thrive in this paradigm shift, every business needs to thoughtfully connect its facts in a knowledge graph that is structured to provide answers to those questions,” said Christian J. Ward. “Yext is on the cutting edge of this massive opportunity. I am so thrilled to rejoin Yext to lead brands into the future of search.”
Ward was Yext’s EVP of Data Partnerships for more than five years, successfully managing global data partnerships during a critical phase of the company’s development. As Yext went from private to public and expanded globally, Ward grew the company’s Knowledge Network of search platforms supplying client business data to consumers to encompass the world’s largest search engines, maps, and voice assistants.
Ward most recently served as Chief Data Officer for SourceMedia. Prior to his time at Yext, he held posts as Chief Data Officer at Infogroup and Global Head of Content Innovation at Thomson Reuters. He also founded data companies Jaywalk Incorporated and Ockham Research, which specialize in financial research and media analytics, respectively.
Ward is the co-author of Data Leverage: Unlocking the Surprising Growth Potential of Data Partnerships.