Vanessa Cartwright Promoted to COO of Astound Commerce North America

Previously the company’s Chief Client Success officer, Vanessa sees “a bold, sharpened focus” in Astound’s bright future.

Astound Commerce, one of the world’s preeminent digital commerce specialists, is expanding its repertoire of ecommerce options with the acquisition of MarketForce, a leading innovator in digital performance marketing services.

Astound Commerce congratulates Vanessa Cartwright, previously the company’s chief client success officer, on her immediate promotion to chief operating officer of Astound Commerce North America. 

In this new role, Vanessa will take leadership of all financial and business planning for Astound’s North American operating company and for performance management to achieve financial and business goals. She will also hold responsibility for managing the client success team, which includes client services, business development, and sales, and for operations, people management, and overall culture.

“Vanessa has consistently demonstrated her unshakable commitment to our company and the quality of the work we do, holding herself to the highest standards as a leader, mentor, and teammate, says Igor Gorin, CEO of Astound Commerce North America. Astound Global CEO Michael Kahn (MK) adds, “This is great news for Astound and for our North American operating company, and it’s so very well-earned and deserved.” 

Following Astound’s acquisition of digital customer experience agency Fluid, Vanessa—who was a CEO and managing partner of Fluid—played an indispensable role in driving the successful integration between the two companies. Igor notes that her outstanding work as chief client success officer has shown her natural representation of Astound’s core values. 

Vanessa’s prior leadership roles included serving as a senior vice president at digital agency Blast Radius, part of WPP, and she also held senior positions at RMG Connect/J Walter in Canada and Rapp Collins in the UK. She acknowledges that her success is notable in part because such leadership roles for women are still not as common as they should be, with just under 6 percent of S&P 500 companies run by women. But ironically, Vanessa’s drive to succeed is in part a credit to an upbringing in which gender was simply never discussed as a either a help or a hindrance. She adds that, across the board, the companies she worked for early in her career were helmed by women in senior leadership roles. “I just never had any inkling that women serving in these roles couldn’t or shouldn’t be the case,” she says. 

Regarding the COO position she now takes on, Vanessa expresses great optimism and excitement about helping to guide Astound’s future. She notes that MK coming on board as global CEO was “an incredible acknowledgement from our founders that we need to sharpen our focus”—a focus she sees as perfectly summed up in Astound’s mission statement of maximizing the brand and business value of every digital commerce touchpoint. “That’s a bold message,” she says, “and it’s one that we are fully prepared to execute on.” 

Vanessa adds that given the unprecedented impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on every aspect of our lives, including commerce, brands have a greater need than ever for a digital commerce specialist that can help guide the way. 

“Last year drove so much transformation so quickly,” she says, “and companies like Astound can really partner with you to design a strategic commerce solution aligned to your business objectives.” She also sees Astound’s service offerings as greatly enhanced by the company’s recent acquisition of digital performance marketing specialist MarketForce, noting, “It further demonstrates our commitment to helping the brands we work with create audiences and then be as relevant as possible to those audiences.”

Looking forward, Vanessa hopes to further channel her passion for environmental causes into Astound’s support of clients who are making great strides in sustainable commerce. “Through our work with visionary brands like The North Face and Rag & Bone, we are able to help offset the toll retail takes on the environment through different business models, including recommerce.” 

That’s just one of many aspects of Astound’s mission that has Vanessa so excited about her new role. “I have great confidence in Astound’s future successes,” she says, “and I so appreciate the trust that’s been placed in me by the company’s founders.”

I would love to connect and discuss how we can power your digital transformation.

Michael Kahn
Global CEO, Astound Commerce
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Blair Campbell

Blair Campbell is editor in chief at Astound Commerce.