Execs & Accounts for July 26, 2006

Digitas hired Greg Verdino as VP and director of emerging channels. He joins from videocasting platform ROO, where he was SVP. Earlier, he was general manager of Arbitron NewMedia and director of streaming channels for Akamai Technologies.

Carat Fusion expanded its search marketing practice with the hire of a West Coast SEM director and six others. Bill Mungovan joins from LookSmart, where he was director of client relations. He also worked for Snap/NBCi in the search and directory space.

Other hires include Valerie Kruk and Renee Robertson in the Boston office, Laura Krug and Joshua Bock in New York, and Logan Neilson and Tiffany Lee in L.A.

Yahoo hired Dr. Raghu Ramakrishnan as a VP and “research fellow.” Ramakrishnan will develop the company’s social search platform strategy. He joins from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he was a professor of computer science and a co-founder of the Data Mining Institute.

Viewpoint added Forbes.com CEO James Spanfeller to its board. Spanfeller is the current chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Jeep launched an online karaoke application with virtual characters courtesy of Oddcast. Jeep Compass Karaoke lets people choose a song, record their vocals and share the resulting singing avatar with friends.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia hired Holly Brown as president of its Internet business segment. Brown has consulted with the company since last October, prior to which she held various operational roles with Yahoo.

Jingle Networks, which sells pay-per-call advertising on its free directory assistance line at 1-800-FREE411, hired four in sales and marketing. Lyn Chitow Oakes joins as SVP of marketing, Steve Bair as VP of business development, Lisa Erich as West Coast sales VP and Don Calamaro as East Coast sales VP.

Integrated marketing firm Cramer hired Thomas Spicer as VP of account services, interactive. He joins from Digitas, where he was VP of Internet solutions.

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