Steven C. Toy CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER · GENERAL MANAGER Building great teams and leading them from ‘Here’ to ‘There’
BIG PICTURE: I'm a Principles based manager that really enjoys leading teams to lofty goals. With this frame of mind I've started a business from scratch (Beema) or joined businesses very early on (ICTV, Software Secure, TaxChat). I've helped more established businesses dramatically improve their operations and results (Billboard, Fareportal, EY and Apalon). I've even successfully exited a company through acquisition (TaxChat). In short, I have enjoyed some success in managing global teams as large 200+ through every stage of the journey from idea to $100M+ P&Ls. I've also brought this joy for working with teams to the nonprofit world with a decades long passion for adult literacy.
SKILLS: $100M+ P&L Management | Start-Up Leadership | Strategy | Fundraising | Board & Governance | Product Development | Artificial Intelligence | Business Development | Partnerships | Cross-Border Teams | Public Speaking | Interpersonal Relationships | Vision and Mission Development
PRINCIPLES: Transparency | Respect | Ownership | Action - (Happy to talk more about these at any time)
GENERAL MANAGER Apalon (an IAC company), New York, NY - 2017 to Present
I joined Apalon at the end of 2017 as the earnout from the sale of TaxChat concluded with EY. Apalon was a Belarusian company, acquired by IAC at the end of 2014 with Apalon's Founders having moved on at the end of 2016. These events caused a bit of instability and resulted in a slide in Apalon's revenue run rate that needed to be reversed. By building focus and trust with the team we were able to rapidly restore Apalon to a growth trajectory. A trajectory which by Q3 was already up 77% YoY and was called out by IAC's CEO on the first page of his Q3 Letter to Shareholders.
VENTURE LEAD - AMERICAS TAX INNOVATION FOUNDRY Ernst & Young, New York, NY - 2016 to 2017
I landed at EY when they acquired the previous company I was running, TaxChat (Press Release). Shortly after landing at America's Tax within EY I set about the task of understanding and helping deal with the existential risk to the tax and accounting business from new AI technologies. This lead to experimental integrations with IBM Watson, Microsoft LUIS, Amazon AI Services and Google Cloud Platform. We experimented with Natural Language Processing (NLP) for searching EY's Tax Guide for the single correct answer and built a Machine Learning system for classifying tax transactions that reduced 400 man-hours of work to <1.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER TaxChat LLC, New York, NY - Jan. to Nov. 2016
I joined the Founder of TaxChat at the beginning of 2016 with the goal of positioning the company for a liquidity event by successfully completing and launching the company's product in time for the upcoming tax season. This required us to, among other things, spin up a 100+ network of tax preparers to handle the supply side of the business. The success of our launch led to conversations with several giants in the tax space including H&R Block, Intuit and EY. Ultimately, we did a deal with EY by the end of the year.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER – MEDIA, HOTELS, CARS & CROSS-SELL CheapOair.com (subsidiary of Fareportal Inc.), New York, NY - 2013 to 2015
I was recruited to Fareportal after being introduced to the leadership team by one of their own who had worked with me in the past. My task was to increase revenue from all lines of business, other than the sale of airline tickets. During my time at Fareportal we increased the ancillary revenue per air ticket by 47%, boosted EBITDA 50%+ year over year for media group and achieved highest quarterly revenue for hotels and cars in the Company's history.
GENERAL MANAGER – DIGITAL Billboard.com (owned by Prometheus Global Media), New York, NY - 2011 to 2013
The task at Billboard was to reposition an old business brand that still earned the majority of its revenue from a physical magazine to a digital first consumer mindset. During my time as GM of Digital we grew digital revenue from 10% to 50% of the pie, while also lifting average monthly views by 30%, trebling social media audience to 3M and lifting Billboard Music Awards social activity 7X year over year. All this was managed through a turbulent period that saw three different CEOs occupy the corner office.
CEO & CO-FOUNDER Beema, San Francisco, CA - 1996 to 2011 (Non-Executive from 2004 to 2007)
Beema is a company I started with two other Founders which later pared back to one. Beema began life as a digital media agency where we helped companies navigate the unfolding digital world. This included multimedia projects, web sites, email and eventually social media campaigns when all of these things were brand new. During this time we got good and practiced at figuring out the practical application of brand new technology, channels and platforms.
Around 2007, we pivoted from a service to a product company when we developed first video-messaging application that put user-generated audio into mouths of avatars and delivered to user's mobile phones. Essentially we made Animojis before there was an iPhone. It is fair to say that we 'led the target' a little too much and should have simply given users a way to upload their photos to a public feed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ While we enjoyed some success with these animations we did not reach a tipping point and in 2011 we decided to end the experiment when I moved to the East Coast for family reasons.
There are a few other things I have done over the years. Below you will find a complete resume as well as a one-pager which is good for absorbing the most important stuff in under 30-seconds. If you'd prefer to get all of the formal details in HTML click this link right here