REDONDO BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ozobot (http://ozobot.com/), the robotics company creating a hybrid physical / digital STEAM platform, today announced filling the newly created roles of Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Joby Otero, who most recently served as Chief Creative Officer at Anki, will lead physical and digital product development and design as CPO while Kim Salzer, who was most recently Chief Marketing Officer at Hyperloop One, will lead marketing and branding initiatives as CMO. Both hires previously served in senior roles at video game publisher Activision.
As a gaming industry veteran, Otero brings more than 25 years of experience that includes more than a decade at Activision, where he served as Vice President, Art and Technology. During his tenure, Otero played an integral role in the development and creative direction of Skylanders--the first product to successfully combine toys and video games. Skylanders has generated over $3 billion in revenue, sold over 240 million toys, inspired competitors from Nintendo and LEGO, and created a whole new product category--Toys to Life. More recently, Otero served as Chief Creative Officer at robotics company Anki, where he led creative efforts on top-selling AI-driven products Overdrive and Cozmo.
“I love Ozobot’s mission to make tiny robots that are useful in people’s daily lives. It reminds me of the early days of home computing. The potential for positive impact is enormous,” said Joby Otero, CPO at Ozobot. “Ozobot has packed a unique set of advanced features into a pocket-friendly, low-cost, robotics platform, and paired it with innovative content. As we grow, we see our little robots learning and collaborating with future artists and astronauts alike. I’m thrilled to help Ozobot reach its full potential as we create this new category of Collaborative Robotics.”
Newly appointed as Ozobot’s CMO, Salzer brings more than two decades of marketing and branding experience at companies such as Hyperloop One, EA and Activision to the role. During her time at EA, Salzer headed up multiple offline and online gaming initiatives for EA GAMES, EA SPORTS and Pogo, including spearheading the $400MM+ Pogo subscription business, and building out multiple EA centers of excellence around CRM, online marketing and data analytics. She then served as Vice President of Global Brand Management at Activision, where she was accountable for the P&Ls of multiple AAA games, managing all marketing and business functions, and led hundreds of employees worldwide launching industry-leading titles. In her various roles, Kim was responsible for the worldwide success of Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and numerous licensed IPs.
“Throughout my career, I’ve had a passion for building consumer brands, and I’m delighted to join the Ozobot team and use my expertise to help achieve its larger vision,” said Kim Salzer, CMO of Ozobot. “There is massive opportunity in the emerging robotics industry, and I’m thrilled to be able to work with the supportive and collaborative team that Ozobot has cultivated to get Ozobot into the hands of even more consumers around the world.”
Ozobot builds award-winning robots that strengthen critical thinking, creativity and tech skills. By coloring with markers on a piece of paper, players direct Ozobot through a patented color command language, which program Ozobot to behave differently. As players advance, they can program Ozobot Bit with its block-based programming language, OzoBlockly. Ozobot’s newest robot, Ozobot Evo, is Bluetooth-enabled and connects to the Ozobot Evo app, which has missions, games and messaging features that make the Ozobot experience even more social and fun.
“We’re elated to welcome Joby and Kim to the team,” said Nader Hamda, founder & CEO of Ozobot. “Their previous accomplishments speak volumes about what they bring to the table. Joby’s vision, enthusiasm and desire for a challenge combined with Kim’s innate ability to transform a brand into a household name give us the tools to take Ozobot to the next level.”
Ozobot recently closed a $3 million Series A Preferred led by Tribeca Ventures. It has shipped more than half a million units to date and reaches 1 million kids. The tech toy market is worth $150 billion, and Gartner predicts smart toy sales will grow globally from 8M units this year to 421M units by 2020.
For more information on Ozobot, please visit www.ozobot.com.
ABOUT EVOLLVE, INC.
Evollve Inc. is a company dedicated to blending creative thinking with technology disciplines to bring new ideas to market and is the maker of Ozobot. Ozobot’s line of smart robots includes the award-winning Ozobot Bit and the Bluetooth-enabled Ozobot Evo, which easily connects to the Ozobot app containing missions, games and messaging features that make the Ozobot experience more fun and social than ever. For more information please visit www.ozobot.com.