News & Analysis

Appster appoints former Microsoft executive as CMO, looks to push US expansion

- February 12, 2015 2 MIN READ

Australian app and web development startup Appster has named former Microsoft executive Mike Wehrs as global chief marketing officer and head of US operations as it looks to push its expansion into the US market.

Based in the company’s North American headquarters in San Francisco, Wehrs will be charged with driving growth in America, building global partnerships, and consolidating the marketing function at Appster.

“Appster has helped many aspiring entrepreneurs and startups realise the potential of their disruptive ideas by providing world class product design and development capabilities. The transformational nature of their business is a perfect fit for me and the impact I want to continue having on the global startup ecosystem,” Wehrs says.

As well as Microsoft, Wehrs has worked at Scanbuy and the Mobile Marketing Association, and has held director positions at companies including Samsung Electronics America and Sony Electronics.

The appointment of Wehrs is the latest in a line of high profile additions to the company. Sanjeev Handa, former VP Finance at Aricent, was named chief financial officer while former Woolworths Limited training manager Vincent De Stefano was appointed head of sales.

Appster’s Josiah Humphrey believes he and his co-founder Mark McDonald have been able to attract big names to the company by sharing their vision and showing how quickly the company has grown.

“We see ourselves as building an ideas company. The vision is all over the walls at Appster, and the vision to create a development hub for the greatest ideas and innovations in the world. We really see ourselves as becoming an execution partner for any entrepreneur in the world who has an idea,” Humphrey says.

“The point I try to drive home is that we’re trying to figure out how to help a tech startup cut their costs in half, not just on the development side but also with the product strategy, the business model and validating the business model through customer discovery, building the app as well, then user acquisition and marketing and everything that comes with that.”

“I don’t think that any one company in the world is as laser focused as we are in figuring out how to do that, and I think that’s a really exciting opportunity and we’re really passionate about making it work.”

Humphrey says that while the company is still building momentum in Australia, the US is virtually an untapped market and presents an exciting opportunity.

Currently counting around 130 staff around the world, the company will be looking to grow to 300 staff over the next few months and is forecasting $25 million in revenue by the end of the global financial year.

Though the focus is on the United States for now, a European push is also on the cards, with plans for a London office in the works.