Richard Gingras is head of news products for Google, and in recent years has been highly concerned with the transformation of the news business. In 2007-2008 Gingras also was a strategic advisor to the executive team at Google, focusing on strategies relating to the evolution of news and television. Gingras has long guided the development of new products, new technologies, and new companies, often as an active board member and strategic advisor with early stage ventures.
Before coming full-time to Google, Gingras was CEO of Salon Media Group, which operates the Salon.com, the blogging community OpenSalon.com, and the pioneering virtual community The Well. Gingras assembled the initial seed financing for Salon, the first web-only publication.
Gingras was co-founder, CEO and chairman of Goodmail Systems, a venture that developed certified email services for thousands of online retailers and financial service companies. Other ventures include Audio Mill, technology incubator ChanceTechAV, web applications platform provider Laszlo Systems, custom book publisher MyPublisher, among others.
Gingras also successfully explored the intersection of public policy, online commerce and parody with the creation of the Total Information Awareness Gift Shop, a satirical poke at government efforts to secretly mine data from vast arrays of corporate and governmental databases. Proceeds of the TIA Gift Shop continue to go to the ACLU.
Gingras serves on the board of the World Computer Exchange, which diverts used computers from U.S. landfills and places them with educational facilities in developing countries.
From early 1996 to mid 2000, Gingras led online service efforts at Excite@Home as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company’s consumer-focused product division, Excite Studios. With dozens of products — including the Excite narrowband and @Home broadband portals — and 600 employees, the media division generated over 160 million daily page views with $250 million in annual revenue. Gingras was founding vice president of programming and editor-in-chief of the pre-merger @Home Network in January, 1996.
At Apple Computer in the early 1990′s Gingras led the development of the online service eWorld. A pre-Web online service, eWorld was built with technology licensed from AOL and it introduced many online service innovations — in overall product design, in publishing infrastructures, in instant messaging, and in organizing and presenting 3rd-party branded content – innovations that were later adopted by AOL when it acquired eWorld in 1996.
Gingras’s work in online services reaches back to the very beginning of interactive media in the US. In 1979, he created the first interactive online news magazine. In partnership with CBS, NBC, and PBS, this was delivered to test households using interactive TV set-top box technology known as broadcast teletext.
From 1987 to 1992, Gingras was the founder and president of MediaWorks, an Apple-funded startup that developed early news-agenting and executive support software for Fortune 500 corporations. From 1983 to 1986, Gingras managed a network of television stations in the top fifty US markets to provide sideband data distribution for a news and advertising service, Silent Radio.
Gingras began his career in television, holding various positions with PBS, KCET/Los Angeles, and NBC during the 1970′s. He is a 1973 graduate of Boston College.
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