Former AT&T Wireless executive and Zumobi CEO to accelerate growth and scale marketing
SAN FRANCISCO AND WATERLOO, July 30, 2020 – TextNow, the leading mobile app offering free cellular and WiFi-enabled phone service, has named Ken Willner Chief Growth Officer. Most recently the CEO of mobile content marketing leader Zumobi, he will oversee TextNow’s growth and marketing efforts with a focus on accelerating customer acquisition and raising brand awareness, while continuing to drive monetization of TextNow’s popular free mobile app.
Ken is a veteran marketing and digital media executive and has been actively involved in the development of mobile as a media platform since 2002. Having held senior leadership roles at national advertising agencies, a major wireless carrier and emerging media tech organizations, Ken brings a 360-degree view of the marketing and mobile landscape to TextNow.
“I think TextNow is one the best kept secrets in the mobile industry, and I share the company’s passion for making free phone service available to everyone who needs it,” said Ken Willner, Chief Growth Officer at TextNow. “I’m really impressed by the quality of the product offering and the growth the company has achieved so far. As we continue to scale, I see a great opportunity, particularly in this current environment, to build market momentum for TextNow and help make sure that everyone can stay connected, no matter their budget.”
An award-winning marketing executive with an understanding of all facets of the advertising industry, Ken served as Vice President of Advertising and Media at AT&T Wireless, where he developed innovative marketing programs to stimulate consumer adoption of several first-to-market mobile applications. While there, he led one of the carrier’s most successful marketing initiatives, an integrated marketing campaign around the American Idol media and text voting sponsorship, which has been widely recognized as a seminal event that popularized text messaging in the United States.
“It’s rare to find someone with this unique blend of experience in both the wireless marketing and media spaces,” said Derek Ting, CEO of TextNow. “His expertise is exactly what we’ve been looking for to scale our platform and accelerate growth, and we’re thrilled to add his knowledge and innovative thinking to our senior leadership team.”
Based in Seattle, Ken graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in marketing and has been published as a thought leader in the advertising and mobile technology industries. He has also served as a mentor at YearUp, a unique non-profit dedicated to the mentoring, advancement, and support of young high-potential leaders within diverse, urban communities.
Founded in 2009, TextNow is the largest provider of free phone service in the U.S. With offices in San Francisco, Waterloo and Portland, the TextNow app has been downloaded more than 200 million times globally, helping millions of people stay connected with a free phone number through its mobile app and ad-supported calling and texting over WiFi and the Nationwide Sprint Network. For more information, visit https://www.textnow.com/.
Nick de Pass