Wharton Business Radio

Marketing Matters: March 4, 2015

Host Jagmohan Raju is joined by Naveen Agnihotri Ph.D. (CTO, Lenddo), Steven Silverstein (President & CEO, Spencer Spirit Holdings, Inc.), and Pinar Yildirim (Assistant Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School) on the Wednesday, March 4, 2015 edition of Marketing Matters.

Air Date: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 on SiriusXM 132

Hosted By

Marketing Matters: March 4, 2015 17:00

Air Time: 5:00 pm
Featuring: Pinar Yildirim

Marketing Matters: March 4, 2015 17:30

Air Time: 5:30 pm
Featuring: Naveen Agnihotri Ph.D.

Marketing Matters: March 4, 2015 18:00

Air Time: 6:00 pm
Featuring: Steven Silverstein

Featured Guests

Naveen Agnihotri Ph.D.

CTO, Lenddo


Naveen has a deep background in computer science and in computational neuroscience. He has a PhD in neuroscience from Columbia University, where he worked with nobel laureate Eric Kandel on how patterns in the brain lead to the storage of memories. He then continued his research in computational neuroscience at MIT, where he worked with artificial neural network algorithms that make computers behave more like the brain. He left MIT in 2005 to start the image recognition company Milabra, where he created the world’s first web based service to automatically classify video and images for publishers and businesses. Naveen brings his passion for Lenddo at a personal as well as professional level: he grew up in a middle class family in India, and can relate to the financial needs of everyday Lenddo customers. He is passionate about the power of social media to bring communities together in new ways, and considers himself fortunate that his background and training has prepared him to tackle the big data problem and provide financial services where they are most needed.
Full Profile

Steven Silverstein

President & CEO, Spencer Spirit Holdings, Inc.


Through his career, Steven Silverstein has served in executive roles with a variety of retailers from department stores to big box and now mall-based specialty.

Since 2003 Steven has held the position of CEO and President of Spencer Spirit Holdings, Inc. which operates two distinct lifestyle retail brands; Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween. Spencer’s, the retail icon founded in 1947, opened its first location in 1963. Today Spencer’s is the mall destination for fun and entertainment among 18-24 year olds and operates over 600 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Spirit Halloween, the country’s largest seasonal Halloween retailer was founded in 1983 and acquired by Spencer’s in 1999. Since 2003 Spirit has become the Halloween category killer and has experienced tremendous growth operating 1,250 locations for the 2016 Halloween season. Spirit is the one-stop shopping destination for everything you can imagine for Halloween.

From 1992 to 2003, Steven served, ultimately, as President of Linen’s N Things. Steven joined Linen’s, then a division of Melville Corporation, in January of 1992 as VP, General Merchandise Manager. In November of 1996, Linen’s completed a successful IPO on the NYSE, as part of CVS’ (formerly Melville) strategic restructuring. Steven held a number of positions at Linen’s, in addition to merchandising; he was responsible for marketing, planning, distribution, store operations and strategic planning.

Steven was previously with Bloomingdales (1985-1992) in New York, as well as RH Macy (1981-1983), also in New York. He received his MBA from the Wharton School in 1985 and BA from Cornell University in 1981. He has served on multiple local charitable boards in his hometown of Riverdale in the Bronx, New York.

Spencers – https://www.spencersonline.com/
Full Profile

Pinar Yildirim

Assistant Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School


Pinar Yildirim joined the Wharton School as an Assistant Professor of Marketing after completing her PhD in 2012. Pinar’s research can be categorized into three main streams: monetization of media platforms, politics in marketing, and advertising. She focuses on analytical modeling and in particular is interested in game theoretic models. Parallel to these interests, her current research focuses on two-sided networks, including innovation platforms, data markets, and social networks. Related to her interests of ‘political economy’ she is also conducting research on how beliefs about the role of government can be shaped. Professor Yildirim’s research appeared in top management and marketing journals including Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, and Journal of Marketing, and received various grants. Yildirim has industrial experience in consumer electronics and automotive sectors, at firms such as Fiat S.P.A and Renault S.A. She also conducted research in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline and PNC Bank, and currently she is conducting research in collaboration with the American Red Cross (with Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative grant) and Social Bicycles. Professor Yildirim earned her Ph.D. in Marketing & Business Economics from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. She is teaching Marketing Research at the Wharton School and is a frequent contributor for Knowledge@Wharton and contributor for Google Think Insights
Full Profile

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