Rebtel Recruits New CEO to Spearhead Expansion
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – September 3, 2009 – Rebtel, the global communications company, today announced that Andreas Bernstrom, former chief operating officer (COO) of TradeDoubler and mobile search leader Taptu is joining Rebtel as its new chief executive (CEO).
Rebtel is used by more than 3 million people in more than 50 countries to call any anywhere in the world for free or just pennies per minute.
Bernstrom, 35, will replace Rebtel co-founder Hjalmar Winbladh who will continue as the company’s working chairman. With Bernstrom on board Winbladh will focus on Rebtel’s next wave of innovation and aggressive expansion in U.S. calling corridors to Asia, Africa and Latin America
“Andreas is a strong, charismatic leader, with a proven track record for growing companies,” said Winbladh. “Now with a cash flow positive operation after years of explosive growth, Andreas joins us at a exciting time in our short history as we pursue new customers, and add new countries, innovative products and services around the world.”
After spending his formative years as a senior analyst for Goldman Sachs, Bernstrom joined internet marketing company TradeDoubler as its sixth employee. During the subsequent five years Bernstrom grew TradeDoubler’s U.K. operations, establishing a dominant market position before taking over as TradeDoubler’s COO, leading the business of 600 staff and more than $450 million in revenue.
“I’m a true believer in Rebtel,” said Bernstrom. “I’ve been using Rebtel for my international calling since the company was started in 2006. It came as no surprise that Rebtel has been doubling in size every quarter for over a year. That’s impressive for such a young company and a great base to build on.”
Bernstrom comes to Rebtel from Taptu – the leading alternative search machine now serving more than 1 million daily mobile searches – where he was brought in to drive revenue, traffic and brand awareness.
“Rebtel has established itself as a leader of the Internet phone category and captured significant market share of some of the most important calling corridors out of the U.S.,” said Ben Holmes, Index Ventures partner and Rebtel board member. “Andreas is exactly the right man to lead the aggressive charge as we introduce some of the world’s lowest rates to Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand and a host of African nations.”
Added Johan Brenner, Balderton Capital’s representative on the Rebtel’s board of directors: “Andreas’ international business track record with his expertise in mobile and digital marketing makes him a great fit for Rebtel. He’s the perfect leader for our ambitious plans going forward.”