James Bilefield‘s Biography
James Bilefield is a serial digital entrepreneur, who quit investment banking in 1998 to build a series of technology-based disruptors around the world. He scaled Skype’s global business as part of its founding management team, managed the digital transformation of media group Condé Nast across 27 countries and led a major investment in fashion e-commerce leader Farfetch. He also co-founded UpMyStreet, one of the UK’s first digital businesses, ran OpenX, a pre-IPO company delivering billions of digital ads daily, and has advised both the UK Government and London Science Museum Group on digital transformation.
He currently juggles a range of Chair and Board Director positions (at Ticketscript, Teach First, Cambridge Satchel Company and the Science Museum Group) with advisory roles at McKinsey & Company, Advent International and the UK Government, whilst also finding time to be an active technology investor and mentor (Kano, Roli, Polar, Entrepreneur First).
Bilefield recently served as President of the digital division of Condé Nast International, where he led the multimedia transformation of iconic brands such as Vogue, GQ, Wired and Vanity Fair across 27 markets outside the USA. He also led Series C round investments in e-commerce leaders Farfetch and Vestiaire Collective, whose boards he joined as part of those transactions.
He was formerly CEO of OpenX, the world’s leading digital and mobile advertising platform, serving billions of ads daily across 100+ countries, backed by Index Ventures, Accel Partners and others.
Bilefield joined OpenX from Skype, where he served as part of the founding management team as its first Vice President to run the global Business Development team. Following the $4.1bn sale of the company to eBay Inc., he took responsibility for Skype’s activities and performance across Europe, its largest region.
He previously held a range of senior commercial and general management roles at Yahoo! in Europe. Prior to that, he co-founded and ran UpMyStreet.com, an award-winning local information business, following a successful career in the Investment Banking Division of JP Morgan Chase in London and New York City.
Bilefield brings deep insight into the digital mindset, drawing on his hands-on roles as digital practitioner and disrupter across a range of global industries. He is a lively and passionate speaker, with a core belief in the power of technology to disrupt and transform for the better organisations, industries and all of our lives. He is able to speak on a variety of topics, including business and industry transformation, globalisation and our shared digital future.