Appen’s leadership team includes linguists and technologists who have research and applied linguistics credentials as well as real-world business experience in managing international programs and projects. Our leaders possess degrees and expertise in fields such as computational linguistics, phonetics and phonology, terminology, lexicography, corpus collection and linguistic testing, among others.
Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer
Mark Brayan joined Appen in July 2015 as CEO and is responsible for the company’s leadership, strategy and culture. Mark has over twenty-five years experience in technology and services. Prior to joining Appen, Mark was CEO of MST Global, a provider of technology solutions to the resources sector. Before that he was the CEO of Integrated Research Limited (ASX:IRI), an international software company listed on the Australian Stock exchange. Mark was also COO of the HR outsourcing company Talent2 (ASX:TWO) and CEO of Concept Systems (ASX:CSI) before its merger with Talent2. Mark has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and Bachelor of Surveying with 1st Class Honours from the University of NSW
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Levine joined Appen in January 2015 as CFO and is responsible for the financial operations of the Company. Kevin is a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience in executive operations and financial roles, in listed and unlisted companies, with particular exposure to startup, high growth, and distressed companies in the services and technology sectors. Prior to joining Appen, Kevin was the CEO and CFO of Rubicor Group Limited (ASX:RUB), one of the largest networks of specialist recruitment businesses in Australasia. Before that Kevin was the CFO of Trade Wind Communications Limited, an Australian public technology company previously listed in Canada and the USA.
Kevin has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Witswatersrand, South Africa. Kevin was admitted as a Chartered Accountant in 1989 in South Africa and in 1995 in Australia.
SVP Content Relevance
Tammy Garves has more than 20 years of management experience in both program and project management and human resources management, including writing and implementing HR processes, developing training programs, and building and deploying teams around the world. Before joining the firm, Tammy spent 6 years consulting in the IT industry, where she managed multiple high-profile technical projects for internationally known clients. She joined Appen in the spring of 2007 and now heads operations and program development for a worldwide team working on search technology. Tammy received her bachelor’s in liberal studies from the University of Washington.
SVP, Language Resources
Phil Hall heads Appen’s Sydney-based Language Resources Division. Phil has a strong background in international business development and linguistics. Since joining Appen in 2001, he has been at the forefront of the company’s evolution and growth at both a technical and an organizational level. Under Phil’s leadership, the Language Resources Division delivers large programs of work, with a focus on speech and language data, to some of the world’s leading commercial and government technology organizations. Phil has a 1st Class Honours degree in linguistics and in 1999 was awarded the Macquarie University medal for his research into the language of interrogation. Phil publishes in the area of forensic linguistics and has acted as a consultant forensic linguist for the New South Wales Police Service in extortion and stalking cases.
SVP, eCommerce Solutions
Tom White is an industry-recognized expert in search evaluation solutions and the collection of high-quality, human-generated data. Tom joined Appen in 2013 and currently leads the eCommerce division at Appen focused on enhancing on-site search for eCommerce retailers globally.
Tom honed his industry experience during his 23 years at Microsoft. He began his career in quality assurance of development tools, including Visual C++, and then transitioned to program management in the earliest versions of search and Office Online. He ultimately became principal program manager for Bing relevance measurement. Tom led the effort to bring large-scale, human-generated data collection to Microsoft, defining and implementing processes that produced verifiable, measurable quality, controlled costs, and ultimately led to significant improvements in Bing’s relevance. During that time Tom developed a passion for crowd sourcing, and under his leadership his team developed a versatile, customizable data-collection platform that is now used by more than 60 product teams within Microsoft. The platform supports a variety of crowd-sourcing applications ranging from very small studies to massive data-collection efforts.
Tom considers his reputation for collaboration and his contribution to the professional development of his direct reports among the most satisfying of his career accomplishments. Tom received his bachelor’s in computer science from Gonzaga University.
Chief Technology Officer
After spending more than 10 years as a software engineer at Autodesk, Johan Wikman embarked on a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Taking on increasing responsibility at each company, Johan has built complete engineering teams from scratch and transformed existing teams into productive, agile development groups. Most recently, Johan was responsible for transforming and managing one of Zynga’s game development groups. Before Zynga, Johan served as Keibi’s VP of engineering, responsible for building a team that combined local and offshore (Chinese) resources and for managing Keibi’s large, multitenant, hosted solution.
SVP Crowdsourcing and HR
Tammy Perkins joined in March of 2016 as our SVP of HR and Crowdsourcing. Tammy has over 20 years experience in Human Resources in high-tech start-up to large Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft and Amazon. Most recently, she was at Microsoft, where she led HR for global Customer Service and Support, Windows Marketing and Windows Phone, driving organizational change and culture transformation. Tammy also spent over 12 years at Amazon and held senior HR leadership roles for a variety of global organizations including e-Commerce Platform, Seller Services, Corporate Operations and Customer Service, partnering with senior leaders driving efforts focused on attracting and developing talent to scale the company’s rapid growth.
Tammy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communication from Ohio University. She is a certified Executive Coach and has been active with the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) throughout her career, having served as state council president, regional advisory chair and receiving national SHRM recognitions for merit and HR leadership.
Board of Directors
Chris holds degrees in science and engineering, with honours, from The University of Sydney and an MBA from Macquarie University. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2007.
Steve holds an economics degree from the University of Melbourne and has an MBA and a master’s in international affairs, both with honors, from Columbia University. He is also a non-creative director of Global Eagle Entertainment, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Robin has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in marketing, from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Jeremy holds an MBA from the Yale University School of Management and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees from the University of New South Wales.
Deena holds a degree in law from Cambridge University and a degree in economics from the London School of Economics, both with honours. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.