Zalando Announces New Leadership Roles

  • Barbara Daliri-Freyduni joined Zalando SE October 1, 2019 in a new position as SVP Demand. She previously served as CMO for Western Europe at Microsoft

  • Dr. Ralf Herbrich will join Zalando SE in a new position as SVP Data Science and Machine Learning starting January, 2020. Most recently Ralf has served as Managing Director of the Development Center and Director of Machine Learning at Amazon in Berlin


BERLIN, OCTOBER 10, 2019 // Zalando SE, Europe’s leading platform for fashion and lifestyle, today announced two senior leadership appointments that support the company's strategic priorities and growth agenda. Barbara Daliri-Freyduni joined Zalando on October 1, 2019 in the new position of Senior Vice President (SVP) Demand. Dr. Ralf Herbrich will join Zalando SE in a new position as SVP Data Science and Machine Learning starting January 1, 2020. 

Barbara is a seasoned industry expert who leads Zalando’s markets organization and the fashion store marketing teams across 17 countries, reporting to co-founder and co-CEO Robert Gentz. She has spent 20 years of her career steering brands to succeed in the digital world. As VP at Pixelpark, one of Europe’s largest internet agencies, she supported companies such as Citibank and Deutsche Bank in developing user-friendly internet services. As General Manager at German publishing house Axel Springer she drove the transformation to digital marketing. 

Prior to Zalando, Barbara served for more than 12 years in EMEA Marketing roles at Google, Netflix and Microsoft. At Google, she led all consumer and commercial marketing initiatives for Central and Northern Europe, and helped, among others, to launch and grow YouTube in seven EMEA countries. At Netflix, she introduced the streaming service in Central Europe and drove its growth and brand perception. Most recently, Barbara served as the CMO Western Europe at Microsoft, leading marketing across 12 countries in Europe with a focus on commercial marketing, driving awareness, thought leadership, and demand generation. Her teams’ marketing initiatives drove significant market growth and were awarded 18 times for creative excellence.

“We are thrilled to welcome Barbara, a true creative marketeer at heart,” said co-CEO Robert Gentz. “She is a highly respected leader who brings massive experience in digital companies and a broad international perspective to Zalando.”

Barbara said, “Zalando is one of the rare European companies that has managed to set the tone in an industry and is poised to redefine how we express ourselves through fashion. Marketing is more important to Zalando than ever, and I’m excited to work with the teams to further evolve the brand and drive market growth.”

Thought leadership in Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Ralf Herbrich, one of Europe’s leading experts in Machine Learning, will join Zalando SE as SVP Data Science and Machine Learning starting January 1, 2020, reporting directly to CTO Jim Freeman. He will provide scientific leadership to a diverse range of departments and initiatives that are heavily dependent upon research methods, data science, and machine learning to be successful. Ralf served as Managing Director of the Amazon Development Center in Germany (with its locations in Berlin, Dresden, Aachen and Tübingen) and has been Director of Machine Learning at Amazon in Berlin since 2013. Prior to this, he led Facebook’s Unified Ranking and Allocation team and served as Director of Microsoft's Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Lab UK. Previously, he worked for nine years at Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge. 

Ralf has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and holds over 50 patents. His research interests include Bayesian inference and decision making, natural language processing, computer vision, learning theory, robotics, distributed systems and programming languages. Ralf is one of the inventors of the Drivatars™ system in the Forza Motorsport series as well as the TrueSkill™ ranking and matchmaking system in Xbox Live. 

“Ralf is an internationally recognized leader in Machine Learning who has a strong track record of attracting and leading world-class science and technology talent in both Europe and the US,” says CTO Jim Freeman. “As we continue to use AI to understand the fashion space, match customers with fashion they love, and optimize our supply chain, Ralf’s expertise will help us greatly in getting the most from our strong partnership with AWS. We are excited to have Ralf join us in our Berlin headquarters, thereby continuing to strengthen Berlin as the German capital for innovation and science.” 

Ralf said, “Artificial Intelligence touches all aspects of today’s life and allows us to transform customer experiences, in particular, in fashion and lifestyle. It’s an exciting time to join Zalando and be part of the transformation of the Zalando platform to become the Starting Point for Fashion by applying and advancing the science of computer vision, natural language processing, data science and economics.”