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The Near Team

3 mins read

Near Appoints Gladys Kong as COO to Support Global Demand for Data Intelligence


Company bolsters operational bench with world-class sales, marketing and customer success leaders.

Near is very excited to announce the expansion of the leadership team to further scale the company’s growing global business and customer roster. Gladys Kong will step into the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead the company’s growth from strategic planning through operational execution. This appointment comes at a time of significant growth for the organization across a number of high-growth industries including retail, commercial real estate, restaurants, and tourism. 

In the last year, Near has generated a customer net retention rate of more than 120 percent, driven by market demand for global data intelligence across marketing and operations use cases. To support this growth, Near will also be bringing on a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) in Q1 of 2022 to unify and accelerate the company’s revenue functions and customer traction. Former LeanData and Marketo CMO, Karen Steele, was brought in previously to spearhead the global expansion of the company’s brand, product marketing and customer expansion efforts as the new SVP of Marketing. 

“Near has a huge, untapped market opportunity ahead to unify the operational and marketing data intelligence needs of businesses of all sizes,” said Anil Mathews, CEO, Near. “Gladys’ deep technology background and experience building global businesses coupled with Karen’s track record of leading worldwide marketing teams, will undoubtedly take our go-to-market plans to new heights. They both embody our core values and their combined expertise is precisely what we need during this momentous phase in our company and market.”

Kong was previously the CEO of UberMedia and recently joined Near via the strategic acquisition of the company. A 20-year veteran in data science and technology, she grew UberMedia from a social media and advertising company to the leading provider of audience, human movement and product data for high growth brands. Her success growing the company to a multi-million dollar enterprise served as the catalyst for the recent acquisition and appointment to global COO by Near. 

“Near has all the elements of a winning company: world-class leadership and team, a clear vision and purpose, and integrated data intelligence platform that leading businesses like Little Caesar’s, Coldwell Banker and News Corp have come to rely on for data intelligence. This is a company that has a true global footprint in leading growth industries,” said Kong. “From the moment I met Anil and the team, I knew Near was the right culture fit. Helping our customers and partners make smarter business decisions with actionable intelligence is something I am passionate about—and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves in this new role.”

Near officially moved its headquarters to the U.S. to expand the company’s focus in North America. The company more than doubled U.S. based staff to support its large, diverse cliente around the world, which includes  more than 60 percent of the Fortune 500. The largest brands in the world are relying on Near for the world’s most comprehensive understanding of People, Places and Products.

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