Walker Innovation is led by talented executives experienced in developing, building and leading transformational business concepts to positions of industry leadership and large scale customer bases. The team has successfully invented business solutions, launched start-ups, built large operating companies, and formed partnerships with both Fortune 500 firms as well as small companies
shareholder value, created thousands of jobs, and served tens of millions
Jay Walker, one of America’s best-known business inventors and entrepreneurs, serves as our Executive Chairman. He has founded multiple successful start-up companies in multiple industries that today serve more than tens of millions of customers each.
Jay is chairman of walker Digital, a privately-held R&D lab based in Stamford, Connecticut. Walker Digital, LLC has invented hundreds of solutions for a wide variety of business problems. Since its founding in 1994, the company has funded an R&D budget of tens of millions of dollars – specializing in creating innovative applications that work with large-scale networks such as cell phones and the Internet.
Jay is best known as the founder of priceline.com, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry. Today, Priceline is a highly profitable public company with millions of active customers that achieved a market cap in excess of $80B in 2017. The business processes that guide Priceline’s success were created in the invention lab of Walker Digital.
As an inventor, Jay is names on more than 500 issued and pending U.S. and international patents, making him one of the world’s most prolific individual living inventors.
Jay also co-founded Synapse Group, a company that leveraged the credit card processing network to revolutionize the magazine subscription business. Jay served as its marketing leader and created a customer database of 20 million active buyers – winning him the Direct Marketer of the Year award in 1999. Synapse is now a unit of Time Inc.
Jay is the acting Chief Executive Officer and controlling investor in The Upside Commerce Group, LLC, a business travel company he founded in 2015.
Many respected national publications have acknowledged Jay Walker for leadership in business innovation. Twice named as one of the “50 most influential business leaders in the digital age” by the editors of TIME magazine, Businessweek selected him as one of its 25 Internet pioneers most responsible for “changing the competitive landscape of almost every industry in the world,” and Newsweek cited Jay Walker as one of the three executives at the forefront of the Internet commerce revolution.
Keenly interested in both science and education, Jay funded the development of two public policy documentary films about the space race and the role of science in American life. The first film focused on Sputnik’s impact on America’s education system; the second film explored broader U.S. cultural reactions to Sputnik.
A striking embodiment of Jay’s focus on innovation is his vast personal library. Within a multi-level, mazelike setting, The Walker Library of The History of Human Imagination contains thousands of landmark books and museum-level artifacts. The Walker Library has hosted numerous world leaders from business, government, science, medicine, the arts and education as part of Jay’s commitment to foster thoughtful discussions on the challenges facing the U.S. and the world community.
Jay has partnered with the World Economic Forum in Davos to develop enhanced communications systems between business and governments. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on economic policy and on how to reform the patent system. He is widely sought as a speaker by business groups, nonprofits and the academic community.
In 2009, Jay was honored as the “Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year” through the Entrepreneurship Program at his alma matter, Cornell University. He holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Relations from Cornell.
Jonathan Ellenthal Vice Chairman
Jonathan Ellenthal serves as the Company’s Vice Chairman. He was the Company’s Chief Executive Officer from late 2013 to February 2017. From 2008 until 2013, Jonathan served as the Chief Executive Officer of Walker Digital Management, LLC, with responsibility for all business operation, research and development, and IP portfolio licensing. He also oversaw finance, legal and administration. Jonathan currently serves as a Director for many of Walker Digital’s subsidiaries and collaborates with Jay Walker on all new business designs a well as the strategic direction of Walker Digital.
Jonathan has 25 years’ experience building and leading early-stage companies with transformational business concepts to positions of industry leadership, enabling them to serve large-scale customer bases. He understands the game-changing potential of innovation but also knows how fragile innovation can be without high-quality execution to create value.
Prior to joining Walker Digital, Jonathan was the CEO of Synapse Group, Inc., as a direct marketing subsidiary of Time Inc. responsible for more than 30 million customers and 2 billion pieces of consumer promotion every year. In 10 years, Synapse grew from an idea with seed capital to an industry leader with an exit valuation of more than $500 million. Jonathan served in a variety of senior leadership roles at Synapse before becoming CEO.
Earlier in his career, Jonathan spent 5 years as the Executive Vice President of Cooperative Marketing Concepts, a sales and marketing firm responsible for bringing FedEx into the direct-to-consumer residential package delivery market.
Jonathan is also the President of TEDMED, LLC, which runs an annual innovation summit for health and medicine. TEDMED brings together leading thinkers from the many fields of technology, medicine and business to exchange ideas and work on difficult medical problems.
Jonathan is a member of the Board of Managers of The Upside Commerce Group, LLC, a business travel company founded by Jay Walker in 2015.
Kara Jenny Chief Financial Officer
Kara Jenny serves as Chief Financial Officer of Walker Innovation. Kara brings to Walker Innovation over 20 years of senior financial expertise. She has created overall corporate strategy, managed financial and accounting operations, including SEC and SOX compliance efforts. Kara has overseen customer service, operations and legal functions as well as led strategic and annual planning processes. She has been a key contributor in facilitating several rounds of equity financing, including Preferred Stock Offerings, PIPE’s, Rights Offerings, and Common Stock Offerings.
Prior to Walker Innovation, Kara was the Chief Financial Officer of Fashion to Figure, a rapid growing, fast fashion specialty retailer. Prior to Fashion to Figure, she was the Chief Financial Officer of Bluefly, Inc., an online retailer of designer apparel and accessories, at a value.
Kara began her career at Arthur Andersen LLP and is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She was selected to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee Member on Small and Emerging Companies and served on the Committee from 2011 until 2013.
Jonathan Siegel Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan Siegel serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Walker Innovation. He previously served as President and Chief Legal Officer. Jonathan brings to Walker Innovation nearly 30 years of experience as a senior executive and corporate attorney. He has overseen operations, human resources and media and investor relations, and managed legal matters, including litigation, intellectual property, regulatory compliance and corporate transactions for early-stage and established businesses.
Prior to Walker Innovation, he served as Investment Manager and Legal Counsel for Bentham Capital, LLC, which provides financing for large commercial and patent lawsuits. He was Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Alclear, LLC, a biometric secure identification service, for two years, and served Synapse Group, Inc., a direct marketing company co-founded by Jay Walker, for eight years, most recently as Executive Vice President, Publisher Relations and Legal Affairs. He also served a two year term as Mayor and several terms as a Trustee of Irvington, New York.
Earlier in his career he served in various capacities for Brandt, Inc., a manufacturer of currency handling equipment, including as Executive Vice President and General Counsel and a board member, and as Vice President and General Counsel of Trian Group, LP, a merchant bank. After receiving his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, Jonathan began his career as a corporate attorney at Rosenman & Colin in New York. He holds a B.A. from Colgate University.