Christopher Scollo

CTO   •   Author   •   Consultant

London, UK     •     +44 772 213 0213     •     scollo@scollo.com     •     http://scollo.com/



I'm a CTO with substantial experience across multiple industries. My first CTO role was in Munich at Ciao. I led the technical and content departments through our incredible transformation from a simple product review site into Europe's leading price comparison engine and shopping portal. I made my exit when Greenfield Online acquired Ciao for $154m in 2005. In 2008 Microsoft acquired Ciao for $486m to make it the shopping arm of the Bing search engine.

After moving to London in 2005, I was co-founder and CTO of social-shopping startup Crowdstorm. I now provide CTO services as a consultant or board advisor. I've served as part-time CTO, interim CTO, or tech advisor to over a dozen companies, including Mangahigh, Soliland, Autodata, MyHealthPal, Smartpipe, The Smalls, and Oxbow Partners. I often perform tech due diligence for investment and M&A.

My current engagement is as interim CTO of Munich Re Digital Partners, a new Munich Re venture which is partnering with disruptors who are changing the way insurance is experienced by customers. As CTO, I'm setting the global technical strategy that will serve and enable the next wave of innovation in insurance.

As an angel investor, I have the opportunity to fund and work with exciting digital startups in London, including Yocuda, Adbrain, Green Man Gaming, and Trouva. I'm an Impact Partner with Fresco Capital and a former mentor at BBC Worldwide Labs. I also had the good fortune to be the lead author of the world's best-selling book on the PHP programming language, just as that language was emerging to become the dominant programming language of the web.

Professional
Experience
SELF EMPLOYED; September 2008 - present
Consulting CTO / Tech Advisor
  • Provide part-time and interim CTO coverage, including turn-around of under-performing technical and product teams.
  • Act as board advisor. Advise executive teams on technical matters; mentor less-experienced CTOs or tech team leaders.
  • Review staff and optimise team organisation, including recruitment, interviews, training, and off-shoring / near-shoring.
  • Set product development and technical strategies.
  • Create and manage budgets.
  • Help startups prepare for fund-raising and established business prepare for exit.
  • Audit technical architecture, optimise database schemata, and advise on scalability.
  • Perform technical due diligence on software and digital media assets for investment and M&A.
  • Develop ecommerce strategies for online retailers, including full value-chain analysis and platform selection.
  • Conduct industry research and devise digital media strategies.
  • Create internal structures, policies, and practices to bring companies into regulatory compliance.
  • Document processes and systems; produce risk mitigation strategies.

REAL USER TEST LLP; London, UK; Feb 2010 - Sep 2013
Co-founder
Lead investor and co-founder of Real User Test, a B2B usability testing service in the German-language market.

LITELOGIC LTD; London, UK; May 2007 - May 2008
CTO
  • Recruited and led the technical team of an advertising technology start-up in the UK and Ireland.
  • Analysed the emerging digital outdoor advertising industry and devised business and product strategies.
  • Ran network operations and established procedures for compliance with customer Service Level Agreements.
  • Performed technical sales support; demonstrated products to prospective customers.

CROWDSTORM LTD; London, UK; Jan 2006 - May 2007
Co-founder, CTO
  • Founded and operated a commercial social-networking startup.
  • Recruited and managed an off-shore team of developers.
  • Commissioned content creation.
  • Designed and developed recommendation engine and search engine.

CIAO AG; Munich, Germany; Jul 2001 - Apr 2005
VP of Technology, Feb 2003 - Apr 2005
  • Managed the technical department of one of Europe's most successful web companies. Set the department's goals and direction.
  • Recruited staff. Expanded team from six to thirty-five members in three countries.
  • Coordinated external programmers with internal engineers, administrators, project managers and developers.
  • Established a software development life cycle to assure the quality of all programs and stored procedures.
  • Directed complete redesign of several major web sites.
    • Set deadlines and managed tasks of project team, including "dotted line" reports from the content department.
    • Identified critical path dependencies.
    • Developed launch scenarios and contingency planning.
  • Led Ciao's technical due diligence proceedings during the firm's successful acquisition (April 2005) by Greenfield Online Inc., an American market research firm. Audited, documented, and presented Ciao's technical procedures and systems.
Chief Architect, Nov 2002 - Apr 2005
  • Responsible for the hardware, software, and network architectures for major ecommerce web sites.
  • Reconciled the needs of a rapidly changing, technology-based company with its legacy architectures.
  • Achieved scalability and greater development agility by transforming the company's architectural model from a centralised single-database system to a distributed multi-database network with an n-tier application layer to seamlessly unify systems.
Chief Programmer, Jul 2001 - Feb 2003
  • Developed a large-scale data integration application.
  • Designed and developed a high-speed, fault-tolerant caching system.
SBX; Skillman, NJ, USA; Oct 1999 - Dec 2000
Lead Application Developer
  • Designed and developed a web-based, multi-tiered stock-trading system.
  • Designed and developed an object-oriented stock-feed parsing program to capture market data from a NASDAQ Level II quote feed using socket-layer programming.
  • Created objects for dynamically maintaining and enforcing user-level privileges and preferences within the system.
TAURIX; New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Sep 1998 - Mar 2000
Co-founder
  • Created and operated a small software corporation.
  • Designed and developed travel and airline reservation application for SME tour operators.
CONSULTANT; New Brunswick, NJ, USA; May 1997 - Sep 1998
Freelance Software Developer
DATA ANALYSIS SYSTEMS; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Sep 1996 - May 1997
Programmer / Analyst
VAGABOND TOURS (now EDUCATION TRAVEL ADVENTURES); New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Oct 1994 - Jun 1996
Co-founder
Established and operated collegiate travel corporation.
Published Works Beginning PHP4 Databases, Wrox Press, 2002 (co-authored).
Professional PHP4, Wrox Press, 2002; Reprinted by Apress, 2003 (co-authored).
Professional PHP Programming, Wrox Press, 1999 (co-authored).
Other Relevant Experience Instructor - Princeton Adult School, Princeton, NJ, USA; Feb 2000 - Dec 2000
  • Created and taught courses in XHTML and in web architecture and technologies.
Education Rutgers College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
B.A. in German, May 1994
Minor in Political Science - concentration in International Studies
Languages English:  Native
German:  Good, but fading.
Italian:  Elementary
French:  Elementary
Nationality United Kingdom, Italy, and United States


Professional PHP Programming book cover