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Liz McMillan

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News Item

Google Developer Guru Jumps to BT/Ribbit

Kevin Marks Joins as VP of Web Services, Focused on Open Communications and the "Open Web"

BT is pleased to announce that Kevin Marks has joined as Vice President of Web Services, reporting to JP Rangaswami, Managing Director of Service Design. Marks will be based in Mountain View at Ribbit -- Silicon Valley's First Phone Company -- the company BT acquired in July 2008.

"To date, telecommunications have typically been walled off, limiting the possibilities for innovation and choice for consumers and the enterprise," said JP Rangaswami, Managing Director of Service Design at BT. "Kevin has a long history of pursuing open standards and an open approach to communications. With the innovative Ribbit platform, BT shares this approach and the goal to fundamentally change communications through web and telephony services. We're honored to bring Kevin on to help BT further build on its vision for the open global telecommunications company."

"Working with BT is an opportunity to connect the solid engineering culture of BT with the open web standards culture of Silicon Valley, and Ribbit is a great place to do that," said Marks. "Connecting the mobile and web worlds through an open platform, and making sense of them through social software and open initiatives is an exciting prospect. I look forward to working with BT and Ribbit to help further their vision of open global communications."

The Ribbit communications platform supports a global community of 15,000-plus application developers designing voiceware applications for consumers and enterprise. Through the Ribbit-BT partnership, developers gain unprecedented access to a global telecom infrastructure. And, unlike platforms such as Apple or Google Android, applications built on Ribbit are not locked to a specific carrier, device, protocol or operating system -- an industry first.

"From the beginning, our goal at Ribbit was to enable people to completely rethink the way they communicate -- bridging their mobile and online lives," said Ted Griggs, CEO at Ribbit. "We're growing a vibrant developer community that is harnessing the power of the platform in ways never before seen, and in ways not possible on other platforms -- but the surface has only just been scratched. We expect that Kevin's vision for the Open Web and deep connection with developer communities through his work with Apple, Google, and Technorati will play a great part in realizing our goal."

Before joining BT, Kevin Marks was Developer Advocate for OpenSocial at Google, bringing external developers and internal engineers together to make a better web. He promoted OAuth and OpenID, helped converge Portable Contacts with OpenSocial, and explained how the Open Stack fits together. Over the last 20 years, he has alternated between giant companies and founding start-ups -- BBC, The UK MultiMedia Corporation, Apple QuickTime, Technorati, Google and now BT. The common thread has been working out how people, computers and media can complement each other, and solving the engineering and social problems where they meet. He is one of the driving forces behind microformats.org and an advisor to the Open Rights Group.

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