Language Industry Hires at AppTek, CLS, Semantix, and Eriksen

Speech recognition and machine translation provider AppTek appointed Michael Veronis as Chief Revenue Officer in September 2018.

AppTek said he is responsible for expanding the company’s customer base in sectors such as e-commerce, telephony, social media, call center, healthcare, and government. He is based in McLean, Virginia, and reports directly to CEO Mudar Yaghi.

Michael Veronis
Michael Veronis

“My objective at AppTek is to develop and execute a plan to drive increased revenue for targeted segments where each product can be most valuable to end-users,” he said.

Veronis worked for AppTek from 2005 to 2010 in the same capacity. Asked for the story behind this journey back, he said he was “too impressed to stay away.”

“Although the senior team and I always stayed in touch, what compelled me to come back was seeing the degree to which the company has developed its products for enterprise-scale deployments and the early-stage adoption of AI across the portfolio,” he said.

Veronis had worked in the natural language processing (NLP) and data analytics technology space his entire sales career. “I grew up speaking multiple languages, so AppTek was immediately interesting to me,” he disclosed. “Coming back to AppTek is a chance to be at the forefront of innovation.”

He said it’s the job of the language technology industry to help corporate and government managers to truly understand how technology products can be used as natural a resource like any other asset to handle the volume and variety of spoken, written and visual information that feeds decision-making.

Outside of his work at AppTek, he is involved in two non-profits that help children in critical-need environments and some industry organizations.

Pius Fellner — CLS Communication

Pius Fellner worked for CLS Communication from 1998 to 2011, moving his way up from Translator/Project Manager to Deputy Head of Business Development in a career that spanned 13 years.

Pius Fellner
Pius Fellner

In September 2018, he rejoined the company as Country Head in Switzerland, responsible for the operational management of its Swiss business and for driving the integration under the Lionbridge brand. 

“You never really forget your first love, do you?” he said in jest with a wink when asked why he returned.

On a more serious note, he said the recent corporate rebrand has made it a very exciting time for the combined entity, and the tremendous opportunities coming its way in this period of transition has made it an easy decision for him.

He is based in Zurich-Glattbrugg but plans to frequent all CLS’ Swiss sites. He reports to Markus Hacker, General Manager, Central Europe.

Before he rejoined CLS, Fellner had worked as Head of Language Training at the Club School Migros and as the Switzerland Country Manager for Education First (EF). Outside of his professional life, he said he grew up in a family with diverse cultural background and have always had a passion for language and a curiosity for other cultures.

“I’m a big sports fanatic, spend quite a bit of time reading, and like to spend time out in nature. I’m also the proud dad of a 10-year-old daughter,” he shared.

Of the language services industry in Switzerland, he said the challenge under the current milieu is “to be able to translate the clients’ desire for “Swissness” into real value added for their customers.”

Annika Hampf — Semantix

Swedish language service provider Semantix has welcomed Annika Hampf as its new Chief Marketing Officer to handle brand strategy, internal communications, and all marketing and communications.

Annika Hampf
Annika Hampf

The veteran marketer said she joined the company because she finds it very interesting that emerging technologies are transforming the language services industry and she sees that this will ultimately affect established ways of working and current business models. 

“I look forward to transforming the marketing in Semantix as the methods of yesterday’s marketing will have to be replaced by “always on” human relationships where we need to interact with our customers very differently and connect in digital channels to follow and meet our customers in a much more transparent and human way,” she said.

She is based at Semantix’s HQ in Stockholm, Sweden, and reports to Group CEO Patrik Attermark.

Hampf has spent her career in marketing and had worked for global players and brands, including Procter & Gamble, ABSOLUT Vodka and Hästens Beds.

“I’ve had the good fortune of having worked extensively with brand strategy and positioning nationally and globally,” she said. Today, she noted that transactions are becoming more of relationships, and if you can create a compelling business brand, it will generate meaningful economic value in both the near and the long term.

“The border between B2B and B2C are almost diminished as marketing today is about H2H (humans to humans),” she shared. “If you can apply effective branding to B2B, you can build barriers to commoditization in a highly competitive environment and perhaps even make new market entry more effective. I also think it can engage employees in a positive way and make talent acquisition better.”

Yasmin Menon — Eriksen Translations

Eriksen Translations’ new Director of Production, Yasmin Menon, was a former journalist, TV producer, and anchor. She was originally from India, and her native languages are Hindi and Urdu.

Yasmin Menon
Yasmin Menon

She joined the language services industry in 2000 after moving to the US and has since worked for, LanguageWorks, and Geneva Worldwide before joining Eriksen. 

“My roles have changed over the years, and I am very happy about the evolution of my skills and the expertise I developed by working with some wonderful mentors,” she told Slator.

At Eriksen, she said her role is to manage all aspects related to the production of translation and localization services. She is mainly responsible for the smooth functioning of the teams that comprise project management, desktop publishing, quality assurance, vendor management, and solutions engineering.

Menon lives in Manhattan and reports to CEO Vigdis Eriksen.

As an industry veteran, she said the primary challenge she sees is that there are too many language service providers doing too many things.

“We need to keep up with new technology but make the choices that will enable us to achieve our company’s objectives,” she said. “The challenge is not to get caught up in grabbing everything that comes an LSPs way. While it is always a key goal to create a profitable business, it is crucial for small or mid-sized companies to carve out a niche that will allow them to stand out among the hundreds of LSPs.

When not dealing with languages, Menon, who has a Master’s in film and video production, said she is a movie buff and loves to read. “I love art in all forms: painting, sculpture, installations, and performances and consider myself very lucky to be living in New York,” she shared.