Appia, a Durham company that helps build "apps" stores for smartphone makers and carriers, has added a veteran technology executive to its management team.
The company formerly known as PocketGear announced this morning that it has hired Craig Forman as its new executive chairman.
Forman, 49, was executive chairman at Where Inc., a location technology company that was bought by eBay in April. He previously held various executive jobs at EarthLink, Yahoo and Time Warner.
The addition comes as Appia continues to expand under founder and CEO Jud Bowman, 30. Hiring Forman signals the young tech company wants more experienced leadership as it shifts into the next stage of its evolution.
"Craig is a widely respected executive, entrepreneur and investor with more than 20 years of experience at major brands within the technology, media and telecom industries," Bowman said in a prepared statement. "He will be instrumental in helping us scale and accelerate our growth prospects in the U.S. and abroad."
While not a household name, Appia is increasingly attracting attention. In March, it was the only local business on the Wall Street Journal's 2011 list of the top 50 venture-funded companies.
In the past year, Appia has raised $25 million from a group of well-known investors, including the venture firm of Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
The money is helping fuel Appia's expansion in the market for "apps" stores, where customers download games and other software to mobile devices. Appia now employs more than 50 people and continues to hire.
Appia recently signed a deal with Vodacom Group, the largest wireless carrier in southern Africa. Other customers include AT&T, Verizon and Samsung.
Appia's catalog contains more than 140,000 apps from 32,000 developers worldwide. In July, the company reported more than 40 million downloads.