About Us

We make your efforts count, measurably and meaningfully.

About Us

We make your efforts count, measurably and meaningfully.

Our Story

From helping to invent the affiliate industry, to performance marketing and what comes next, we’ve earned a reputation for maintaining the largest, most reliable partnership-based platform and sterling service with a personal touch. Founded in Santa Barbara, California in 1998, CJ (formerly Commission Junction), leads the industry as the most established name in global performance marketing, specializing in affiliate marketing technology.

We’re the platform of choice for driving profitable growth for over 3,800 global brands around the world across all verticals including retail, travel, finance, and network & home services. Our technology powers a partnership ecosystem where over 167K publishers and brands engage billions of consumers worldwide.

As part of Publicis Groupe, aligned with Publicis Media, we leverage unparalleled data, technology, and strategic expertise to bring a truly customer-centric approach to performance marketing. In an industry with much uncharted territory, trust a steady hand.

Trusted by the World’s Largest Brands

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out our client case studies to see why 2X as many IR500 brands choose to work with us compared to our nearest competitor.

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Executive Leadership


Santi Pierini

As the global CEO of CJ, Santi brings extensive knowledge and experience in the affiliate industry, along with a talent for delivering innovative, platform-based solutions.

Before joining CJ in 2024, Santi led several performance marketing software companies known for their technological excellence and global reach. With a deep understanding of performance marketing, affiliate marketing, and partnerships, Santi possesses a keen grasp of performance and partnership marketplace dynamics.

Santi graduated with Honors and a BS in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. He is currently based in Laguna Beach, CA.

Fun Facts:
Favorite Travel Destination:
Amalfi Coast in Italy & North Shore of Oahu
Favorite Quote:
“I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.” - Lucille Ball
Playing guitar in a local band and playing tennis
Chief Marketing Officer

Shatay Trigère

As Chief Marketing Officer, Shatay leads the creation and implementation of go-to-market strategies, brand positioning, and content strategy to drive CJ's global growth.

Shatay joined CJ in 2022, bringing a wealth of experience in branding, marketing, advertising, and technology. She has held key roles in multiple ad agencies, founded a design consultancy, and was an early employee at CJ’s sister brand Conversant, where she co-authored two patents for creative technology inventions.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Design and Visual Communications from Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, Israel. Shatay lives near Orlando, Florida, with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.

Fun Facts:
Talent Wish:
Speaking every language
First Big Purchase:
A very beat-up Mini Cooper
Favorite Quote:
“I simply do not distinguish between work and play.” — Mary Oliver
Senior Vice President, Publisher Development

Kelly Merkel

In her current role as SVP of Publisher Development, Kelly leads the team that facilitates and expands the global distribution partnerships and affiliations that are responsible for the reach and growth across the CJ platform.

Kelly came to CJ in 2010 and quickly rose through the Client Development ranks. With 17 years of account management experience, Kelly continually grew her clients' business through strategic initiatives, innovative solution adoption, and an intense focus on elevating her team’s performance. 

Kelly graduated with a BS in Marketing and Operations Management from Indiana University and earned an MBA from the University of Southern California. 

Fun Facts:
Best Advice Received:
Assume innocence. Don't interpret others' negative behavior as a reflection of you.
Most Hated Food:
Peanut Butter
Family Tradition:
We play some pretty intense games of Uno every holiday.
Senior Vice President, Finance

Heather Pilat

Heather leads CJ's Global Finance team, responsible for FP&A, Accounting, payment, and billing functions across the CJ offices.  She took on this global role in 2021 and prior to that had been responsible for CJ's financial planning since 2007.

Since joining CJ in 1999, as part of Be Free, Heather has held multiple positions across the organization, including marketing, analytics, and product marketing.

Heather graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Quantitative Methods and Marketing from Babson College.

Fun Facts:
On My Playlist:
Audio books
Favorite Travel Destination:
Munich, Germany
First Job:
Working at a shoe store
Senior Vice President, Business Transformation

Jen Pena

As Senior Vice President of Business Transformation, Jen drives change and transformation throughout CJ. This includes aligning teams on key initiatives and ensuring CJ's strategic direction evolves within the wider digital marketing industry.

Jen is a familiar face at CJ, having rejoined the company in December 2023 after initially joining in 2016. With over 20 years of experience in change management, communications, and employee engagement, Jen has served as a Talent and Human Resources leader across diverse industries, including fashion, retail, aerospace, cannabis, and digital marketing in both Influencer and Affiliate sectors.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government from American University in Washington DC and an MBA with a focus on Information Technology from Texas A&M University.

Fun Facts:
Favorite Traditions:
Making fresh donuts and watching the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning.
Morning Motivation:
As an early riser, I enjoy drinking coffee and relaxing in a quiet house.
I row (on the water whenever possible!) and cycle.
Vice President, Engineering

Marin Sarbulescu

As Vice President of Engineering, Marin oversees the team that's responsible for engineering our innovative ideas into reality. Marin joined CJ in 2021, bringing over 19 years of experience in building cutting-edge tech and world-class engineering teams. Marin’s proven ability to deliver creative technical solutions to business needs by bringing out the best in his teams enables us to continue to elevate CJ as the global performance marketing technology leader.

Marin is originally from Romania where he attended the Polytechnic University of Bucharest for Telecommunications with a focus on Forms, Images, and AI. He currently resides in Oceanside, CA.

Fun Facts:
Best Advice Received:
Treat others the way they’d like to be treated.
Favorite Quote:
“Do not go gentle into that good night.” – Dylan Thomas
First Job:
Selling watermelons at age six
Director, Human Resources & Recruitment

Anna Erinakis

As the head of Human Resources & Recruitment, Anna finds great talent to join the CJ family and continues to support their development. Since joining CJ in 2010, Anna has held multiple positions across recruiting and human resources and has worked to find the right roles to fit the skillsets of candidates and to continue helping them thrive as CJ employees. 

Anna graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in History and Sociology, and later earned a certificate in Human Resource Management.

Fun Facts:
Favorite Trip:
Crete, Greece
Morning Motivation:
First Job:
Image Repository Auditor

Global Leadership

Senior Vice President, UK & Ireland

Linda O’Connell

As Senior Vice President of CJ UK & Ireland, Linda oversees the management and growth of our UK business. She’s responsible for Client Development, Business Development, Corporate Development, and Business Operations & Excellence, and works closely with Publisher Development.

Linda joined CJ in 2005 as a Business Development Executive and eventually made the leap to Client Development where she worked her way up to our UK leadership team. She took on the role of VP, Corporate Development EU, transitioned to VP, Client Development UK a few years later, and is now the SVP of CJ UK & Ireland.

Linda received a BA in Economics and Spanish and a Master’s in Marketing from University College Dublin.

Fun Facts:
First Job:
Helping with my neighbor’s catering company at a Michael Jackson concert. I’ve got some good stories…
On My Playlist:
Coldplay, The Coronas (Irish band, check them out!), Calvin Harris, and Amy Winehouse
I love to play field hockey and play for a club in Dublin. I also started sea swimming in the (pretty cold) Irish Sea which is exhilarating or crazy if you ask my husband.
Senior Vice President, EMEA

Tobias Allgeyer

As Senior Vice President, EMEA, Tobias is responsible for the CJ business in Germany, France, and the Nordics. He also manages cooperation for Eastern Europe and the MENA region.

Tobias joined CJ in 2010. Prior to joining CJ Tobias held various Senior Management roles on both the publisher and the network side.

Tobias graduated in Business Administration (SMB) from the University of Aalen.

Fun Facts:
On My Playlist:
Helene Fischer (The German Taylor Swift)
Morning Motivation:
My two kids, unfortunately they never need sleep...
Favorite Traditions:
Raclette with the family on Christmas Eve
Vice President, India & APAC

Vinod Prabhakaran

Vinod leads and guides our cross-functional teams at CJ's Bengaluru office, including client development, publisher development, data science, and technology operations.

Prior to joining CJ in 2023, Vinod garnered over eight years of experience in a Director role at a prominent technology company, where he excelled in establishing and expanding the Customer Experience and success function in India and across APAC and EMEA. His expertise lies in assisting customers to harness cloud platforms and solutions while ensuring a consistently exceptional experience throughout the engagement lifecycle.

Vinod holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electronics from Bangalore University.

Fun Facts:
Favorite Travel Destination:
The Maldives
On My Playlist:
Three Doors Down, Linkin Park, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Guns ‘N Roses, Nine Inch Nails, and all genres of Indian music
Talent wish:
I would love to play the saxophone.

Client Growth Leadership

Senior Vice President, Client Development

Amalia Thomas

As Senior Vice President of Client Development, Amalia leads client growth and talent development for CJ North America. She's also responsible for the strategy to profitably scale our operations globally. Since joining CJ in 2010, Amalia has held multiple positions throughout Client Development, delivering growth for advertisers across multiple verticals. Prior to joining CJ, Amalia started her career in the software industry at Citrix Online, managing SMB accounts.

Amalia is a proud Gaucho! She graduated with a BA in Global Studies, with an emphasis in International Relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Fun Facts:
First Job:
On My Playlist:
Maluma, Lauryn Hill, Sade, Maxwell, The Weekend, Childish Gambino, Nicki Jam
Talent Wish:
Senior Vice President of Client Strategy and Influencer Solutions

Sommer Urias

As Senior Vice President of Client Strategy and Influencer Solutions, Sommer brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role at CJ. She is responsible for spearheading the evolution of the company's strategy to ensure that CJ remains at the forefront of emerging trends and continues to lead the affiliate marketing industry into the future. In addition to her strategic responsibilities, Sommer also oversees CJ's partnerships with key industry players to build elevated and cohesive offerings for clients.

Sommer’s career at CJ began in 2007 as the receptionist in our Santa Barbara office. She worked her way up through Client Development, where she has been instrumental in helping shape CJ innovations with a data-first approach.

Sommer attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she majored in Psychology.

Fun Facts:
Amateur sneakerhead
Most Hated Food:
I'm allergic to spicy food
Favorite Quote:
Men Lie. Women Lie. Numbers Don’t.
Vice President, Finance Vertical

Christopher McFarland

Christopher oversees the Finance Vertical Team and is responsible for holistically aligning CJ’s approach and investment strategy with trends in the finance space. He engages with teams across the company to help financial advertisers optimize their relationship with CJ and create effective publisher connections.

Christopher joined CJ in 2020, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge from his experience in roles at financial institutions such as American Express and JPMorgan Chase where he focused on loyalty, partnerships, and strategy.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Marketing from Cornell University.

Fun Facts:
What’s on your music playlist?
David Guetta, The Killers, and hard rock workout remixes
Favorite traditions:
Playing Heads Up (by Ellen DeGeneres) with my family during the holidays
Poker and writing
Senior Vice President, Sales & Business Development

Sean Longman

Sean leads the Business Development team responsible for the North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific regions. Since joining CJ in 2008, Sean has held numerous positions across the organization, within Client Development, Media Services, and Corporate Development.

Sean attended California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, where he majored in International Business.

Fun Facts:
On My Playlist:
Timmy Curran, Ziggy Marley, Matt Costa, Xavier Rudd
Morning Motivation:
Pour-over coffee
First Big Purchase:
Nintendo 8-bit, $89.99, I still remember! Mowed a lot of lawns.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

Hayley Silver

Hayley leads the Corporate Development team at CJ. Her team takes a holistic view of partnerships as they seek strategic alignment with our clients, high levels of overall satisfaction with CJ, and win-win contract improvements. In this capacity, Corporate Development works closely with all teams across CJ in addition to our clients.

Before joining CJ in mid-2017, Hayley led the Bizrate Insights group for 10 years. With the most mature business within the company, she and her team more than doubled their revenue, added strategic partnerships with Forrester and Internet Retailer, and successfully sold their division to Time, Inc. She began her career in retail, with J. Crew and Bloomingdales, and has also been a part of the 360i and Linkshare teams.

Hayley graduated with a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Fun Facts:
On My Playlist:
80’s and 90’s music, plus dedicated space to Foo Fighters, Green Day, Panic! at the Disco, and Paramore
Talent Wish:
Fluency in a foreign language
Best Advice Received:
“Don’t borrow worry,” from my grandmother, Nanny Fran
Vice President, Data Science & Analytics

Josh Peterson

As Vice President of Data Science & Analytics, Josh co-leads the team that develops new innovative solutions and analyses to help clients achieve their goals. Josh joined CJ in 2012 and since then has played key roles in client development, strategic operations, and data science.

Josh graduated summa cum laude from Westmont College with BA in Philosophy and has continued his education every day since.

Fun Facts:
Morning Motivation:
My son
Favorite Travel Destination:
New Zealand
First Job:
Bike taxi driver


Our Accolades

Preferred Network by Advertisers and Publishers: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Best Affiliate Network: 2019 Finalist

Top 500 Best Employers for Diversity (2019)
Top 200 Growth Champions (2017)
Top 25 Fast Tech (2017)
Top 100 Best Companies to Work For (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Top 100 Best Top 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Top 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Top 100 Best Workplaces for Women (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

Global Affiliate Network or Saas of the Year (High Commendation): 2023
Best Partnership (High Commendation): 2023
Best Programme Launch (High Commendation): 2023
Best Innovation (High Commendation): 2022
Together - We Solved That! (Winner): 2022
Best Affiliate Network (High Commendation): 2019, 2021
One to Watch: Gabby Schnaid, Sr. Client Development Manager, 2021
Best Performance Marketing Campaign - USA (Winner): 2018, 2020
Best Technology & Telecoms Campaign (Winner): 2020
Best Managed Affiliate Program – Western Europe (Winner): 2017, 2019
Best Influencer Campaign (High Commendation): 2018, 2019
Best Managed Affiliate Program - USA (Winner): 2019
Best Team in Performance Marketing (High Commendation): 2019
Best Technology & Telecoms Campaign (High Commendation): 2019
Industry Choice of Network (Winner): 2017, 2018
Best Use of Data (Winner): 2018
Best Full-Service Affiliate Network (High Commendation): 2018
Best Industry Collaboration (High Commendation): 2018
Best Managed Global Affiliate Program (High Commendation): 2018
Best Managed Affiliate Program – Western Europe (High Commendation): 2018
Best Managed Affiliate Program – Eastern Europe (Winner): 2017
Best Use of Data (High Commendation): 2017

Payment Systems 2015 (Winner)

Rachel Lines, Client Development Manager, CJ: 2023

Gabrielle Pajer, Account Director, Influencer, CJ: 2023

Lizzy Mackay, Senior Publisher Development Manager, CJ: 2023

Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality (2017)

Best Relationship Management Tool (Bronze Winner): 2020
Best Relationship Management Tool (Silver Winner): 2019

#1 Affiliate Marketing Vendor: 2019

Cashback Advantage (Bronze): 2024
Top Performer (Gold): 2023 
Consumer Benefits (Gold): 2023 
Conversion Optimisation (Silver): 2023 
Innovation Award (Winner): 2023 

Kelly Merkel, SVP, Publisher Development, CJ: 2021
Aayush Bagadiya, Client Services Analyst, CJ: 2020
Kate Knight, Director of Publisher Development, CJ: 2020
Siobhan Williamson, Business Operations Director, CJ: 2019
Victoria Prince, Client Development Manager, CJ: 2019
Jessica Woodbury, Director of Content Development, CJ: 2017
Owen Hancock, EU Head of Strategy, CJ: 2017

Affiliate Network or SaaS of the Year (High Commendation): 2023
Industry Rising Star: Raman Gill, Business Development Manager, 2022
Global Excellence (Winner): 2021, 2022
Global Excellence (High Commendation): 2016
Best Program Launch or Migration (High Commendation): 2020, 2021, 2023
Best Lead Generation Campaign (Winner): 2021
Best Lead Generation Campaign (High Commendation): 2022
Best Travel & Leisure Campaign (High Commendation): 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
Best Team in Performance Marketing (High Commendation): 2019, 2020
Best Use of Data (High Commendation): 2016, 2020, 2023
Best Managed Affiliate Program - Enterprise Level (High Commendation): 2020
Best Managed Affiliate Program (Winner): 2016, 2017, 2019
Best Team in Performance Marketing (Winner): 2018
Best Paid Search Campaign (Winner): 2018
Best Travel & Leisure Campaign (Winner): 2018
Best Use of Automation (High Commendation): 2018
Best Brand Engagement Campaign (High Commendation): 2018
Best Retail Campaign (Winner): 2017
Advertiser Innovation (Winner): 2016
Best in Retail (High Commendation): 2016

Victoria Pace, Senior Client Development Manager, CJ: 2023

Industry Rising Star - Lauren Mahurin, Client Development Manager (Winner): 2019
Network of the Year (Finalist): 2019
Best Performance Marketing Campaign (Finalist): 2019

Top 50 Influencer Marketing Industry Players:

Corinne Travis, Sr. Influencer Marketing Manager, CJ: 2019

Data-Driven Influencer Marketing Campaign (Gold): 2024 
Best Technology & Telecoms Partnership (Gold): 2024
Together - We Solved That! (Gold): 2024
Best Partnerships Team (Gold): 2024
Best Affiliate Program Optimization (Silver): 2024
Best Finance Partnership (Silver): 2024
Partnership of the Year (Silver): 2024
Best Platform for Partnership Success (Gold): 2023
Best Platform for Partnership Recruitment (Silver): 2022
Best Brand Engagement Campaign (Silver): 2022

Learn More

Want to find out more about us? Check out the links below to learn more about affiliate marketing, see what we’ve been up to, check out career opportunities, and get in touch.

Advertisers & Agencies
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Achieve sustained growth and reach your target audience. Work with world-class publishers and influencers to successfully promote brand products and services.

Publishers & Influencers
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Earn seamlessly by partnering with the world’s most widely recognized brands, promoting products and services your audience enjoy. Engage with brands you know and love all in one place.