Kari Runarsson

Work History

Work History
Feb 2009 - Present

VP Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing


I joined a young and exciting start-up that had just started developing sophisticated software for high-tech market research. By using the Internet as a massive focus group, we use our proprietary artificial intelligence engine, natural language processing and a dash of black magic, to enable the system to analyse vast amounts of text to help companies understand large-scale discussions taking place about them on the Internet, in a matter of seconds.

Since joining the team I have rewritten the business plan, revenue model and marketing plan as well as leading the sales efforts and negotiation process of the company.

The company has grown from 4 to 17 employees, with offices in Reykjavik, San Francisco and London in the 2½; years I‘ve been with the company.

We have two products; one for the international market and one for the domestic market. I lead the company in sales, accounting for 47% of the sales in a 4 person sales team. The product is now being used by most of Iceland‘s largest companies.

In May ´10 we received funding from an American VC investment firm. I, along with the CEO was responsible for finding and negotiating with interested investors.

Our international product was released in December 2010. Since then we have signed up several leading video game companies as customers (the video games industry is our first vertical market).

Jan 2009 - Present


Klak Innovation Center, Reykjavik University

I teach a course about interactive marketing at the Reykjavik University for an entrepreneurial programme. In the course I cover non-traditional marketing methods including Guerrilla marketing and Internet marketing methods that are practical, efficient and effective. 

May 2010 - Present

Board member

Sep 2006 - Feb 2008

VP, Marketing


I was head of all marketing for premier outdoor clothing and lifestyle brand 66°North, which is Iceland‘s leading clothing brand.

The role included initiating and co-ordinating marketing activities with staff in all our markets; in both the domestic market and the 15 export markets and conducting necessary marketing actions such as competition analyses, target group evaluation, analyses of market research, SWOT and identifying and evaluating new markets and trends.

Nov 2005 - Aug 2006

Sales and marketing director

ZO-ON Adventure Wear

As sales- and marketing director for ZO-ON I was in charge of all marketing and sales activities in the domestic and foreign markets. ZO-ON exports to five countries and is a leader in golf wear in Iceland.

Apr 2005 - Sep 2005

Research and dissertation project


For my MSc dissertation I worked for Microsoft EMEA to research the way Microsoft ISP partners internationalise in Europe, looking especially at the topic from a networking persepective, i.e. how small network firms use business and personal networks during the internationalisation process.

Mar 2001 - Mar 2004

GSM Marketing Manager

Iceland Telecom

Iceland Telecom is Iceland’s largest telecommunications company with approximately 60% market share.

I was in charge of marketing the GSM services, with focus on corporate market/users (75% market share) and marketing of value added services for GSM.

Took a leading role in the marketing department as a specialist in interactive marketing and media.

I was also in charge of marketing the websites that Iceland Telecom operates, and in charge of setting guidelines for Iceland Telecom’s websites. 

May 1998 - Aug 1999

Marketing manager

Porsche Iceland

Started working for the Porsche importer during my summer break and was offered an extension which I balanced along with my studies.

Was in charge of marketing and establishing the Porsche brand in Iceland as well as press relations and event management.


Aug 2004 - Sep 2005

MSc Advanced Marketing Management

Lancaster University

MSc in Advanced Marketing Management from Lancaster University Management School in September 2005.

Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) is one of only two 6 star management schools in the UK, the other being London Business School.

My MSc dissertation was written for Microsoft on the Internationalisation Process of Small and Medium sized Technology Firms.

1997 - 2000

BSc Business Studies

University of Iceland

Main emphasis on Marketing and Management studies. My BS thesis was on e-commerce. I researched the evolution of e-commerce, possibilities and future visions very well, and have since then kept up with the progress and changes in this field.

2000 - 2000

Universitá Bocconi

My last semester at the University of Iceland, I took as an exchange student at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. There I took several marketing and marketing related courses that were not mandatory for my Bachelors program, among them: International Marketing, The Enterprise and International Markets and Competitive Interaction and Change Dynamics.


Throughout my professional career (and since my first computer camp at the age of 7) I have had an enormous interest in information technology. I use this technology where I have been working to introduce new possibilities in how business and marketing is done.

I have an entrepreneurial spirit by nature and think this is one of my great strengths. I pride myself in having a very open mind towards new solutions and am constantly on the lookout on how to improve existing products or services and new approaches to problem solving.


Interactive marketing and how to utilise the digital media in marketing.

Finding unconventional ways to reach my target market by getting out of the marketing clutter left by the competition.


My main interests are health & fitness and the auto industry.

These are the two areas I am most interested in pursuing a career in as I believe that when you bring together work and interest you get a synergistic outcome that only comes out of true passion.