Cathy Oh has the kind of Wonder Woman biography that starts with a summer internship at Bravo and now, less than two decades later, sees her in a global management role, in the red-hot category of smart TV ads, at consumer-electronics giant Samsung.
You might have seen her pitching new ad formats on Samsung smart TV sets at the Samsung Ads digital newfronts presentation this past May, including sponsorships on the Samsung TV Plus ad-supported VOD platform. Samsung Ads messages can reach more than 50 million smart TVs, employing data to help target ads and measure results.
“If I really broke down what we do, we look at connected TV and connected devices within the household and identify what are the different viewing behaviors and insights and learnings, and that’s really what marketers and brands are looking for today as they look at how they are going to initiate new campaigns,” Oh explained to WABC journalist CeFaan Kim in a July 2020 Zoom interview for The Korea Society, published on YouTube.
Since discovering a love for marketing at that college internship, Oh has been learning her craft and chasing the hot technologies.
She was present at the start at Samsung Ads as one of the original five executives in the six-year-old unit that’s now an international organization with over 500 employees, as she told Kim. Before that, she was in the mobile space. She led the first sales marketing organization aimed at advertising at Apple, as head of marketing for iAd, Global Brands & Agencies.
What started at Bravo progressed through sales leadership roles at NBCUniversal properties including iVillage and Syfy before moving to WebMD. “That was probably where I fell in love with product marketing, understanding different softwares and tools,” she told Kim. (Oh, who was on maternity leave, was unavailable for an interview for this article.)
Holding high-powered global jobs hasn’t kept Oh from helping others within and outside of her company, including on the board of the Korean American Community Foundation, a philanthropic organization that helps lower-income Korean-
Americans and Asian-Americans. President Kyung Yoon said, “What really sets Cathy apart is her tremendous heart and her generosity, how much she cares about her community and particularly lifting up those who are vulnerable, and to making the world truly a better place.”
Oh’s digital savvy also was helpful in the pandemic when the foundation had to turn to virtual fundraisers, which were a big success, Yoon said.
An Entrepreneur Who Leads
Samsung Ads senior VP Tom Fochetta said that “as a leader, entrepreneur and marketing pioneer, it’s no surprise as to why Cathy received this honorable recognition,” as a Wonder Woman.
“As one of the founding leaders of Samsung Ads, Cathy has been instrumental in our company’s revenue growth, the development of our brand, helping build and manage successful teams around the globe and working in tandem with marketing, sales and product development to further demonstrate why Samsung Ads is a leader in advanced TV,” he said.
“She is also a champion who values and encourages true diversity of thought. She serves as an example for other young women daring to leave their mark in the office and within the community. … Cathy truly embodies you’re never too young to follow your dreams.”
Oh also is proud of her role as a founding member and executive sponsor of Women+, a Samsung Employee Resource Group designed to mentor and support women within the organization. Women+ has grown to include women and men from 13 cities and eight countries.
Holding a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and a master’s degree in integrated marketing from New York University, Oh also is on the advisory board for Conscious Step, the Brooklyn-
based sock maker that supports numerous charities and causes.
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