11 January, 2021Print
Lyte Supercharges Executive Team Amidst Significant Company GrowthLawrence Peryer moves to Chief Strategy Officer, while Wendi Sturgis joins as Chief Revenue Officer
Lyte — the reservations technology platform reimagining ticketing for artists, fans and live events — has announced the supercharging of their executive team as the company continues its tremendous growth. The news includes Lyte’s Lawrence Peryer becoming Chief Strategy Officer, and Wendi Sturgis, most recently the CEO of Yext Europe, as Chief Revenue Officer. In December, Lyte also announced a $33 million Series B round of funding from investors including Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital, music legend Quincy Jones and Rocketship VC, further validating their novel approach to live event ticketing.
“Our team of clients, employees and investors have proven able to thrive, not just survive, in one of the most challenging times in a generation,” Lyte Founder and CEO Ant Taylor states. “With our significant war chest of human and financial capital it is now up to us to complete our mission of delivering fairness and value to all of the global stakeholders in the live events ecosystem. We are well-poised to do just that in 2021.”
Chief Strategy Officer Lawrence Peryer - formerly Lyte’s Chief Revenue Officer - has been an innovator and developer of new business models since the earliest days of the commercial internet. For Lyte, his focus is on global artist tours, new vertical and international expansion as well as partnering with major technology platforms. Prior to joining Lyte, Peryer served as the Director of Live Events at Amazon, leading the company’s re-imagining of what fan-centric concert experiences could be. Before Amazon, he built the Artist Services division within Warner Music Group, leveraging the rights acquired in the company’s 360 deals to drive deeper and more meaningful artist-fan relationships. In his role as President of UltraStar Entertainment, which was acquired by Live Nation in 2007, he pioneered direct-to-consumer business models for artists during five of the ten highest-grossing tours of the aughts (including The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Madonna and the Police). He’s been a founder, advisor and key employee to multiple startups and initiatives and since 2009 has produced all archival releases for Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones. Peryer also created and hosts Lyte’s weekly podcast, Spot Lyte On..., in which he has candid conversations with key names in music, sports, business, entertainment and the arts. He’s thus far released 55 episodes; Season 4 debuts January 12. The podcast is available on all major platforms and at spotlyteonpodcast.com.
Chief Revenue Officer Wendi Sturgis arrives from Yext Europe, where she was CEO and led its development into a publicly traded powerhouse within a market duopoly of Google and Facebook. Prior to her role as CEO she was the SVP of Sales and Service and the Chief Customer Officer at Yext. She previously held executive roles at Right Media and Yahoo!, where she helped scale innovative technology to drive supply and demand for the benefit of consumers and all marketplace participants. Sturgis also brings her digital, ecommerce, data and technology expertise to broader industries such as The Container Store and Kustomer (recently sold to Facebook) as a board member. Sturgis says, “scaling disruptive technology companies to benefit all constituencies is my passion and I am thrilled to be joining Lyte at this incredible inflection point in the live events industry.”
Director of Sales Neal Gilbreath most recently served as VP of Sales and Business Development at Front Gate Tickets, one of the leading festival ticketing and technology platforms in North America and a subsidiary of Ticketmaster/Live Nation. Previous to Front Gate, he held senior roles at Eventbrite, which successfully IPO'd in 2018, and Ticketfly, acquired by Pandora in 2015. At Lyte, Neal will leverage his sales and event industry expertise to grow the sales organization and continue delivering value to Lyte's growing customers.
Current Lyte staffers Craig Snyder, Cynthia Parsons and Justin Nordan round out the Strategy Team headed by Peryer, and Angeline Chase Priefer has been elevated to Director of Client Services (previously co-director with Nordan) on Sturgis’ team.
Lyte has also recently made headlines by partnering with major artists who are using their technology to intelligently route tours as they confront the challenges created by the pandemic. Instead of relying on traditionally passive methods of understanding market demand, Lyte enables artists to capture true "active" demand by having fans place a credit card reservation to secure a guaranteed opportunity to purchase tickets. Fans are charged only once the date and concert venue has been confirmed and announced, and the reservation can be canceled at any time. This fresh way of aggregating demand allows artists to book the most lucrative markets and appropriate sized venues, while also reducing risk for those venues that have been decimated by the effects of a pandemic economy.