Company co-founder and architect of world’s first large-scale system for conducting multi-lingual,
multi-country online survey research to retire in March.
David Bakken, 17 year Harris veteran, promoted to EVP/chief scientist
Rochester, N.Y.—February 27, 2008— Harris Interactive, one of the largest custom market research firms in the world, announced today that Leonard Bayer, EVP, who co-founded the Company more than 30 years ago, and who currently serves as its chief scientist, chief technology officer and director, will retire on March 31, 2008.
Mr. Bayer helped start the Gordon S. Black Corporation (the predecessor of Harris Interactive) in 1975 as the Company’s resident statistician and mathematical modeling expert. During his 32 year career, Bayer developed custom software for CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) and many other innovative programs for statistical analysis, data reporting, and mathematical modeling.
In 1997, Bayer designed and began building the world’s first system for conducting large-scale, survey research via the Internet. Since then, Harris Interactive has spent approximately $60 million to perfect GlobalSynchSM, the only fully-integrated, multi-lingual, multi-modal, global platform for conducting survey research. "It had never been done before. We started with best-of-breed components, and had to develop the software, the hardware configurations, the panel, the methodology experiments and all of the controlling code to tie it together," said Bayer. "We were incredibly ambitious, incredibly naive, incredibly good and incredibly lucky - and we pulled it all off. I’m very proud to have been a part of it," Bayer added.
"We certainly will miss Len, not only for his technical abilities, but also for his wise counsel and business acumen," said Gregory T. Novak, president and CEO of Harris Interactive. "However, he’s leaving behind a remarkable legacy, including a great team who will continue in his footsteps of innovation and technical brilliance," added Novak. "We wish him the very, very best."
Bayer, who has been working a reduced schedule for the past 15 months, is looking forward to increasing his philanthropical support for protecting wildlife as well as collecting orchids from the exotic corners of the world. "It’s time. Our research platform is nearing the end of its strategic build out and is very stable now; and I know that I’m leaving it in good hands. We have a cadre of the most creative survey methodologists in any research company. It’s time for new leadership," said Bayer. "Besides, I promised my wife that we’d get to Zimbabwe and Easter Island."
Bakken named chief scientist
The Company has appointed David Bakken, SVP Methodology to assume Len Bayer’s roles as EVP & Chief Scientist, reporting to the CEO. "With over 25 years of market research experience, and 17 of them right here at Harris Interactive, David Bakken is very highly respected both in the Company and the research community," stated Novak. "I look forward to gaining the benefit of his knowledge and expertise as a member of my senior staff." Bakken has an A.B. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a M.A. & Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Boston University.