Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Guido Ampollini, Founder of GA Agency

Guido has previously worked for both Google and Expedia and founded his own agency GA Agency in 2019.

Who is your digital hero?

It’s difficult to say as there are many people in the industry who have positively influenced me during my career. If I must pick one, it would be Dara Khosrowshahi, the current Chief Executive Officer at Uber, and former CEO at Expedia.

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

Dara was the CEO of Expedia during my time working there between 2009 and 2013. I remember him being a natural leader, motivational and charismatic. He always gave a great speech and was easy to chat with. I wasn’t close to him as I was at the beginning of my career, but we had a few chats. He was friendly and kind to everyone including junior figures like me. He was also intelligent. He had the ability to understand a topic quickly, even the most technical ones. When he gave speeches, knew what he was talking about. On the contrary, too many CEOs out there often speak with little to no knowledge of a topic. To this day I still search YouTube for his recent interviews as I always find them insightful.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

He is an innovator and a growth driver. He always tries to amplify the functionality of a brand through acquisition. He is strong in M&A as I witnessed with Expedia. Take for example, the acquisition of Home Away to move into the holiday rentals space and Trivago to establish a foothold in the price comparison market. This has allowed the brand to become even more competitive, reach more customers and drive growth with new revenue streams. He is doing the same again at Uber, especially for the Eats part of the business.

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

Adding more competition in specific verticals, like search engines or social media, where there are just a few players dominating the market. Although we are now seeing indirect search competition from websites like Amazon as shoppers bypass traditional search engines and go straight to these other platforms. I hope for more entrants like this in digital marketing.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Without a doubt it must be setting up my own business, GA Agency. Within three years we have managed to establish a high performing digital agency counting more than 30 fantastic talents, helping brands grow in more than 18 countries.