Lyte Names Zahid Zakaria VP Of Operations and Customer Strategy

Zahid Zakaria
– Zahid Zakaria
VP Of Operations and Customer Strategy at Lyte

Lyte is continuing to expand its executive team by hiring Zahid Zakaria as the ticketing and reservation platform’s Vice President of Operations and Customer Strategy. 

Zakaria’s role at the company will see him focusing “on developing the roadmap, insights, and foundations which underpin Lyte’s Sales and Success practices, while also cultivating a strong partnership with Lyte’s Product and Engineering teams as the company continues to innovate and scale,” according to a July 12 announcement. 
He spent the past six years working at software company Yext, building out its Insights & Analytics and Customer Success Operations practices. Zakaria, who hails from Mauritius and is now based in New York, began his career as a consultant with Deloitte’s Washington D.C. office.
Zakaria’s hire follows the news a few months ago that Wendi Sturgis was promoted to president in April after being hired in January as chief revenue officer. Krystle Jackson also joined Lyte as chief of staff to CEO Ant Taylor. In January, Lawrence Peryer was promoted to the role of Chief Strategy Officer after serving as Head of Business and Corporate Development and Chief Revenue Officer for the company.
Before joining Lyte Sturgis served as CEO of Yext Europe.
“Our platform has achieved the hallowed ground of product-market-fit, a moment I have seen several times in my career,” Sturgis said in a statement. “Zahid gives ballast to our go-to-market, bringing the tools, strategies and processes we crafted together at Yext to make that company scale.” 
Ant Taylor, CEO of Lyte, added, “I am excited for the leadership Zahid will bring to our pricing and yield management work at Lyte. Our products are fundamentally oriented towards the needs of fans. The magic under the hood is an increasingly sophisticated, algorithmic pricing engine built to optimize event yield and save fans money. Zahid’s work will help us refine the algorithm and lead to many, many more happy fans and full venues.”
As detailed during the Pollstar Live! panel “Changing Lanes: How to Turn Shutdown Fan Engagement Into Post-Pandemic Ticket Sales,” Lyte has found ways to thrive during the pandemic by investing in the company and staying true to its ethos of giving users and rights holders flexibility. 
“Business either battered down the hatches and cut, cut, cut to make it through, or you invested or you went away. Early on we decided we were going to make it and we invested. … We don’t want people to buy tickets, we want people to experience live events. That’s a broad, mushy vision but it means it should be as fun to acquire your ticket as it is to go to the event. Some people love buying clothes and sneakers – it should be fun [buying tickets],” Lyte Chief Strategy Officer Lawrence Peryer said during the panel.  
Recent highlights for Lyte include partnering with several festivals including Pitchfork Music Festival and Newport Folk Festival to offer both reservation for festivals still selling tickets, as well as a ticketing exchange and waitlist for sold out events. Lyte also partnered with Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful music festival for single-day ticket reservations after three-day passes quickly sold out. In February Lyte announced its first booking agency partnership with Mint Talent Group and broke the news that it had raised an additional $5 million in Series B funding (bringing the total to $38 million).