Adam Kleinberg

CEO, Traction

Born and raised in New York, Adam bought a one way ticket to California after graduating from Cornell. From an early age, he was attracted to art and technology— programming video games on a PET computer in 6th grade — so the exploding digital scene in 1996 San Francisco felt like home.

In the entrepreneurial spirit, he bought a book on Photoshop and declared himself a web designer. After a few years at a handful of agencies, he had officially earned the title. In 1997, he was blogging before the word “blog” was coined. In 1998, he was the resident Flash guy at Think New Ideas, a hot integrated agency. In 2000, he was recruited to help start the SF office of Tribal DDB.

Adam and his partners founded Traction in 2001 (in the spare bedroom of Adam’s apartment) on the principle that doing great work is easier with talented people you like and admire. Twenty great years of collaboration with some of the world's greatest brands have borne out that philosophy. In 2019, he led the transformation of Traction into a marketing accelerator to better serve the needs of marketers in today's fast-paced, data-driven environment. The consultancy’s clients include Apple, LinkedIn, HelloFresh, GE Healthcare and McCormick & Co. He plays a hands-on strategic role with Traction's clients to help ensure that their business objectives are aligned with the needs, desires and behaviors of their customers.

A prolific writer, Adam has spoken at dozens of industry conferences around the world and published over one hundred articles in industry publications such as Adweek, Ad Age, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and others. In 2013, he was a MediaPost All-Star, an award given to the three most influential digital creatives in the US each year.