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Activeion's CEO says challenge will be educating consumers

Posted by: under Minnesota innovation, Minnesota technology Updated: June 7, 2010 - 2:18 PM

Activeion's new CEO said a challenge facing the cleaning solutions company is educating consumers on how its technology works.

Rogers-based Activeion sells cleaning sprayers that send an electric charge to tap water. The consumer sprays sell for about $180.

"It's a marketing challenge than a product challenge," said CEO John Walden in an interview with the Star Tribune. Walden, who was named Activeion's CEO last month, was executive vice president and chief customer officer for Sears Holdings Corp. He has also served in senior executive positions at Best Buy Co.

Activeion received at least $2 million in venture capital and is expected to have sales of $20 million to $30 million this year. Some scientists have been skeptical on whether using the spray is more effective than using conventional soap and other chemicals.

Walden said he believes the technology works. The company has pointed to lab tests that show using its sprays can kill bacteria on surfaces.

Walden replaces Jim Wiese as CEO. Wiese is now vice president of manufacturing. Walden said he previously had served as a consultant to Activeion and was later approached about the CEO job after the company released new products into the marketplace.

"The board realized they probably needed an additional set of skills in the company and that's when they started considering a new CEO," Walden said.

Walden said his experience at Best Buy, where the mass retailer tailored its marketing to each of its different customer groups, will help him in his new role.

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