Meet the leadership
Chief Executive Officer and Company Founder
After experiencing the frustrations and complexities of getting his first mortgage, Doug Lebda envisioned a way to empower consumers in the loan process where banks compete for the customers' business. In 1996, Doug founded LendingTree which revolutionized how consumers shop for loans and how lenders reach new customers.
After launching nationally in July 1998, Doug led LendingTree through a successful IPO in 2000, through the dot-com meltdown of 2001 and a successful sale to IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2003. From 2005 to 2008, Doug served as IAC's President and Chief Operating Officer, and in 2008, joined the newly formed Tree.com (now rebranded as LendingTree) as it spun out from IAC as a separate public company.
Before founding LendingTree, Doug worked as an auditor and consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers after receiving his Bachelor's degree from Bucknell University.
Chief Financial Officer
Gabe Dalporto joined LendingTree in April 2011 as Chief Marketing Officer for the company, and was named President of the Mortgage Division in February 2013. In June 2015, Gabe assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer for the company and is now leading the initiative to build the finance and analytics driven next phase of the company's growth..
Gabe brings 18 years of primarily marketing and financial services experience to his role at LendingTree. He was most recently Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of online brokerage Zecco Holdings, where he led integrated online and offline marketing, business development, and PR. While at Zecco, Gabe developed and launched the company's cutting edge financial social networking platform. Other experience includes serving as a VP in marketing at E*Trade Financial, where he was part of the senior marketing leadership team that re-ignited the company's growth following the dot-com bust; and a VP in marketing at JP Morgan Chase where he spearheaded cross-sell initiatives. Gabe also has experience in database marketing, strategy consulting, and nuclear engineering.
Gabe earned a BS in nuclear engineering from the University of Florida and an MS in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an avid Gators fan.
Chief Operating Officer
Nikul Patel initially joined LendingTree in 2012 as SVP of Product and from February 2013, served as LendingTree's Chief Product and Technology Officer. Nikul now serves as the company's Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for LendingTree's product management, product engineering, information technology and information security.
Nikul's career has revolved around transforming online financial services for the benefit of consumers. Prior to joining the LendingTree team, Nikul was COO/VP of Products for Home-Account.com, a start-up focused on innovative online mortgage shopping experiences. Home-Account was later acquired by Bills.com where Nikul served as President of Lendage. Nikul is a co-founder of online real estate search website Movoto.com and also worked at Intel Corporation for 12 years in various senior management roles involving technology products and services for the company. Nikul possesses an MBA with honors in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Florida Atlantic University.
Chief People Officer
Claudette Parham is LendingTree's Chief People Officer. In her role, she aligns the company’s core principles to its business strategies and operations, and she leads the company's efforts in human resources strategy and management and facilities management. Working with a CEO and leadership team that demand creativity in all facets of the employment relationship and recognizing that the strength of LendingTree has always been its bright and diverse workforce, Claudette’s assignment is to take the “people function” to the next level, using the HR competencies already in place to a focus on employee retention and enrichment, excellence in talent development, coaching and mentoring and performance enhancement.
Early professional experiences at Westinghouse Electric, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals provided Claudette with both breadth and depth in HR discipline. From those firms, she moved into leadership roles, working as a member of senior management teams to design and run organizations, and to make the most effective use of human capital. Prior to leading the LendingTree team, she served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Baker & Taylor, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte. Claudette earned a Bachelor's degree from Winthrop University and a Master's degree from the University of South Carolina.
SVP and General Counsel
Kate Pierce joined LendingTree's legal department in September 2010 and became SVP and General Counsel in August 2012. As General Counsel, Kate oversees LendingTree's legal department, including public company reporting, litigation, intellectual property management, contract review, and regulatory and compliance matters.
Prior to joining LendingTree, Kate was an attorney in the Corporate Transactions & Securities group at Alston & Bird LLP. Before attending law school, Kate was a financial analyst in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York.
Kate received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and her JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.
Chief Revenue Officer
Neil Salvage joined LendingTree in 2013 and was appointed Chief Revenue Officer of LendingTree in June 2015 assuming responsibility for all company revenue. Neil leads LendingTree's sales, business development, partner operations, and contact center teams. He brings 15 years of primarily sales and business development leadership to his role. Prior to joining LendingTree, Neil served as Head of Digital Sales for CBS Television and Radio where he lead the effort to transition advertisers from over the air campaigns to multi-media campaigns. Other experience includes serving as Executive Vice President of Citysearch where he helped migrate the company from single website to becoming the Citygrid Network. He also served as the first Vice President – Sales for Yellowpages.com following its acquisition by what is now AT&T.
Neil holds two B.S. degrees from the University of South Carolina in both Business Administration and Management, as well as an M.S. degree in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University.
SVP, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer
Carla Shumate has served as Chief Accounting Officer of LendingTree since January 31, 2013. Carla joined the company in December 2012 from King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she held various positions from 2001 until 2012, including Senior Vice President and Controller since 2005. Previously, Carla held various positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 1993 until 2000, including Manager from 1998 until 2000. Carla received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Wake Forest University and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1997.
Chief Marketing Officer
In January 2016, Sam Yount joined LendingTree as its Chief Marketing Officer to lead the company’s marketing operations and to continue building the LendingTree brand as it expands into new financial service categories and innovative product offerings.
Yount is a marketing veteran with more than 10 years of financial technology marketing experience. Prior to joining LendingTree, Yount served as VP of Marketing at FutureAdvisor (later acquired by BlackRock) where he assembled the marketing team and drove substantial revenue growth. He was also the VP of Marketing at Personal Capital, leading both consumer acquisition efforts and business development. Sam led online marketing and advertising strategy for Scottrade, driving substantial growth even through the difficult financial crisis of 2008.
Sam is a graduate of the University of Chicago.
Chief Technology Officer
Paul Tyma joined LendingTree as its Chief Technology Officer in May 2016 to lead its technology organization. As part of LendingTree’s unremitting growth and innovation, Paul and his team are in charge of continuous adaptations of the LendingTree platform and leading the trail blaze for the development of new cutting-edge advancements.
Paul received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University, focusing on Java and .NET performance. He has built and directed engineering teams at LinkedIn, and Morgan Stanley, and has worked as a Google engineer working on internal server development. Paul has founded four technology based startups during his career including Preemptive Solutions, Mailinator, Home-account.com (later acquired by Bills.com) and Refresh, Inc. (acquired by LinkedIn).
Paul is a frequent speaker and writer, and is a co-author of one of the original industry Java books, Java Primer Plus.
SVP, Sales and Client Management
Joining LendingTree in October 2013, Sam was first responsible for managing the migration to LendingTree’s current call center platform. Today, Sam and his team are responsible for maintaining and growing one of the nation’s largest network of lenders through new client and lender sales. Sam manages LendingTree’s multi-product marketplace through strategic partnerships while also ensuring LendingTree’s customers have access to only the most qualified lenders available for their financial needs.
Sam brings to LendingTree over a decade of lender side experience in addition to his expertise in client sales management. He started his career as a loan officer for mortgage, home equity and personal loan products for Beneficial Mortgage Company and HSBC. Sam then started his own multi-licensed brokerage company, Freedom Financial Solutions, which he grew year over year through creating successful market strategies and building excellent lender relationships. In 2010, Sam sold his company and merged with RMCi Financial where he stayed onboard as SVP managing operations and marketing. He continued his role as SVP when RMCi later merged with Strategic Lending Group.
Sam is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has his ABJ in Public Relations.