Zach Clayton is the chairman of Three Ships, which he founded in 2009 immediately after graduating from business school. Three Ships is a family of digital marketing businesses with a common mission of unlocking growth for our clients through digital marketing.

Zach has founded four successful digital marketing businesses:

  1. CRISP, an advertising agency that fuses art and performance to bend the future for its clients
  2. Demand Signals, a machine learning platform for optimizing websites for organic search (acquired by TRANZACT in 2016)
  3. 3S Ventures, a digital asset management business that co-invests with brands in growing their online presence
  4. New Media Campaigns, a web and application development firm

Currently, Zach is the Chief Digital Officer and a member of the executive team at TRANZACT, the leader in customer acquisition for the insurance industry. TRANZACT, backed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, acquired Demand Signals from Three Ships in 2016 to accelerate its digital transformation.

Zach is a “digital lifer.” He started New Media Campaigns as an undergraduate; he published his first research paper on social media well before Facebook was public or Pinterest existed. He has worked with leading private equity firms and more than 25 private equity-backed clients, advising CEOs, senior marketers and company leadership on digital strategy.

Zach has written for The Hotline, authored three books, published numerous articles on digital media and appeared on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News. He holds an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a BA from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Zach currently serves on the Foundation Board at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism and the Board of the Dix Park Conservancy.