I’m delighted to announce that Alicia Saribalis has joined VentureBeat as its publisher and president.

With her experience, intelligence and poise, I’m certain Alicia is going to take VentureBeat to new heights. For too long now, I’ve been handling most of the business leadership at VentureBeat, and it’s pulled me further and further away from the product itself. So it’s a relief to have found Alicia, who I can trust to handle the business affairs of VentureBeat’s expanding activities.

In the multitude of diligence calls I made before hiring Alicia, people sang her praises — without exception. She is highly professional, hard-working and is an inspiration to the people who have worked with her. During the late 1990s, Alicia was on a fast trajectory to the top of the tech-business publishing industry. After leading the Western U.S. sales efforts of Ziff Davis, she led the company’s sales efforts at the overall national network level for most of the 1990s — and at one point reported to Eric Hippeau (the guy who led Huffington Post this year to a sale of $315M to AOL). Alicia previously had worked for the media giant IDG (who we partner with to produce DEMO) and the advertising agency BBDO.

A decade ago, Alicia decided to take an extended leave to raise her two kids. During that time, though, she maintained great contacts in the industry, and with her kids now in school, she’s back with full energy to resume her career — in an era when media is undergoing even more radical transformation than it was when she left.

What I like about Alicia is that she brings creativity to what all to often can be the narrow process of sales. She can write really well, for instance. And creativity is crucial, especially for Venturebeat, where our business team is not so much selling our events and advertising inventory, as articulating a rich story about where tech trends are headed, and explaining how brands can partner with us in showcasing their role in that story.

Please join in me in welcoming Alicia to VentureBeat. She will be out and about, and so hopefully many of you will meet her soon. Or reach her here.