Irish VR company appoints CommerceHub CEO Frank Poore to board

1 Oct 2021

Frank Poore. Image: Engage XR

Veteran US e-commerce entrepreneur Frank Poore will take Tony Hanway’s place on the Engage XR board.

Engage XR, formerly VR Education, has appointed US e-commerce entrepreneur Frank Poore to its board. Poore will take over from Tony Hanway, who is stepping down as non-executive director with immediate effect.

The new appointment comes following the virtual reality (VR) software company’s recent announcement that it planned to change its name from VR Education to Engage XR.

Commenting on his new role, Poore said he was “excited” to join the board and work with “VR pioneers”.

Poore claimed that his background and personality will bring a “disruptive yet collaborative spirit that can help unlock substantial value” for Engage XR’s shareholders.

An experienced entrepreneur, Poore is CEO and founder of CommerceHub, a platform that enables $30bn in recurring e-commerce sales for 15,000 of the world’s largest retailers, brands, distributors and marketplaces. He led the company through its international expansion as well as its public flotation on Nasdaq.

Commenting on Poore’s appointment, David Whelan, CEO of Engage XR, said: “With over 25 years’ experience as a successful entrepreneur, building a company with a strong sales and technology focus, and a track record of delivering value for global multinational businesses, Frank is a major addition to our board.”

In his new role at Waterford-headquartered Engage XR, Poore will work with management to support the company’s expansion strategy. It is looking to become a leading global provider of virtual communications tech through its proprietary software platform, Engage.

This was initially designed for education and corporate training, but since Covid-19 hit the company has seen an uptick in demand from enterprise clients. Earlier this year, it raised €9m in a share placing to build a “metaverse for business” in VR.

“As companies embrace remote work, they will need new ways to manage their culture and team chemistry,” Poore said.

“Engage is already well-positioned as the ‘office of the future’ by enabling distributed teams to come together into a virtual office, conference room, auditorium, classroom or coffee shop to create a sense of presence and to foster collaboration, creativity and serendipity.”

The VR firm also has a new product in the pipeline, codenamed Engage Oasis, which will enable users to buy and sell virtual products and services.

“The development of Engage Oasis is especially exciting and it can establish itself as the go-to virtual world where global organisations come to interact with each other and their stakeholders,” said Poore.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.