BARK Appoints Michael Black as Chief Revenue Officer and Michael Parness as Chief Marketing Officer

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BARK, Inc. (NYSE: BARK), a leading global omnichannel dog brand with a mission to make all dogs happy, today announced the appointments of Michael Black as Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager, Consumables and Michael Parness as Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager, Play, effective immediately. Reporting to the Company’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Matt Meeker, Mr. Black and Mr. Parness will lead the Company’s expansion across its consumables and play categories, respectively. 

“We are thrilled to elevate our leadership team with the addition of two proven leaders who bring a wealth of experience across the pet, e-commerce, and retail sectors,” said Matt Meeker. “Michael Black, who served as the Chief Executive Officer of premium pet brand Outward Hound brings an impressive track record of delivering omnichannel growth across the pet sector. He will orchestrate our consumables strategy in both our direct-to-consumer and retail channels. Michael Parness, who served as the Chief Marketing Officer of JustFoodForDogs and Outward Hound, has consistently demonstrated his ability to drive brand building and business growth through creative storytelling and strong customer engagement. He will oversee our growth in the play category and ensure our brand reaches as many dog households as possible. Together, we believe these additions will be instrumental in raising awareness of our mission and driving multi-channel, cross-category growth.”

Most recently, Mr. Black served as the Founder and President of Paragon International Advisors, a consulting firm focused on partnering with private equity investors in the pet industry. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Executive Officer–and previously the Chief Revenue Officer–of Outward Hound. During his tenure, he led Outward Hound through a successful digital transformation and years of significant growth. Previously, Mr. Black served as Senior Buyer, Pet Accessories at Walmart. Mr. Black has also served as Board Advisor to PetLab Co. since 2022. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University. He resides in Bentonville, AR with his wife Paola, their 4 children, and their Newfoundland named Chewie.

“Over the years, BARK has built one of the most impressive brands in the pet space. Their mission and dedication to enriching the lives of dogs resonated with me, and I am thrilled to join the team,” said Mr. Black. “The retail commitments for treats in 2024 are just the beginning to boosting the visibility of BARK’s consumables footprint. In my view, the Company has a significant runway in the large and growing consumables category, and I am excited to help BARK realize its full potential.”

Mr. Parness brings three decades of experience leading transformative brand, retail, and e-commerce initiatives, unlocking sustainable growth across various CPG industries, including pet and toys. He served most recently as the Chief Marketing Officer of JustFoodForDogs, a premium fresh dog food brand, where he was responsible for elevating brand awareness and driving growth across their direct-to-consumer, e-commerce, and owned retail channels. Before that, Mr. Parness served as the Chief Digital Officer of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, a multi-brand, omnichannel wine portfolio. Previously, he served as the Chief Marketing Officer of Outward Hound for nine years, where he worked closely with Mr. Black and led various functions including brand strategy, performance marketing, social media, and creative. Mr. Parness was also responsible for starting and growing their direct-to-consumer and e-commerce channels, which grew significantly during his tenure. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Toy Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. He resides in Denver, CO with his long-term partner Jennifer, her two kids, and their St Bernard/Newfoundland/Doodle mix named Lola.

“Having spent a considerable portion of my career in the pet space, I have long admired the impressive brand, customer experience, and innovative products that Matt and the team at BARK have built over the years,” said Mr. Parness. “I am eager to get started and help the Company deliver on its mission to make all dogs happy. With our strong brand and growing product portfolio, I believe we are poised to grow market share across our direct-to-consumer and retail channels.”

About BARK

BARK is the world’s most dog-centric company, devoted to making dogs happy with the best products, services and content. BARK’s dog-obsessed team applies its unique, data-driven understanding of what makes each dog special to design playstyle-specific toys, wildly satisfying treats, great food for your dog’s breed, effective and easy to use dental care, and dog-first experiences that foster the health and happiness of dogs everywhere. Founded in 2011, BARK loyally serves dogs nationwide with themed toys and treats subscriptions, BarkBox and BARK Super Chewer; custom product collections through its retail partner network, including Target and Amazon; its high-quality, nutritious meals made for your breed with BARK Food; and products that meet dogs’ dental needs with BARK Bright®. At BARK, we want to make dogs as happy as they make us because dogs and humans are better together. Sniff around at for more information.