Newport Beach, CA (July 15, 2021) – Collectors Universe (CU), the parent company of Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) and Professional Sports Authenticator (www.PSAcard.com), is pleased to announce the hiring of Microsoft veteran Ryan Hoge to the company. An avid card collector and technology expert, Hoge was just named the organization’s first ever Chief Product Officer. The position will oversee product management of both divisions (PCGS and PSA) and require Hoge to lead a team of product managers, designers and data scientists working with a growing engineering team to build products and services for CU’s customer base. It’s a challenge he welcomes with open arms.
“This is a new role for Collectors Universe,” said Hoge. “It will require deep customer empathy and understanding to solve real problems the company is facing. Naturally, we’ll be looking at how these [new] products can help the company achieve its business objectives. I’m also excited to deliver new value to collectors to make the hobby more fun and engaging.”
Hoge spent 16 years with Microsoft in a variety of product leadership positions. He joined the software giant in 2005 following the acquisition of a small startup where he was serving as a product manager. He worked on projects that included being part of the founding team of OneDrive; scaling the Office 365 business to more than 400 million monthly active users; partnering with Samsung to deeply integrate Microsoft services on their smartphones; and leading the product team responsible for the user experience in the recently announced Windows 11.
“Being able to bring new products to market or improve products that are literally used by billions of people every day is what makes Microsoft such a unique company,” said Hoge. “Now I’m excited to take the experiences I’ve had there to help build new products and improve existing services for collectors.”
In his new role at CU, Hoge will be partnering closely with the business leaders at PSA and PCGS, as well as the new Chief Technology Officer who leads the engineering team to bring these experiences to market.
“We are extremely excited to add someone of Ryan’s caliber to our team,” said Collectors Universe Executive Chairman Nat Turner. “His background and expertise in technology will help bring our entire organization to even greater heights.”
Hoge will be tasked with investing in technology to improve not only how the company operates today but how it can help CU workers in areas such as research, grading and customer service become even more efficient and effective at their jobs. Two initial areas where the company will see investments in technology pay off will be helping automate the identification of cards submitted for grading and updating the Set Registry, a way for collectors to compete to have the highest graded, most complete collections.
Hoge’s resumé includes earning a bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Communications from Arizona State University. He’s also a very passionate sports fan. A native of Plano, Texas, he grew up cheering for the Dallas Cowboys, Rangers and Mavericks. He attended ASU during the glory years of the school’s football program with Heisman Trophy finalist Jake Plummer at quarterback and the late Pat Tillman making countless tackles at linebacker. Following graduation, Hoge moved to Austin, Texas, where he began his career in technology before moving to Seattle to join forces with Microsoft.
“I’ve been a sports card collector since I was eight years old,” he said. “I submitted my first cards to PSA for grading back in 1999 when I rediscovered my childhood collection. I still have most of those cards including a PSA 9 [Mint] 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. [#1] rookie and a 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco [#55] rookie, graded PSA 8 [Near Mint-Mint].
“I had the normal starts and stops with collecting as I grew up and started my career, but I’ve been actively involved with it since 2012. I’ve pursued different collecting challenges including competing on the [PSA] Set Registry for the 1975 Topps Mini baseball set, which I completed a few years back.”
Though he primarily collects baseball cards of vintage-era Hall of Famers, he does look for rookie cards of some current sports stars including Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna Jr., Luka Doncic and Ja Morant. But when asked what the most prized possession in his personal collection is, Hoge recalls a memorable hobby moment he shared with his father.
“I’ve got items that are more valuable from a monetary perspective, but one card that I’ll always keep is a 1980 Topps Bird/Magic rookie that my dad and I pulled from a pack at the 1990 National Sports Collectors Convention in Arlington, Texas,” he said. “We each bought one pack for $25 apiece and he pulled that card from his. It’s graded a PSA 7 [Near Mint] and it’s such a special card to me and my dad.”
Hoge played many sports growing up but gravitated toward baseball and golf as his favorites. His top player to watch was Will Clark of the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers. “He had such a sweet swing,” he said, “and led those Giants teams from the late ’80s and early ‘90s to some awesome playoff runs.”
He also became obsessed with Mickey Mantle after reading a biography on the New York Yankees great when he was 12. “I was so inspired that I taught myself to become a switch hitter.”
Now a dad himself, Hoge enjoys looking at sports cards to keep nostalgia alive with the past as well as a way to stay current with today’s players.
“I’ve gotten both of my daughters into collecting sports cards and Pokémon cards,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to pass on this passion to the next generation.”
PSA is the world’s largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication and grading service. Since 1991, PSA has examined and certified over 40 million collectibles with a combined value of over $1 billion. For more information, visit www.PSAcard.com.