Saluting the Iron Man of the Online Ad Industry: Dave Moore
Yes. He is truly an Iron Man when it comes to endurance athletics. Dave is a regular runner in the New York City Marathon. He has completed an Iron Man triathlon (2.5 mile swim, 112 miles of biking and a full marathon run). He has swum the English Channel. That may make him a superstar among us weekend runners, but that doesn't make him unique. There are a lot of endurance athletes.
However, when it comes to the online advertising, the endurance of Dave's leadership to his company and our industry is unparalleled.
I first met Dave back in early 1998, on the day that 24/7 Media was created by the merger of Petry Interactive, Katz Millennium Marketing and Interactive Imaginations, and he was named its CEO. Over the years, I got to know Dave as an industry colleague. I had started and was running an early online ad serving and ad network company called Real Media and ran into him frequently as we, and literally thousands of other CEOs of online ad companies of the late 1990s, were trying to make the case for the power and future of online advertising to Madison Avenue and Wall Street.
Dave's iron-will, perseverance and focus were really evident at the depths of the Internet's 2001 nuclear winter, when his company had a market capitalization of less than $20 million, very little cash and was on the verge of being de-listed by NASDAQ. He and Jon Hsu, his COO, not only secured additional financing (some of it out of his own pocket), but led 24/7 Real Media out of those extraordinary depths into a very profitable industry leader and an eventual sale to WPP in 2007 for $649 million. (Disclosure: in 2001, Dave had acquired my company Real Media, and combined it with 24/7.)
Did Dave retire to the beach after the sale? No. Dave has continued to advocate for our industry in bylined opinions, in speaking engagements and in direct relationships that he has fostered and grown year after year.
He also continued to grow his company and its profits as part of WPP and, after a short stint as executive chairman of the company, returned to the CEO job late last year. Of those thousands of online ad CEOs in the late 1990s, Dave is one of the few last men standing, one still running his original company -- something most of us expect him to continue doing for many years to come. Dave, you are our Iron Man. We salute you!