Brown Exits Federated Media, Battelle Adds CEO Duties
Federated Media Publishing on Thursday announced the departure of CEO Deanna Brown. Company founder John Battelle will assume the role of CEO in addition to his current
function as Executive Chairman of the Board.
The ad network on Thursday credited Brown, who was with FMP for three years, with diversifying revenue streams, and rolling out several new product offerings.
In the months leading up to Brown’s exit, however, insiders have publicly portrayed FMP as a troubled company.
Last November, Alyson Shontell, who used to work directly with FMP as Business Insider's sales planner, wrote that the network “has drifted from its original vision of upending the established advertising order, getting into the very business of commodity ad sales that it hoped to replace.”
In November 2012, FMP said it would close its direct sales business, which was charged with selling standard display ads, and focus more heavily on its programmatic buying and native advertising businesses.
John Battelle defended FMP’s current direction on Thursday.
“Last year … we made the difficult but important decision to rethink the company so as to lean into our two most promising lines of business -- content marketing … and programmatic marketing, (which we invested in heavily last year, after acquiring a very fast growing business in Lijit Networks in Fall of 2011),” Battelle explained in a blog post. “It meant stepping back from something we had been doing for some time -- directly selling standard display banners -- but it proved to be the right choice."
As for why Battelle is reclaiming the role of CEO, he explained: “FMP is a unique company -- straddling the two fastest-growing sectors of the digital marketing world: native content marketing and programmatic platforms. There aren’t many executives who are fluent in both.” Battelle said FMP is having “a great first half of 2013.”
In a statement, Brown promised to announce her “next venture” in a couple weeks.