Gatto Named PointRoll CEO

Rob-Gatto

PointRoll is losing its CEO Jason Tafler at a critical time for the rich media provider. In his place, the Gannett-owned unit has promoted Robert Gatto, senior vice president of sales, to the post.

In a memo to staffers issued Tuesday morning, Tafler said he plans to move back to Canada to spend more time with his family.

Along with CareerBuilder, PointRoll has recently been credited with driving growth at Gannett's digital arm. "PointRoll is in a very strong position, coming off its most successful year ever with an even stronger 2011 predicted," said Gatto on Tuesday.

For 2010, Gannett recently reported digital revenue of about $1 billion -- up 8% year-over-year, and a full 18% of the company's total revenue.

Tafler has helmed PointRoll since early 2008, when former CEO Chris Saridakis was named SVP and chief digital officer for Gannett amid a major management shakeup.

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Last April, Saridakis left Gannett altogether to lead the marketing services segment of ecommerce services provider GSI Commerce. There were rumors that Saridakis left the publisher over a pay-wall dispute, which he denied to Online Media Daily at the time. "I was incredibly frustrated by their lack of decision-making, and the fact they haven't thought [a subscription] model through," he said.

Gatto will be succeeded in his role as senior vice president of sales by Sarah Ripmaster. Ripmaster was most recently vice president of major accounts at PointRoll -- where, among other duties, she led automotive sales and strategy for various automotive agencies.

Gatto came to Gannett in 2004 when TKG Holdings -- a joint venture owned by Gannett, Knight Ridder (now owned by The McClatchy Company), and Tribune Company acquired ShopLocal. Gannett later acquired all of the online shopping circular provider in mid-2008.

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