Real-Time With AppNexus President Rubenstein On Firm's Reshuffle

AppNexus, a large ad tech firm, on Monday announced an internal reorganization and the creation of four new business units to allow AppNexus to service publishers, programmatic media companies, agencies and advertisers and marketplaces with more focus.

Real-Time Daily spoke with Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus, about the restructure.

Real-Time Daily: You have named a GM of the publishers unit, a GM of the programmatic media companies unit, a GM of the marketplaces unit, but no GM (yet) of the agencies and advertisers unit. Is that unit special in any way? Why haven’t you promoted from within, like you did with every other new unit?

Michael Rubenstein: We just haven’t found someone yet. [We have] a deep, deep bench. Promoting [from] within is a great pleasure; it’s something we always look to do first.

RTD: Will programmatic be the theme throughout all four units?

Rubenstein: Yes, but the programmatic media segment tends to focus on companies that are, for the most part, only focused on programmatic. They tend to be intermediaries in the ad landscape.

RTD: What exactly is the “marketplaces” unit?

Rubenstein: The different between marketplaces and the others is that the others are customer types and the three major principles of digital trading. Marketplaces are what connect the three of them. If you look at the ways these different people/customers do business with each other, it’s through these various marketplaces.

For example, there’s a performance marketplace that’s thriving on the Internet. There’s a premium marketplace. There’s a deals marketplace. There are a variety of ways that these businesses are conducting business with each other and marketplaces are what really ties them together.

RTD: Which of the four new units is your bread and butter?

Rubenstein: Probably the programmatic media companies unit, beccause our heritage as a company is pioneering in programmatic.

RTD: Who will you be serving via the marketplaces unit?

Rubenstein: Publishers, agencies, etc. are verticals, while marketplaces are a horizontal. There are no customers, per se, in marketplaces. They are products.

So what Andy Atherton (GM of marketplaces) is doing is building new programmatic capabilities that allow these different business to do business with each other in new and interesting ways.

RTD: Was there any external pressure to reorganize? Perhaps from investors or WPP, which recently reinvested in AppNexus?

Rubenstein: No, it’s completely from us. This is our plan for how to continue to build the organization for growth.

What we’ve always been trying to do and will continue trying to do is put the people and structures in place to really unlock as much growth and opportunity for this business as possible. I think putting high caliber execs and entrepreneurs in positions to lead [will help us grow].

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