Ad tech firm AppNexus on Thursday announced the appointments of three new executives. The hirings come just weeks after AppNexus reorganized internally to create four separate business units: one each to focus on publishers, programmatic media companies, agencies and advertisers, and marketplaces.
Jason Lynn has been tapped as SVP of product in the programmatic media companies unit; Joshua Zeitz joins as VP of corporate communications; and Marcus Startzel joins AppNexus as CRO of the agencies and advertisers unit.
Lynn was formerly co-founder of mParticle, a mobile data management firm. Zeitz was previously deputy director of the corporate communications practice at MWW, a public relations firm. Startzel joins AppNexus from MediaGlu, where he served as chairman and CEO of the cross-device tech firm before it was acquired by AppNexus in December.
Real-Time Daily caught up with Startzel regarding his new role.
He said AppNexus is expecting more brand dollars to flow toward programmatic, but noted that the company doesn’t have a bias when it comes to building technology for branding versus performance campaigns.
“Our technology has to be able to deliver the results regardless of media outcome for the agencies,” he said. However, he added: “Brand advertising is moving programmatic. My experience even prior to AppNexus says the exact same thing.”
And despite the recent in-house trend, which saw many brands and advertisers directly assume more responsibility over programmatic campaigns, Startzel said AppNexus remains “very pro-agency focused.”
“You’re talking about a major trend of brands taking programmatic in-house, and many businesses focus on going direct to brand to provide those programmatic tools,” he said. “But I think the agency plays a pivotal role in an advertiser’s life, and not just in the media or creative side, but incredible strategy and vision assets that agencies bring to bear. That’s why I think AppNexus has a great opportunity to be pro-agency.
“I don’t think you can place media in a vacuum without the strategy that comes with it,” he said, before acknowledging “that’s not to say that some brands haven’t taken it entirely in-house.”