Mobile ad platform xAd on Friday announced four major executive hires, including Paul Gelb, former head of programmatic and marketplace development at Twitter.
Gelb joins xAd as VP of global brands and agencies. He was formerly chief of strategy at MoPub, a mobile ad exchange, before it was acquired by Twitter. Prior to that, he was VP and founder of the mobile practice at Razorfish.
Also joining xAd are Lissette Fernandez as VP of global account management and operations; Reagan Nunnally as VP of global brands and agencies; and James Davies as EMEA head of channel.
All have strong backgrounds: Fernandez was a former director of account management and global marketing solutions at Facebook; Nunnally was previously at Google; and Davies served as chief strategy officer at Posterscope.
Real-Time Daily spoke with Gelb about his decision to join xAd. He stressed that he was drawn to xAd’s location-based targeting offerings, which are at the core of the company’s platform.
“With over 90% of commerce occurring offline, I can honestly say that the space around the convergence of location, commerce and payments has created the biggest opportunity that I have seen,” said Gelb.
“In fact, local ad spend is projected to account for 50% of mobile this year,” he added.
By going from MoPub, to remaining with Twitter as head of programmatic, to moving on to xAd, it’s clear that Gelb sees programmatic as the future of mobile advertising. He said that a WPP executive once told him that if mobile ads were purchased the same way as TV, the holding company “would have to hire 8 million people.”