Criteo Execs Put Their Egos Aside, Says Newly Appointed EVP

Criteo will announce Thursday the appointment of Marc Grabowski to EVP of global supply and business development. While he brings a great deal of personal and professional experience to the position, Grabowski said he's grateful that the experts working at Criteo can leave their egos behind, making the working environment much more enjoyable, which is one reason he accepted the position with the company.

Grabowski, who reports directly to Mollie Spilman, Criteo's CRO, has worked at Persio and served as a former board member at SavingStar. He also served as entrepreneur in residence at Highland Capital Partners, and VP of media sales at Yahoo.

The new EVP is tasked with building a sustainable marketplace for publishing partners, working on a set of tools and formats such as tags, acceptable ad formats, native ads, and more. The goal is to help publishers navigate a dynamic market landscape that is being reshaped by initiatives such as header bidding and native advertising.

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Search Marketing Daily connected with Grabowski to talk about his new role at Criteo and how he applies personal insights to business processes. 

SMD:  What are you working on at Criteo?

Grabowski:  We already provide a number of tools to publishers, but we're working on ways to combine tools such as how to take header bidding tools and combine them with acceptable ad formats to create a better shared value approach.

SMD:  What will search look like in 2017?

Grabowski:  For the industry, not just for us, ... I think search is becoming more personalized and based on recommendations. Users expect more personalized experiences. Native ad formats' relevance has escalated in the past few months. We are a performance marketing company and do that by making strong recommendations to users.

SMD:  What's the best business advice you ever received?

Grabowski:  I've received a lot of great advice, but the best is that when you can get a great group of people working together who don't have egos you can build some pretty amazing things. It lets you retain and bring on new talent and work toward a goal. Most companies are challenged with one or the other.

At Criteo you have people who have been here for five, six, seven years, while others came on within the past two years and were woven into the fray quickly.

SMD:  Who have you learned the most from?

Grabowski:  I've learned the most from my father. He was an ethics and a gerontology professor and someone very philosophical. He taught me patience and the ability to take a step back to understand challenging problems.

I'm a runner. I can run far, but not fast. One thing I've learned recently from one of my running coaches is that in the first half of a marathon it's important not to be an idiot and in the second part it's important not to be a wimp.

When you're in mile 18 of the marathon you're rethinking your existence. It's really easy to start running faster than your ability in the beginning. You don't recognize that mistake until later in the race, until you hit mile 18 or 20 and you've burned out your energy. Then don't be a wimp kicks in and you refocus, retrench and realize why you're there.

You think about the greater purpose like running for a couple of charities. I run for Mass Fallen Heroes, and Team Paws.

I'm in my don't-be-an-idiot phase at Criteo.  

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