Someone once told newly appointed Revcontent CEO Omar Nicola that “you’re only as valuable as your replacement cost," and he said "that made me work my butt off.”
Revcontent -- a search and discovery platform for content -- named Nicola CEO on Wednesday, replacing founder and CEO John Lemp, who will remain as chairman of Revcontent’s Board of Directors.
Nicola got his start at Morgan Stanley and by chance landed in digital to take on various roles, from finance to business development. He made his way through MySpace and Top Rocks. Then in 2014 he founded Kixer, a recommendation search engine for mobile apps, and sold it to Lakana and its parent company Nexstar Networking Group.
He also met Lemp, and Richard Marques, Revcontent COO, about four years ago. One conversation led to another before the opportunity of becoming CEO at Revcontent presented itself, Nicola said.
“We’ve seen other ad-tech companies taking on a bunch of venture funding to grow, which inhibits them from being flexible,” Nicola said. “In some instances we see partners who build their publishing destinations on the back of their partners, which creates a conflict of interest. Something you don’t see at Revcontent.”
Nicola plans to keep a close eye on ad fraud in 2019, which he believes will remain one of the biggest challenges for advertisers in 2019.
“Balancing the fine line between user experience and revenue also becomes important,” he said.
Despite his global experience, Nicola will focus heavily in 2019 on supporting U.S. advertisers.
When asked to name the similarities between Revcontent and Kixer, Nicola said the backbone that powers both are similar. It comes down to determining what to serve up for any given user at any given time based on a search. This data gives advertisers insight into the propensity to drive conversions.
The two companies also support or supported similar publishers, such as TMZ and Hearst, he said.
“I just want to compliment what’s been done to date,” Nicola said. “I’m going to be leaning on this team."