He replaces current CEO and founder Michael Cassidy, who will move into a chairman role.
Cassidy has been at the helm of Undertone since its founding 13 years ago. "It's the right time based on where the company is," said Eric Franchi, Undertone cofounder and chief evangelist. He added this was not indicative of a broader strategic business change at Undertone. "Corey brings a lot of interesting things to the table."
Those things include Ferengul's professional background in helping grow large organizations (most recently at Rovi Corp.) and evaluating and executing mergers and acquisitions. He also understands technology and product, which adds new dimensions to the CEO role, Franchi said.
Undertone has grown up since its inception during the early days of ad networks. The company has been profitable since day one, according to Franchi, who pinned the New York-headquartered company headcount now at 325.
"What drives the business and we're really focused on [are] custom formats that we create that allow brands to stand out that's really rich-media enabled," Franchi said. For instance, Undertone is tackling cross-screen creative, a key challenge brands and agencies come up against in planning mobile campaigns, with ScreenShift, a responsive design format that optimizes creative for different screens.
Undertone operates an Undertone Ad System, which combines data management, ad delivery, reporting and analytics. Programmatic is another area the company is considering, according to Franchi, who noted it will be "a big focus for the company moving forward."
Undertone is rumored to be gunning for an IPO and has revenues in the $200 million range, per Business Insider.
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