Mediaocean Hires Ramsey McGrory, Former AddThis And RMX Honcho, As CRO

ramseyAd tech veteran Ramsey McGrory has joined Mediaocean as its top sales executive, effective Monday.

McGrory was most recently president of sports network Scout Media. Prior to that, he was CEO of AddThis, which Oracle acquired in January, and head of Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange. He has a long history with Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise; the two worked together at Yahoo, DoubleClick and MaxOnline, among other companies.

“The long-term trend that started way back in the late ’90s when we were doing early optimization with DoubleClick – and has followed through to today – is the application of data to media,” McGrory said.

McGrory joins Mediaocean nine months after private equity firm Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in the company at a valuation of approximately $720 million.

The company now has roughly 800 employees with $108 billion in agency transactions flowing through its systems.

McGrory spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: When do you start?

RAMSEY MCGRORY: It’s effective immediately. I didn’t start on Friday because I didn’t want to start on April Fools’ Day. I only want to tempt fate so much.

What drove you to Mediaocean?

As I wrapped up my time at Scout after two full seasons, I was thinking about what are the big trends? For me, it was the continued application of data to media and the infusion of data in the value chain of research, planning, targeting, optimizing and billing. 

What about video and TV convergence, seeing as Mediaocean sits at the epicenter of a lot of those agency workflows?

We talk about programmatic TV, but we still have a long way to go. Often campaigns are executed in siloes based on disparate measurements, technologies and processes. For me, that’s a huge trend – this combination of linear and digital and how we think about planning for it, executing and then measuring those campaigns. And we’re only in the third inning of a long baseball game.

How has Mediaocean changed since the private equity investment?

There is huge opportunity to take new products to existing clients, whether that’s our acquisition of companies like BCC AdSystems that we did several months ago, or extending a US relationship globally. Our clients – the agencies and marketers – have global mandates, so our growth strategy is to extend that relationship with them. Vista adds a tremendous amount of expertise in how to grow a software business through capital.

We’ve done several acquisitions and expect to do more.

Sometimes PE investors require cost-cutting. This hasn’t been the case?

It’s absolutely true that Vista operates differently than the average PE who comes in and tries to squeeze additional efficiency out of a business. I do think that there is rigor that they bring to the company, and it’s incredibly valuable. In terms of growth, their focus is on driving top-line revenue and strengthening the position of Mediaocean. There is a strong position and client base already, but we’re focused on expanding on that, both geographically and in the product line.

What does the incursion of consulting firms into the digital marketing sector mean for Mediaocean and its agency customers?

Agencies have very specific roles, and DNA people tend to underappreciate. I think the agencies are getting stronger on the technology front – and the hiring of Megan Pagliuca [to Omnicom’s Accuen] is a good example of that. But there’s a lot of work under that.

So the plan is to integrate with everybody?

We will continue to provide a platform that allows agencies to leverage/integrate with other third parties, whether that’s Integral Ad Science or Moat or others like SAP on the general ledger side. Our goal is to maintain an open platform that allows for deep integration, and I think you’ll see others like Deloitte and IBM figure out where they fit in that.

The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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