MediaMath Is Changing Up Its C-Suite; Google Is Its Own Best Customer

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MediaMath is shaking up its C-suite to prepare for what the company calls its “next phase,” reports Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider. The demand-side platform is moving executives into new roles and bringing on some new blood for key positions. Read the list of changes. CEO Joe Zawadzki says the changes aren’t due to internal pressures, but rather to keep pace with the direction the market is going, which means working more closely with marketers. “Agencies continue to be a big part of the business and we are seeing a lot of the triumvirate model where the advertiser is deeply involved in the selection process,” Zawadzki said. “In a lot of cases, brands will select the technology, but the agency will [be the one using] it and working on top of it to do trading.”

Reap What You Sow

What happens when the biggest ad seller in the world is the biggest buyer of its own ad space? Google places its products and services in the most prominent spot of its own search results 91% of the time, according to research from The Wall Street Journal and SEMrush. In 43% of cases, the top two ad slots show Google products. While it’s common practice for publishers and networks to use their ad space to market their own products, they charge a set price. Google, on the other hand, bids against its competitors on its own pipes, which can drive up the price for other advertisers. Google says as an ad seller, it charges advertisers as if it wasn’t bidding, and its ads only appear at the top because of the price it’s willing to pay. More.

Birth Of A DMP

Gartner research VP Martin Kihn takes a walk down memory lane with John Nardone, the current CEO of Flashtalking who served as  [x+1] chief when it sold to Rocket Fuel. Nardone recalls that after the 2008 financial crisis and pricing pressure from customers, he went to the [x+1] board and told them nobody was spending and the company had no revenue. Nardone proposed building Delta Airlines’ platform from scratch. “And that’s what we did,” he said. “We were asking how Delta used its SkyMiles data … to personalize offers on the site. Then we began to ask how can we move this off the website and push offers into email, into the mobile phone.” And hence was born [x+1]’s DMP. Read it.

Fast Friends

Amit Singh, Google’s former head of search, will lead Uber’s engineering. Singh will report to CEO Travis Kalanick and will advise Anthony Levandowski, a self-driving car expert Uber poached from Google. There’s a pattern here. While Google’s venture capital arm GV once invested a cool quarter-billion in Uber (acquiring almost 7% of the startup at a then-valuation of $3.7 billion), that early friendship disintegrated as the two came into competition with car-pooling software, mapping, driverless cars and pickup services. Google pulled an exec from Uber’s board and now lets other ride-hailers into Maps. And now, Uber has struck back. More at The NYT.

IBM In An OMG World

IBM stock had a big year, jumping from the low-$120’s last January to just over $170 at the end of last week, gaining back a good chunk of its losses since four or five years ago, when shares traded above $200. The IT giant was undercut by upstart tech – consumer-facing digital platforms that ate into its enterprise services territory – but may be poised for a resurgence. “IBM has outperformed so-called momentum tech stocks such as Amazon and Facebook after Donald Trump’s election win as investors shifted to companies with consistent dividends and buybacks,” one investor tells Bloomberg. More.

But Wait, There’s More!

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