Shifts Come To Oath’s Top Ad Tech Brass

Oath is switching things up within its ad and platform executive ranks.

The company has named Tim Mahlman president of advertising and publisher strategy, Oath revealed Tuesday.

Mahlman replaced Bob Lord as president of AOL’s platform business in June 2016 and has manned AOL’s publisher and ad platform strategy since.

Rohit Chandra becomes head of search, ad platform engineering and product management for Oath, effective immediately. He most recently served as VP of engineering for search and native at Yahoo’s native ad platform, Gemini.

Chandra will lead a team overseeing product and engineering operations for Oath’s ad tech platforms, according to a company statement.

The team will focus on unifying Oath’s ad platform using the “the best assets” from the AOL and Yahoo acquisitions, including the video platform BrightRoll, Yahoo Gemini and AOL’s cross-platform ad stack, One by AOL, while doubling down on global and mobile growth.

Oath’s global sales and operations chief, CRO John DeVine, will partner with both Chandra and Mahlman on executing Oath’s overarching sales strategy.

Although the motivation for Oath’s executive moves aren’t totally clear, one AdExchanger source claimed Mahlman was stronger at sales than at product.

If true, elevating Chandra’s role to include product management duties seems like an obvious transition to a more engineering-focused product team as Oath vies against growing competition in the ad tech space.

According to a recent survey of 300 advertisers by consultancy Advertiser Perceptions, Oath (One by AOL) didn’t break into the top five ranking for demand side platforms based on mobile usage.

(It did place second, however, trailing only behind Google for display-oriented DSP usage.)

The BrightRoll video DSP ranked third for video DSP usage – upstaged only by Tremor Video DSP and Videology, according to the Advertiser Perceptions study.

Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) led the pack of “preferred DSPs” among advertisers, followed by DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), MediaMath, Rocket Fuel, Adobe Advertising Cloud, The Trade Desk and One by AOL.

Oath declined to comment beyond its statements.

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