Paparo Joins AppNexus; Discusses New Product Leadership Role

appnexusAri Paparo has moved to real-time ad platform AppNexus to become their senior vice president of product management. According to the release, Paparo “brings over 10 years of experience overseeing the development of the industry’s leading advertising technology platforms at Google, DoubleClick, and Nielsen.” Read it. For more background, read Paparo’s October 2010 Q&A.

Paparo discussed his decision to take on the product role at AppNexus with Did the startup bug bite -why join AppNexus? And why leave Nielsen?

AP: To start, Nielsen is a great company and I really respect the people and the products there. Nielsen’s upcoming GRP product is, I believe, a real game changer for online display advertising, especially for brand advertisers. That said, I saw the opportunity at AppNexus and really couldn’t say no. Joining the incredible team of Brian O’Kelley, Mike Nolet, and Michael Rubenstein was a major factor, but so was the opportunity to work in a start-up environment at a company that’s changing the game in display advertising. I really couldn’t think of a better opportunity for me to make an impact on the industry.

In your new role at AppNexus, what do you think are some of the key experiences or views from your Google/Doubleclick days that will be important to draw on?

Having worked at both DoubleClick as an independent company and later as part of Google I think of the experience as the “best of both worlds.” DoubleClick acted like a really big, scrappy start-up, developing products as fast as possible and with relatively fast iterations. We also had a very close relationship between product development and sales, making us responsive to commercial needs. Google, on the other hand, emphasized scale: technology scale, market scale, and people scale. Both approaches have their merits, and hopefully I’ve learned the lessons to fuse the best of both at AppNexus.

As a product leader at AppNexus, how do you balance your responsibilities with an executive team (CEO Brian O’Kelley and CTO Mike Nolet) that is deeply involved in product development?

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to personally be hands-on with product development, while channeling Brian and Mike’s genius into commercialized fully-featured products that impact our customers’ businesses. Either that, or I’m going to learn C and get coding myself.

What will be your success metrics at AppNexus?

AppNexus is building a technology suite that is redefining the landscape, and my success will be to help architect these ground-breaking offerings and better educate the industry about them. My second goal will be to locate the bathroom.

By John Ebbert

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