Sharethrough Bids Farewell To Top Execs Amid Shift To Programmatic

The native advertising technology platform Sharethrough parted ways with company president Patrick Keane and CRO Mike Gaffney last week as it focuses on its programmatic exchange.

Christopher Schreiber, who had been Sharethrough’s VP of marketing and communications for the past five years, also left the company.

The executive departures are not part of broader layoffs, but they mark a reorganization of Sharethrough’s sales teams.

“It’s a part of a larger evolution of our business to programmatic and our open exchange ecosystem,” Sharethrough CEO Dan Greenberg told AdExchanger. “We’ve gone from our original value prop as an ad server for native publisher direct deals to now, where we have an exchange that other marketers trade on and DSPs are integrated with.”

Since Sharethrough’s first DSP integration with AppNexus a year and a half ago, the company’s programmatic business has grown to about half of overall revenue, Greenberg said. The publisher ad server and the programmatic exchange each process about $140 million in gross ad spend.

“Gaffney and I had been there a long time,” Keane said. “But I felt like the timing was right with the business and for the chance to have different leadership running the business.”

Sharethrough has been profitable over the last three years, Greenberg said, but won’t be in 2017 due to investments in growth.

Sharethrough plans to hire a global programmatic sales leader to fill Gaffney’s role, and is splitting its programmatic group into three new teams: a biz dev team to onboard demand from agencies and DSPs; a programmatic strategist team geared toward traders and RTB specialists; and a native strategist team to push adoption with key brands.

Keane was originally an investor and took on an operational role with Sharethrough “when the company was maybe a fifth of what it is today in terms of revenue and headcount,” Greenberg said. “He was responsible for building our New York City office basically from scratch to the point now where it’s growing and has become a true second headquarters for Sharethrough.”

Keane will be shifting more of his time and efforts to Stripes Group, a private equity fund where he’s been an operating partner for three years. Investments that he’s overseen and will continue to handle at Stripes Group include Refinery29 and Craftsy, a crafts and DIY site acquired by NBC for around $230 million last month.

Gaffney told AdExchanger he has a new position lined up but can’t disclose details yet.

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