Facebook Ad Lead Gokul Rajaram Exits, Will Oversee Square’s POS Software

gokul-squareGokul Rajaram, the fast-talking architect of Facebook’s ad products for the past couple years, has left to oversee product engineering at Square, where he’ll drive software development for the company’s Square Register point-of-sale software, among other products.

At Facebook, Rajaram led a rapid iteration of the company’s ad platform, including the development of Facebook Exchange, key data integrations with first- and third-party sources and the acquisition of the Atlas from Microsoft.

However, his status became unclear late last year, when engineering director Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth stepped in to run ad engineering, product management and design for all Facebook ad products.

Rajaram’s official replacement is Mike Hudack, a member of Rajaram’s team. Hudack was previously focused on ads’ measurement and effectiveness. He’ll report to Boz.

The move raises a question about Square’s possible interest in developing ad products of its own, or perhaps data plug-ins that leverage the company’s transactional network for advertising purposes.

If the company moves in that direction, 

eBay’s Paypal Media Network could offer a model. PMN incorporates local store inventory, barcode-scanning app RedLaser, Bill Me Later and Shopping.com. For now Square’s holdings are much more focused, but if it begins to support more functions in the local business supply chain, an extension into ads could make sense.

Prior to Facebook, Rajaram co-founded Chai Labs and later sold it to Facebook in August 2010. He had previously been a product-management director for Google AdSense.

At Facebook, he was fond of saying the company could go after the whole funnel, a thesis he sought to prove through product initiatives around real-time bidding (FBX) and offline conversion tracking (through the company’s Datalogix partnership). He said the acquisition of Atlas earlier this year was in part a move to drive better attribution insights for clients, especially across devices.

“Our goal is to be able to measure cross-device insights, and be the best ad-serving platform on the Internet,” he told AdExchanger at the time.


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