Prague-based Socialbakers added Robert Lang as its new CEO on Wednesday. The social media metrics firm described Lang as a key Criteo executive who helped the French ad tech company expand internationally.
Lang replaces Jan Rezab, a founder of the company. Rezab will stay on as executive chairman.
Coming from Criteo, Lang said he saw a lot of clients’ ad budgets spent on the big publishers, but he also observed Facebook’s explosive growth in the ad space.
“If you’re a chief marketing officer and you want to reach your audience, that trend’s hard to ignore,” Lang said. “A lot of Internet traffic happens on social platforms. In the end, both Criteo and Socialbakers cater to the needs of a chief marketing officer, just in a different way.”
“The difference between Criteo and Socialbakers is clear,” added Rezab. “We’re a data analytics company in the space of social media, but we cater to the same person. We’re seeing much more need at the CMO level for analytics and getting the metrics that matter.”
Over the course of years, Lang expanded Criteo’s client ties in Scandinavia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Criteo, Lang was the CEO of Result, a global firm focused on helping entrepreneurs with international expansion.
Lang will use that experience to fuel Socialbakers’ global growth.
“My passion has always been scaling European tech companies,” Lang said. “Too often, European companies lack global ambition and the funding to do that. I’m coming from Criteo, where we proved the contrary.”
It has 330 employees and about 3,000 clients, mostly in Europe.
Socialbakers’ search for a new CEO started about a year ago. In the past six months, the firm has been working to revamp its analytics platform, and rewrote its code from the ground up.
The firm also focused on launching its Paid Post Detection product, which offers the ability to detect if post on a public Facebook page is being promoted, based on public data.
Socialbakers has competitors in a number of areas, including social listening vendors, large marketing clouds that offer social analytics as part of a suite and the social platforms themselves, through their built-in measurement tools.
Additional competition comes from smaller or regional agencies focused on social listening and analytics, Rezab said.
Rezab declined to disclose revenues.