Yahoo hired Brian Silver as VP, ad platforms in the Americas, a job with oversight of the company’s Right Media ad exchange. He replaces Ramsey McGrory, who left Yahoo three months ago to become Clearspring’s CEO.
Silver takes charge at a busy time for Yahoo’s ad platform strategy. The company is preparing to block DSPs and other vendors from using Right Media to buy its remnant ads on behalf of multiple clients – requiring those clients to obtain their own direct seats. And its big ad network deal with AOL and Microsoft has required a considerable development effort to achieve interoperability, a process that’s still underway. Both are seen as moves to prop up prices and reinforce Yahoo’s Fortune 500 sales ethos.
Silver is a veteran of agencies and ad networks, having served as CEO of Travora Media, previously Travel Ad Network. Before that he held operational roles at NetCash and search agency Didit.
He’ll report to Joel Jones, Yahoo’s VP of ad marketplaces in the Americas. Jones also oversees Yahoo Network Plus and the company’s pricing and yield management functions.
Part of his challenge is to help Right Media scale up its support for real-time bidding. The biggest criticism leveled against Yahoo on the sell-side is that it has failed to innovate around bidding technologies quickly enough, and by resting on its laurels has allowed display ad upstarts like AppNexus and Google ADX to steal large publisher and ad network customers. In November, ad network CPX switched its roughly 2 billion daily ad impressions from Right Media to AppNexus.
In a recent interview with ClickZ, Jones said Right Media still serves between 9 billion and 10 billion daily impressions on its most active days. That’s flat compared with October 2010, the last time it disclosed ad serving numbers to ClickZ.