Execs & Accounts for May 12, 2004

Avenue A hired search industry veteran Rob Wilk as search engine marketing director. Wilk spent the past two years at Overture Services, managing the Mid-Atlantic territory. At Overture, his clients included Lending Tree, Progressive, Lowe’s and Volvo. Earlier, he held senior positions with AmericanGreetings.com, RollingStone.com, Ziff-Davis Publishing and Young & Rubicam Advertising.

Avenue A parent aQuantive has steadily increased its investment in the search space, most notably with its December acquisition of search management tool GoToast. Avenue A said search now makes up an estimated 20 percent of its billings.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy Muris will exit his post this summer, according to a statement on the FTC’s Web site.

Muris led the agency during a period of rapid change in mass communications, largely driven by the growth of digital media and accompanying issues of consumer control. Many of the Commission’s actions under his tenure have had major implications for interactive marketers, including the national Do-Not-Call registry and an increase in actions against spam. Muris has also been a vocal advocate against a proposed Do-Not-E-mail list.

“Serving as chairman of the Commission has been the greatest honor of my professional career,” Muris said in a statement. “As I have said repeatedly, the mission of the agency is vital; the issues are fascinating; and the people are outstanding. It is a great pleasure to work with such superb fellow Commissioners and staff.”

Young & Rubicam Brands named Rick Eiserman to head its new Bounce Interactive Gaming (BIG) unit, set up to help clients take advantage of the gaming opportunity. Eiserman is CEO of Y&R’s Brand Buzz division, which he co-founded. Sam Huxley, director of Internet strategy at Brand Buzz, will assist as chief strategy officer.

”This is a truly exciting opportunity to help our client partners reach customers through a channel that is hugely popular but virtually untapped,” said Ann Fudge, chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands.

Brightmail added Ken Denman to its board of directors. Denman is president and CEO of mobile access player iPass. Earlier, he founded and led AuraServ Communications, a provider of broadband voice and data applications.

E-mail security and management firm Postini hired Ken Okumura as VP of engineering. Okumura spent eight years at VeriSign, where he eventually led the company’s engineering efforts.

“Postini is fortunate to get an industry expert like Ken Okumura, who brings a wealth of experience in developing, deploying, and managing mission-critical Internet infrastructure,” said Scott Petry, founder and SVP of products and engineering.

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