Former ValueClick CEO Reinstated, Stressing Growth

Meet the new boss – same as the old boss. The lyric comes to life for ValueClick as the firm’s former CEO James Zarley returns to his previous post following three years away from the role. Zarley replaces Tom Vadnais, who served as CEO and director since May 2007.

Zarley, who also was chairman and CEO of the online ad firm from 1999 to May 2007, stressed his commitment to fostering further growth through organic and acquisitive means. “My focus is going to be on growth,” said Zarley during a conference call with investors this morning. “Not just through acquisition, but also primarily through initiatives that Tom already started,” he continued.

“You can expect that there will be some M&A activity from this company,” he said. The firm stayed out of the acquisition market over the past two years, avoiding inflated prices Zarley implied may be balancing out. “We’d love to be able to expand our affiliate marketing space,” he said, noting that there are companies that would make good fits with Commission Junction, ValueClick’s affiliate network. The firm also aims to expand its owned-and-operated sites.

Zarley also said the company expects more data utilization across its divisions to spur organic growth, but suggested, “It’s not going to be overnight.”

In addition to his three-year stint as CEO, Vadnais had served as director of ValueClick since 2001. He is “retiring and resigning” from both positions, the company said in a statement. Martin T. Hart will now serve as chairman of the board, the firm announced.

“I assure everyone that there’s not any internal things that are going on other than very positive vibes,” said Zarley.

ValueClick also announced its results for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, reporting that revenue will fall at the mid-point of previously-issued guidance of between $93 and $97 million.

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