Google’s Lexi Reese to Lead Ad Exchange Sales

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Google has tapped an internal candidate, Lexi Reese, to oversee advertiser and publisher sales for its fledgling DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

A fast-rising star in Google’s sales organization, the 35-year-old most recently led the company’s ad network ambitions as director of Google content network. Google content network, known to publishers as AdSense, represents more than a million sites and is now a major source of inventory on the exchange.

Reese was hired in early 2007, less than three years ago, to head Google’s online sales team in Boston. When she was promoted to oversee the ad network, her focus shifted to helping search marketers get comfortable with advertising on a large network of Web sites. Along the way she also managed Google’s social media ad sales team.

As director of sales for the ad exchange in the U.S., she’ll for the first time oversee sales to publishers and ad networks she previously competed with, in addition to the large advertisers and agencies she’s used to dealing with. She’ll report to Nikesh Arora, Google’s president of global sales, and be managed day-to-day by Google’s director of media platforms, Eileen Naughton. She’ll remain based in New York.

Reese’s knowledge of Google’s ad network business is important because all inventory in the Content Network is now available to exchange buyers. That’s been true since the official rollout of the product in September. Yet her close ties to AdSense could also be risky. From the standpoint of publishers, it’s crucial for Google’s exchange to appear a disinterested party, offering up the greatest value for individual media sellers regardless of the source.

Speaking with ClickZ today, Reese emphasized the Google Content Network and the DoubleClick Exchange operate independently.

“The content network is one of the many buyers on the exchange,” she said. “They are totally separate.”

Asked about Yahoo’s recently announced plan to kick brokers off its Right Media ad exchange, she declined to comment directly but said Google would strive for quality and transparency through technological means.

“We’ve turned our [quality] algorithm we’ve used on search on display,” she said. “We use a technological solution for that so we can keep the marketplace open. Fortunately we don’t have to weed people out because we have technology that over the scale we operate is more effective.”

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