OpenX Taps Former AOL CEO as Chairman

Over a year since he left the post of chairman and CEO of AOL, Jonathan Miller was appointed to the new position of chairman of open source ad serving platform OpenX. Along with the top board appointment, a recent funding injection and U.S. expansion momentum gives the London company leverage to grow beyond its ad-based roots.

Since receiving a $15.5 million Series B funding round, Openads has renamed itself OpenX to reflect a transition from strictly ad serving to providing a wider range of open source offerings. “Like [Mozilla] Firefox, open source is moving into the mainstream,” said James Bilefield, CEO of OpenX. “The range of products and services we want to offer to the marketplace [is greater], and the name allows us to do that,” he continued.

“Fundamentally, our customers want us to help them with their advertising,” said Bilefield. “There’s more we can do there.”

OpenX serves over 30,000 publishers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Bilefield said the open source platform serves mainly small and medium-sized publishers, though some larger publishers use the platform to deliver ads on their sites.

Miller “has much experience working with major advertisers, as well as large and small publishers,” wrote OpenX co-founder Scott Switzer on the firm’s blog. “He understands how difficult it is to provide software, service, and media to medium to small publishers, which is the core user base of OpenX.”

Bilefield said Miller has kept himself busy since leaving AOL in November 2006. “He’s well connected in the industry,” he said. Miller is a co-founder at Velocity Investment Group and sits on the board of search ad firm Clickable, where he is an investor.

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