Today, AudienceScience is announcing that Jeff Hirsch will be stepping down as CEO of the company and Jeff Pullen will take over in the chief executive role after joining the company a year ago. Read the release.
AdExchanger.com: Why is AudienceScience making this change now?
JEFF HIRSCH: My desire to focus on my strengths and the needs of the company drove the change. I have been with AudienceScience for almost five years, taking over as CEO three years ago. In that time, we have more than quadrupled in revenue, established a solid global presence and expanded exponentially in terms of personnel resources. Of course, with that kind of growth the job of the CEO changes. There’s a lot more operational and human resource work than a lot of people realize, for example. Doing that job took me out of the market for the most part. My passion is working with clients to clarify what makes us a great company and talking about the changes that are happening in the industry. The job of CEO of a 200 person + company simply doesn’t allow enough time to be in the field. That’s where I want to be and that’s where the company needs me. With that, AudienceScience needs another executive to help steer the ship toward continued profitability and sustained growth. Jeff Pullen is the guy to do that. Jeff and I have been friends for years and have developed the kind of trust and communication that this configuration will require. We have worked together in the past and I’ve worked with him as a member of the board. We’re a formidable team.
AdExchanger.com: What will be your new responsibilities?
JEFF HIRSCH: As President, I am going to spend more time helping our sales and marketing teams further our efforts to bring clarity and purpose to our space. We can always use more of it. This is a very confusing time for our industry, as well as a time of great promise. With my experience in marketing and online media, I want to help our clients understand how to get the most value from online marketing. It’s all about the technology, expertise and of course, the data. That’s also my goal in working with organizations like IAB, which I have been appointed to the Board this year, and the efforts of the DAA. AudienceScience led the market around data driven activity, and we are now leading the market in terms of end-to-end media transaction platforms with our offerings. I’m right there.
AdExchanger.com: Jeff Pullen, what have you learned about the company in the past year when you first joined AudienceScience that you didn't expect?
JEFF PULLEN: That's a good question. I don't believe there have been too many surprises. However, to be completely frank, I didn't fully anticipate the changes in the market (like the new acronyms, marketing terminology and the onslaught of new companies) to have an impact on our ability to clearly articulate our message to the marketplace. There is continuing confusion regarding the key players, their value proposition and how best advertisers and publishers can take advantage of what's out there. At a time when AudienceScience has demonstrated such a powerful solution and direction--it's not always clear.
AdExchanger.com: Can you share some key milestones on the company's strategic roadmap? And, do you see AudienceScience being a public company ahead?
JEFF PULLEN: This is Day 1 on the job, so it would be a bit premature to list key milestones. However, I will say that we are doing all the right things and I want to accelerate and focus those efforts. A big milestone for me will be when the market clearly recognizes AudienceScience for what it is - in the midst of all this confusion - when AudienceScience is truly recognized for the powerful solution that it is on a global scale. I can't anticipate when this gets achieved, but we are on the right path and we will get there.
I view an IPO as a means to grow capital for future growth and direction--not as an end in itself. Having said that, I believe AudienceScience has all the elements to become a public company, when the time is right.
By John Ebbert