Xaxis Hires iSocket And AppNexus Alum To Hone Its Demand-Side Business

Karl Bunch XaxisiSocket’s former CTO, Karl Bunch, will help focus Xaxis’ discipline around its demand-side products.

Bunch, an ad tech vet who also worked at Time Warner Music, CPXi and AppNexus, started as Xaxis' VP of global product development last week. The WPP-owned programmatic media company revealed the hire Tuesday.

Bunch’s immediate prerogative is learning Xaxis’ business and building out the product team around demand-side solutions. Xaxis is tightening its structure (“Reorganization is an overstatement,” Bunch said) around different pillars, including demand, supply, data, media, platforms and business operations.

“What we haven’t had until recently were centers of focus on those things,” Bunch said. “People doing things related to suppliers were spread out in the organization. They might connect to each other, but they’re not always in sync with their vision and how they’re executing. Same thing with demand.”

Bunch, working in the demand side of the business, will help construct products around buying and the interface Xaxis provides for buying.

“Xaxis has been doing a lot of innovation that comes out of local markets, and they miss sometimes the opportunity to scale that globally,” Bunch said. “I’m going to pull those pieces together.” For instance, Xaxis Sync – a product designed to link TV ads with mobile ads to accommodate multiscreen TV audiences – initially came out of the Netherlands.

Bunch came to Xaxis following iSocket’s acquisition by Rubicon Project last November for $25 million. (It also bought at the same time iSocket peer ShinyAds, adding another couple million to that sum.) Bunch wouldn’t say explicitly if this meant Xaxis would start building ad tech to help streamline buying processes for fixed price, guaranteed inventory.

“We can bring the data at scale to be more effective,” Bunch said. “If we understand how a certain type of inventory is performing but our access is too late in the chain, then we can reach out and make the direct relationship happen at scale so both the publisher and advertiser wins.”

In the meantime, Bunch is looking forward to digging into Xaxis’ deep pockets to staff up.

“I would have loved to have doubled my engineering team at iSocket,” he said. “Here I can do that.”

Bunch will report to Xaxis global COO Mark Grether.

 

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