Neal Mohan, the long-term architect of Google's display ad ambitions, has left the building. But he's staying on the campus.
Mohan has taken a post under his old boss Susan Wojcicki, who led DoubleClick for many years before becoming CEO of YouTube a little less than two years ago. In the role he'll lead all product for the video property, including both consumer and monetization product development.
Replacing him at DoubleClick will be Paul Muret, a longtime Google employee who was the CEO of Urchin Software before Google bought that company and made it the cornerstone of its website analytics software platform.
Ad Age's Tim Peterson first reported the news, and a Google spokesperson later confirmed it to AdExchanger.
Interestingly, Muret will keep oversight of Google Analytics, suggesting possible synergies with DoubleClick. They had always been run as isolated fiefdoms. De-siloing the two makes sense to Google observers who have long expressed surprise at the lack of integration between the two product groups, since rival Adobe has successfully integrated its paid media offering with its website analytics and optimization capabilities – obtained through the 2009 acquisition of Omniture.
Integration also makes sense because Google's display business is increasingly focused on solving for measurement challenges, including cross-device tracking, third-party measurement integration and multi-touch attribution.
Muret's promotion may also have something to do internal politics – namely his close working relationship with SVP of Ads & Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy who oversees several key product areas: analytics, commerce and display ads. This is a role Ramaswamy previously shared with Wojcicki before her transfer, and as AdExchanger reported earlier, when he took over full control he brought his own senior engineering team to evaluate the structure of the DoubleClick business and make some changes. That team included Scott Silver and Eisar Lipkovitz, and Paul Muret's appointment may represent a similar dynamic of naming his own guys to lead the display teams.
Otherwise one might have expected another senior DoubleClick engineer to replace Mohan – possibly Brad Bender, whose recent promotion to VP of product management seemed to some to hint at a possible succession plan for Mohan.
The move comes after a long game of "Will he? / Won't he?" during which Mohan evaluated and ultimately rejected other job offers. Several years back he was courted by Twitter for a senior product role, and more recently he considered but ultimately declined a similar position with Dropbox.
With the benefit of hindsight, it may be that as part of his agreement to stay on in June, Mohan arranged to transfer to YouTube to once again work closely alongside his old boss Wojcicki, who sources say has wanted someone in a lead product role anyway. Who better than her old lieutenant on the display ad side?