Integral Ad Science Brings On Yahoo Exec Lisa Utzschneider As CEO

Integral Ad Science named Lisa Utzschneider as CEO Wednesday. She will start in January by performing a strategic analysis of the business and creating a growth plan for the verification company.

After mulling an IPO, Integral Ad Science went the private equity route this summer when Vista Equity Partners bought a majority stake in the company at an $820 million to $850 million valuation.

After the sale, the company needed someone to bring “fresh eyes and energy to the business,” said outgoing Integral Ad Science CEO Scott Knoll. He assisted with the search for the new CEO and will continue to serve as an adviser. The company originally considered board member Don Epperson for the role before landing on Utzschneider.

“There is a huge opportunity for Integral Ad Science. We need someone with experience in scaling a large organization,” Knoll said.

Utzschneider comes with expertise honed at Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo, where she held top sales roles. She left Yahoo after Verizon acquired the business last year, and she spent time doing board work and exploring what to do next. That’s where IAS came in.

Vista Equity Partners is known for using a playbook to streamline the software companies it buys, and Integral Ad Science is no exception. Like all executives at Vista-owned companies, Utzschneider “absolutely” took the timed quiz to assess senior leadership, she said.

She passed.

The new CEO sees two opportunities ahead for Integral Ad Science. One is increasing global use of its products and “investing in core areas where IAS has already excelled in ad verification,” Utzschneider said. The second area is innovation and finding new ways that its tech can help marketers.

“I’m a believer in creating experiences and opportunities where marketers can make better connections with consumers,” she said. “IAS has the opportunity to create greater trust and transparency.”

IAS’s technology has helped bring programmatic advertising to a greater state of maturity, allowing brands to assess brand safety, viewability and fraud across their digital media spend. It’s also made inroads into allowing that same measurement across walled gardens like Facebook and Google.

Prior to its acquisition, it was also the last independent verification company standing. Oracle snapped up Moat and Grapeshot, and DoubleVerify also went to a private equity buyer.

 

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