Andy Atherton, co-founder of Brand.net and former Yahoo ad tech exec, is joining AppNexus as SVP of strategic accounts.
Mr. Atherton will open a San Francisco office for AppNexus and be responsible for "deepening AppNexus' relationships with strategic accounts across the online-advertising ecosystem," according to a statement.The executive was part of a team of Yahoo veterans who founded Brand.net in 2007, an ad network that focused on the needs of major brand marketers.
Mr. Atherton, who has an engineering degree from MIT, had built Yahoo's yield-management technology for display advertising, which allowed the company to maximize revenue from display ads, as well as forecast supply and demand.
Mr. Atherton did Yahoo's first commercial deal with the Right Media ad exchange, which is when he met AppNexus co-founder Brian O' Kelley, then chief technical officer of Right Media, and Mike Nolet, then its director of analytics and now CTO at AppNexus. Yahoo made a minority investment in Right Media, later acquiring it for $680 million. Messrs. O' Kelley and Nolet later founded AppNexus.
"I've been following their progress at AppNexus from the beginning, and it's been nothing short of incredible," Mr. Atherton said. "So when I decided to make a change, one of the first calls I made was to Brian."
In the race to build the most complete "stack" of technologies in ad tech, Mr. Atherton sees it as a two-horse race: Google and AppNexus. "They have a ton of capabilities that are really broad," he said. "They can provide solutions to any player in the ecosystem. "