MediaLink Poaches Top AT&T Mobility Marketer

Advertising VP Evans Joins Well-Connected Media Consultancy

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MediaLink is widening its footprint in technology, hiring a top AT&T marketer, Daryl Evans, as its senior VP-mobile, media and advertising strategy.

Mr. Evans, a 13-year year veteran of the carrier, recently served as VP-consumer advertising and marketing communications for AT&T Mobility. At MediaLink, he will head up its new office in Atlanta.

"The pedigree that he brings -- the je ne sais quoi of Daryl Evans coming to MediaLink -- is a huge deal," MediaLink chairman-CEO Michael Kassan said. "We're recruiting from the major leagues."

Since its founding in 2004, Mr. Kassan has grown MediaLink into a powerhouse in the media and entertainment world, albeit a quiet one. It's now starting to diversify and make more noise. In September, Mr. Kassan recruited Matt Spiegel, a former CEO of Omnicom Media Digital Group, to launch MediaLink's programmatic ad-technology consulting arm. The consultancy now employs close to 80, Mr. Kassan said.

Michael E. Kassan
Michael E. Kassan

Mr. Evans will work across media, marketing and digital strategy. He has known Mr. Kassan for 14 years and considers his consultancy a necessary destination for tracking emerging platforms and media. "It's hard to be in this advertising and media marketing space without running into Medialink," he said.

He departs AT&T at a critical moment for the carrier, the nation's second-largest advertiser, which is locked in a long battle with market leader Verizon. At the same time, AT&T is fending off pricing and promotion challenges from T-Mobile and Sprint. Last week, AT&T posted third quarter revenue of $32.96 billion -- below expectations, as its no-contract plan failed to enlist the desired number of subscribers.

The carrier is also in the process of finalizing its DirectTV acquisition.

Mr. Evans said he is leaving AT&T on amicable terms.

"Daryl left to pursue other opportunities and we wish him well," Mari Melguizo, an AT&T spokeswoman, wrote in an email. Valerie Vargas, an advertising VP, will step into Mr. Evans' role, which reports directly to AT&T Mobility CMO David Christopher.

By tapping Mr. Evans, MediaLink adds an executive familiar with the cross-section of two increasingly intersecting fields, Mr. Kassan said. "Marketers are making more technology decisions than ever. And technology folks are making more marketing decisions than ever," he said. AT&T, which spent $3.3 billion in U.S. advertising last year, "can make or break an emerging platform," he added. "There are few marketers that have that power."

Mr. Kassan did not divulge MediaLink clients. In an interview with Re/code in January, at CES, he noted the company is working with GE, Mondelez and Unilever.

Contributing: Alexandra Bruell