Mr. Nemeth brings a wealth of M&A and finance experience to
Turn, which could signal a few things. For one, it may mean Turn is
ready to go on an acquisition spree and wanted someone on board who
has had a hand in many, including Adobe's giant $1.8 billion
purchase of Omniture. Yet the more likely subtext is that the
company is hiring a finance pro to get the necessary processes in
place ahead of a not-so-distant IPO – perhaps in the next 12
to 18 months.
Turn CEO Bill Demas of course wouldn't commit to either. "We're
very content right now to be an independent private company," he
But Mr. Demas has been speaking at some private Wall Street
conferences where bankers interested in future IPO candidates are a
plenty. And, in an interview, Mr. Nemeth stressed the importance of
his experience at a public company.
"I know the cycles, the patterns and all the intense preparation
necessary to develop a strategy around financial plans," he said.
"Ultimately, there are more processes you need when you help scale
a company of this size."
Turn has two main businesses. It owns one of the top demand-side
platforms – a technology that lets advertisers buy ad
inventory in real time while targeting certain categories of web
users across different sites. It also has built a data-management
platform that some agencies and marketers use in conjunction with
its ad-buying technology, and which others use as a standalone
Mr. Demas said 2012 was a breakthrough year for the company.
Though he declined to provide actual numbers, he said gross revenue
last year just about matched that of the six previous years
Turn's 2011 gross revenue surpassed $100 million, according to
Inc., and the magazine estimated that the firm would top
$250 million in 2012. But those numbers, while impressive, only
tell part of the company's financial story. A chunk of that gross
revenue number is simply ad spend that flows through the Turn DSP
platform, but the firm only nets a percentage of that spend.
Turn said that it made money in 2011 and 2012 before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization.