PlaceIQ Hires Tumblr's Former Finance VP as First CFO

Company Planning New Products to Help Other Business Track Consumers on Mobile

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Mobile advertising technology company PlaceIQ has hired Scott Casey away from Yahoo! to be the first CFO in the company's three-year history. Mr. Casey was VP-finance at Tumblr and oversaw the company's $1.1 billion acquisition by Yahoo! earlier this year.

"Revenue is at a place right now where we wanted to bring in someone who has a history of scaling big companies," PlaceIQ CEO and co-founder Duncan McCall said.

Credit: Scott Casey

Mr. Casey's work history includes helping oversee the sale of Tumblr, one of the most successful exits for a Internet company in recent history. The other notable companies he's helped grow, however -- MySpace and Zynga -- have since transitioned from Internet darlings to proof that we are in the midst of a second dot-com bubble.

Working for PlaceIQ is a bit of departure for Mr. Casey in that PlaceIQ is not a consumer-facing Internet company. Rather, PlaceIQ tracks consumers smartphone usage and helps businesses identify how and where certain consumer segments access the mobile web. It will also be Mr. Casey's first CFO role, he said.

Mr. Casey said that he is currently assessing PlaceIQ's business model to determine which areas are the most potentially lucrative for the company. He started the position last Wednesday, Aug. 7, and remains a Tumblr shareholder despite leaving Yahoo! on July 31.

"I had a great experience working [at Tumblr] for 18 months," Mr. Casey said in an interview. "With acquisitions there are transition periods. For myself, this opportunity is the next step in my career development."

Brian Carroll, PlaceIQ's former VP-finance, was "transitioned out" of the company as a result of Mr. Casey's hiring, according to Mr. McCall. Mr. Carroll said he has "moved on" to his next job which he plans on beginning soon. He will retain his shares in PlaceIQ.

"He did a fantastic job for us," Mr. McCall said of Mr. Carroll. "We came to an understanding that we needed to find somebody else for the CFO position."

Mr. McCall said that the company's has currently earned more than $10 million this year. He added that the company beat its second quarter revenue projections this year and became profitable for the first time.

Much of the company's success is due to the deal it struck with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) this spring to start tracking whether consumers who were served an ad for a retailer subsequently visited on that retailer's nearby locations.

SMG's retail clients include Best Buy and Walmart. The metric, which PlaceIQ has dubbed "place visit rate," is just one of many mobile tracking solutions the company is developing, Mr. McCall said. The company is now providing similar tracking metrics regarding movie viewership and consumers visiting electronics stores.

PlaceIQ is "not an ad targeting company," Mr. McCall said. The company is about using smartphone data to understand how consumers function in their daily lives, he said.

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