Snapchat hires Hulu's Peter Naylor to head ad sales in U.S. and Americas
Snapchat has picked up Hulu’s head of ad sales Peter Naylor to lead its advertising in the U.S. and the rest of the Americas. The leadership move was announced on Thursday in an internal memo at Snapchat obtained by Ad Age.
“Peter Naylor will be joining Snap as VP, Americas, effective early May,” said Jeremi Gorman, Snapchat’s chief business officer, in the announcement. “Peter currently serves as SVP and Head of Advertising Sales at Hulu where he’s spent the last six years building Hulu’s $1B+ ad business. He will be based in our New York office.”
Currently, Naylor's ad sales team will report directly to Rita Ferro, president of ad sales at Disney. The future structure of the team, and whether or not a replacement for Naylor will be named, is currently undecided, according to a person familiar with the situation.
A Hulu spokeswoman declined to comment on Naylor's departure.
For the past seven years, Naylor has been a fixture in the ad world from his perch at Hulu, where he was the face for the company’s ever-evolving digital video ad products. Last year, Hulu changed ownership to fall squarely under Disney's control, after Disney acquired 21st Century Fox.
Naylor has been a central part of Hulu’s growth strategies over the years. Hulu's ad revenue has grown from under $1 billion in 2017 and is expected to hit $2.25 billion in 2020, according to eMarketer.
Last year, Hulu lowered the price of its ad-supported subscription from $7.99 to $5.99 to keep its user base watching commercials. At the same time, Naylor promised to generate half of Hulu’s revenue through non-invasive ads, and introduced new ad formats like delivering commercials to users binging TV shows and serving up commercials when viewers pause content.
Hulu has also focused on bringing in new types of advertisers that don't typical run commercials on TV. Naylor helped oversee an influx of direct-to-consumer brands that are typically more comfortable relying on the internet and direct-response marketing.
It’s those kinds of advertisers that Naylor could now help lead to Snapchat.
Snapchat has been expanding its lineup of premium video programs, and looking to fill its shows with more advertising. Snapchat has 218 million daily users, and generated $1.7 billion in revenue last year, up from $1.2 billion in 2018.
The company's ad platform has evolved over the years. When it started showing ads in 2014, it was offering high-priced placements for big brand campaigns. It also offered expensive augmented reality filters for major events like the Super Bowl. It has since automated its ad offering and made it more accessible to internet advertisers bidding in auctions for in-app inventory.
Snapchat also has a raft of professional media partnerships with publishers and studios that create video programs, where it runs commercials. At the end of last year, Snapchat said it had 50 shows that garnered an audience of 10 million or more people in the fourth quarter.
Naylor will report to Gorman and oversee the Americas sales team, including Luke Kallis, VP of U.S. advertiser solutions, and Dominic Rioux, VP emerging advertiser solutions. Snapchat says Naylor's post is a newly created position. Claire Valoti remains the VP of international.
In her memo, Gorman said Naylor’s role represents a “new structure” for the ad sales and agency relations teams. “David Roter, VP Global Agency Partnerships, will continue to lead our agency efforts, Global Brands, and Ads Partners teams and will continue to report to me,” Gorman wrote.
Snapchat is making its big hire during a time of uncertainty amid the coronavirus outbreak. There have been signs that internet advertising has taken a hit across the board as marketers suspend campaigns and retool their spending plans. At the same time, platforms like Snapchat are seeing people spending more time with their screens.
“I realize that announcing such a change in the sales organization at a time when we’re all sheltered in place, during a world health crisis, comes with challenges,” Gorman told staff in her memo on Thursday. “It was obviously not our intention to do this when we couldn’t discuss it in person, but we are excited to move forward with this new structure and know you will all welcome Peter via Snapchat, email, and Google Hangouts as you get to know him virtually.”
Here is Gorman’s memo in full:
I have some exciting news to share. Peter Naylor will be joining Snap as VP, Americas, effective early May. Peter currently serves as SVP and Head of Advertising Sales at Hulu where he’s spent the last six years building Hulu’s $1B+ ad business. He will be based in our New York office.
In this newly created position, Peter will report to me and be responsible for driving the continued growth of our business across the US, Canada and as we grow into Mexico.
I’m incredibly excited to work with Peter to amplify the already amazing work of our incredible US and Canada teams as we continue to grow revenue, and as we build out our Mexico operation, and to expand and enhance our brand and agency relationships, and gain even more market share.
We have seen success with Enterprise and Emerging working under a single threaded owner Internationally and believe that now is the right time to do the same in the Americas due to the size of our business and expanding marketplaces. As part of this new structure, Luke Kallis, VP US Advertiser Solutions, and Dominic Rioux, VP Emerging Advertising Solutions will report to Peter. Matt McGowan, GM for Canada, will also transition to Peter’s team. I want to applaud Luke, Dom, and Matt for the extraordinary work they’ve done to strengthen our business and help us rapidly accelerate our revenue growth. As mentioned, this structure will allow us to streamline our US and International Sales Orgs, with both Peter, and Claire Valoti having responsibility for both Enterprise and Emerging Sales in their respective regions, simplifying our structure both internally and externally.
David Roter, VP Global Agency Partnerships, will continue to lead our agency efforts, Global Brands, and Ads Partners teams and will continue to report to me under this new structure. Scaled Services, under Todd Miller, will also continue to report to me directly as we work to onboard new advertisers globally, as this too is a global org crossing North America, EU and APAC.
This new structure will also enable me to provide even more value to Snap in my role as CBO. We’ve accomplished so much in our work to evolve and enhance our customer facing business operations, and there’s more opportunity ahead, especially as we grow our engagement in new territories around the world. We are now on a path towards extraordinary growth, as a direct result of what our existing leaders have accomplished. As we scale, it’s important to ensure my attention is equally focused on our forthcoming revenue opportunities as our community expands, and that I do more to support our incredible Operations organization under the leadership of Radhika Kakkar.
I realize that announcing such a change in the sales organization at a time when we’re all sheltered in place, during a world health crisis, comes with challenges. It was obviously not our intention to do this when we couldn’t discuss it in person, but we are excited to move forward with this new structure and know you will all welcome Peter via Snapchat, email, and Google Hangouts as you get to know him virtually.
I want to assure our entire sales organization that we’ll continue to be thoughtful about supporting one another in this time, and find ways to win together. You and your leaders will continue to have unfiltered access to me and the rest of the leadership team here at Snap.
A little more background on Peter - prior to Hulu, Peter served as EVP of Digital Media Sales for NBCUniversal (NBCU) where he ran digital advertising sales for NBCU's entertainment, news and sports digital properties. Before NBCU, Naylor served as the SVP of Sales for the iVillage Properties, which was acquired by NBCU in May 2006. Prior to joining iVillage, he served as Vice President of Sales for Terra Lycos. He started his internet sales career at Wired Digital. Peter is on the Board of Directors for the IAB, Ad Council, the IRTS Foundation and the TD Foundation, an not-for-profit organization that provides aid to children of wounded warriors.
Please join me in welcoming Peter when he starts. I’ll be gathering everyone for an all hands early next week and am happy to answer any questions you have when we get together.
Jeanine Poggi contributed to this story.