A rising star
The execs interviewed for this story described Fry as a rising star within the industry. They said she’s relatively young, hardworking, smart and has the right omnichannel expertise across digital and TV to handle the role at Apple.
“What makes a successful sales leader these days is to understand the whole omnichannel environment, which she does,” said Barry Frey, president and CEO of DPAA, the global digital out-of-home trade and marketing association, who knows Fry. “There are a lot of people whose experience exists solely in one sector or another and that is far from ideal in today’s omnichannel world. Consumers engage with multiple media and brands are consistently evaluating all of these choices to reach their customers. That’s her strong suit. She’s smart, personable, has good relationships; just what the [Apple] business needs.”
Fry was the chief revenue officer of Simulmedia before she left last October. She served two stints with Simulmedia, starting there as an account executive in 2013, and rising through the ranks. She left from 2016 to 2018 to work for AT&T, where she oversaw the growth of its entertainment vertical, and brought to market its data-driven and addressable video solutions, according to her LinkedIn bio.
“I had the amazing experience of working with Lauren for probably eight years,” said Dave Morgan, Simulmedia CEO and founder, to whom Fry reported. “I’ve had a couple thousand people work for me over 30 years and she’s certainly one of the most talented executives I’ve ever worked with. I’m confident she’s going to do really well at Apple.”
Fry is also a member of Chief, a private network of female leaders designed to drive more women into positions of power.
One media buyer at a large agency said that they’d like to see Apple forge better relationships with the agencies themselves, as it has been known to work directly with brand marketers. “I would think that is a necessary next step for Apple, at least on the video side of things as they continue to stretch out into that space,” the person said.
But this exec criticized Simulmedia as having a history of working directly with brands and cutting out agencies so they were unsure whether Fry would take a similar approach at Apple.
Fry, working alongside boss Teresi, will have to build out the video ad sales team with several hires including heads of research and operations. It’s unclear who she might hire.
The second executive and a third one, who knows Fry, said they anticipate Fry will surround herself with people of similar backgrounds in digital and TV. “I would assume she’s probably received 100 plus applications in the last one business day,” the third executive said.