Former Yahoo CRO Barrett takes over Millennial Media

Company's founder and CEO Paul Palmieri resigns to become an advisor for New Enterprise Associates

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 27, 2014
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One of the biggest mobile ad network is seeing a big shakeup at the top of its ranks.

Paul Palmieri, who co-founded Millennial Media, and served as both its CEO and chairman, has decided to resign from his positions within the company, the company announced on Monday.

He will be leaving the company effective immediately in order to move to a new position as a Venture Advisor for New Enterprise Associates, and will be working out of its office in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

While the move may seem somewhat abrupt, it is actually something that Palmieri says he discussed with the board of directors "some time ago." He revealed that the move is coming out of his desire to "return to working with early stage entrepreneurs."

“The board and I worked collaboratively as it sought to identify a strong CEO for the next phase of the company’s growth," Palmieri said in a statement. "I’m excited about the company’s future, and confident of the team’s ability to continue executing on our vision to transform advertising through mobile."

Palmieri will not be completely cut off from the company; he will be advising Barret over the next few months, and is still the largest shareholder, a spokesperson for Millennial Media told me.

Another sign that this move was in the works for a while is that Millennial Media has already found his replacement: Michael Barrett, the former Chief Revenue Officer at Yahoo. He only spent six months at the company, leaving in December 2012 in order to found Ichabod Farm Ventures.

In addition to Yahoo, Barrett was also the CEO of programmatic supply side platform AdMeld, which was acquired by Google in 2011. He was also the Chief Revenue Officer at AOL and Fox Interactive Media, among other executive leadership roles.

Barrett will also be replacing Palmieri as chairman of the board.

In a statement, Barrett called the chance to run Millennial Media "an irresistible career opportunity for me to pursue.”

"The mobile market is on a steep growth trajectory and I look forward to building on the leadership position Paul and the team have created to bring Millennial to new heights," he said.

"I have long admired the company’s ability to deliver superior monetization to its publishers and developer partners and powerful ad solutions to its brand and performance advertisers.

This news comes on the same day that Millennial Media released its preliminary Q4 results, with revenue expected to be in the range of $93 million to $96 million for the quarter, higher than previously expected.

The market has reacted positively to both of these developments; shares of Millennial Media are up 10.58%, or 71 cents, to $7.42 a share.

Millennial Media’s customers include McDonald's, Zynga, Paramount Studios, Jeep, General Motors and Coca Cola. 

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