xAd Creates New Global Exec Positions With Hires From Facebook, Google, Twitter

The location ad marketplace is forging ahead on international expansion and looking to build closer ties with agencies around the world.

xAd's Dipanshu Sharma
xAd’s Dipanshu Sharma

Geomarketing platform xAd is continuing to pursue its global focus by expanding its leadership team with four newly-created positions staffed by former executives from Google, Twitter’s MoPub, Facebook, and out-of-home marketing shop Posterscope.

Driven by the wider interest among brands, retailers, and agencies in the uses of being able to both target as well as understand consumers’ shopping patterns and profiles based on the places they go, xAd’s revenues doubled last year. The location ad marketplace currently traffics through 300 billion ad impressions a month — an 800 percent increase over what it had seen just a year ago.

In making its new hires, xAd highlighted the people it has attracted by noting what their respective former employers represent in the larger advertising landscape. Furthermore, the news casts xAd’s own personal growth trajectory. When it started out in 2011, xAd initially hoped to be viewed as the “AdMob of local.”

From the vantage point of 2015, New York-based xAd has clearly shed the limiting profile of a “hyperlocal, mobile ad network” and become a much larger programmatic player that’s still centered on mobile advertising by dint of its strategic analytics offerings, such as its Location University, a “virtual think tank.” It also set up a Location Lab in its New York office to test new marketing programs with its data visualization tool, Footprints.

“In today’s advertising landscape, Twitter is synonymous with real-time, Facebook is synonymous with social, and Google is synonymous with search,” said xAd CEO/founder Dipanshu Sharma, in a statement. “As location becomes a must-have for marketers, xAd is adding experienced leaders with unique backgrounds in growing new advertising categories in social, search, digital, out-of-home, and mobile to help build location as its own category and xAd as the leader.”

International Growth Mode

Much of that has been driven by a US market that is more mobile-oriented and more open to using location to connect smartphone users to products in retail shops. On top of that, xAd has been working on growing its presence in three additional markets —France, Germany, and China — and that’s where its focus will largely be aimed this year.

To cement its position in those areas and tie it back to its US base, xAd has made the following hires:

  • Paul Gelb, VP, Global Brands and Agencies: Most recently, Gelb was the head of programmatic and marketplace development at Twitter, joining through the microblog platform’s acquisition of real-time mobile ad operator MoPub, where he had served as Chief of Strategy. Before that, he was VP and founder of the mobile practice at Publicis Groupe interactive agency Razorfish.
  • Lissette Fernandez, VP, Global Account Management and Operations: Fernandez was previously director of Account Management for Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook. For over four years, Fernandez managed a team of account and campaign managers that helped Fortune 500 marketers leverage Facebook’s platform. Before Facebook, Lissette led sales and account teams across the advertising landscape at media giants such as Razorfish and Univision.
  • Reagan Nunnally, VP, Global Brands and Agencies: Nunnally joins from Google where she spent 11 years on the U.S. and Global Agency Sales team, building out creative, media, and performance strategies for Fortune 50 brands and agency holding companies, including Dentsu Aegis. Prior to Google, Reagan led digital sales teams at Viacom and CBS.
  • James Davies, Head of Channel, EMEA: Davies is currently chief strategy officer at Posterscope, where he spent 18 years “reinventing the ways in which OOH media is approached across multiple markets,” an xAd rep said. “Throughout his tenure at Posterscope, he was renowned for his ability to identify new data opportunities in mobile and devise applications to influence campaign planning & optimization.” As Channel Director, Davies will lead the platform business in EMEA, driving C-level relationships and business with channel partners in the traditional media space.

Paul and Reagan will report to Scott Zalaznik, head of Global, who joined xAd in October 2014 from Sprint. James will report to Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA, and Lissette will report to Sunil Kumar, Head of Monetization.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.