Verve Group, a global consumer-first advertising suite, today (21 October) announced that chief revenue officer Sameer Sondhi and chief product officer Ionut Ciobotaru will become the co-CEOs of Verve Group. Remco Westermann, currently the CEO of both Verve Group and parent company Media and Games Invest (MGI), will continue to spearhead MGI as chairman and CEO.
“Sameer and Ionut are showing great performance combining M&A, integrations, organic growth, and innovation in ad tech,” said Westermann. “As CRO and CPO they have been responsible for the company's excellent performance over the past years, and they will ensure that this positive development continues in the future.”
Verve Group was up by 159% in Q2 2021 to approximately USD$33m (£23.9m) based on synergies, economies of scale as well as technical optimisations, which signalled an increase of EBITDA margin from 11% to 16% and continuous consecutive growth.
“Verve Group has rapidly built a global full-stack advertising suite, in large part through its bullish merger and acquisition strategy,” Ciobotaru said. “Our latest acquisitions have successfully consolidated an offering to advertisers and publishers that combines best-in-class technology for consumer privacy, omni-channel ad delivery and data, all under one roof. This offering has differentiated us from most existing competitors.”
Ciobotaru and Sondhi will jointly drive Verve Group’s vision and look to increase the speed of acquisitions, integrations and collaboration across business lines. In recent months, the company was reorganised to better align to the unique challenges of the company’s buy-and-build strategy. A large component of this reorganisation has been the implementation of a pod structure, commonly used by industry tech titans for the purposes of empowering employees, enhancing efficiencies and innovation, and improving collaboration, communication and accountability.
“The introduction of a pod organisation structure aligns teams across engineering, product, sales, and operations to support the unique needs of each business unit,” Sondhi said. “We realise connected TV and a mobile exchange have dramatically different business requirements. This new structure will allow us to better understand customer needs, allocate resources and reduce decisioning time.”
Sondhi, in his role as co-CEO, will further focus on the commercial side, with a strong focus on sales and partnerships, ensuring that the number of advertisers and publishers, as well as the reach of Verve Group’s advertising suite globally, will further strengthen.
Ciobotaru, in his role as co-CEO, will be responsible for Verve Group's products, technology and services, ensuring delivery of innovative products for its customers. With a focus on streamlining the advertising stack to provide more transparency, improve consumer ad solutions and give access to all advertising channels including in-app, mobile web, web, OTT/CTV (connected TV) and digital out-of-home (DOOH). Since taking over as Verve Group’s Chief Product Officer, Ionut has placed a strong emphasis on developing privacy-focused advertising solutions. He spearheaded the launch of ATOM (or Anonymised Targeting on Mobile), built specifically to solve for targeting restrictions brought about by Apple with the deprecation of its IDFA.
The naming of Sondhi and Ciobotaru as co-CEOs follows other recent top hires at Verve Group and a string of acquisitions. Most recently, the company announced the acquisition of Match2One, a self-service platform for customer acquisition, as well as Beemray and Smaato. In addition, investments are being made in organic growth through product innovation and the expansion of sales to align with Verve Group's goal of consolidating data, demand and supply technologies to create better business outcomes for advertisers and publishers globally.