Did you know that Facebook vp/global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson was involved in a failed attempt to persuade MTV to buy the company in 2005?Few do. Everson is better known as the Facebook ad chief who brought business reality to the social network. After she arrived in March 2011, staff at Facebook stopped ignoring phone calls from ad agencies and began treating them with respect.
Facebook now makes $1 billion every quarter in ad revenue, and the company bends over backward to find new ways to engage with advertisers.
It’s not a coincidence that CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Q3 note to investors said yesterday, “We are deeply integrating monetization into our product teams in order to build a stronger, more valuable company.” That’s a stark contrast to his tone before the IPO, and before Everson’s arrival, when he said that making money was only a secondary goal at the company.
We recently got a copy of “Pioneers of Digital,” a new book by Paul Springer and Mel Carson, which profiles the movers and shakers in the digital marketing business. It contains some fascinating nuggets, including Everson’s attempt to acquire Facebook at MTV in 2005.
Here’s what else we learned about Everson from the book.
Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.
1. Back in 2005, when Everson worked in ad sales at MTV, she suggested that MTV buy Facebook. The social network had only 5 million users at the time. The deal fell through.
2. 20 years ago, when she was a Villanova University arts student, her career ambition was to be a TV news anchor.
3. Her first post-college job was with Andersen Consulting. She was hired even though she knew nothing about business strategy.
5. She was a partner at Pets.com, the infamous dot-com failure of the 1990s, but fell out with the founder before it crashed.
6. When she graduated from Harvard Business School in 1999, she had turned down jobs with Goldman Sachs and Bain because she thought she'd be working at Pets.com
7. She also worked at Zagat.com and Modern Bride, as well as Primedia's Seventeen.com, Gurl, and TeenMag titles.
8. She spent six years at MTV Networks building up its ad sales business. That was when she first encountered Facebook, which was growing wildly among the college crowd.
9. In 2010 she joined Microsoft as head of ad sales, but within months Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg began talking to her about working for them. She left Microsoft later that year.
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