Andy Miller just sold his mobile advertising firm Quattro Wireless to Apple for $275 million, and now he has a new title: Vice President, Mobile Advertising for Apple.
Miller will report directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, we have learned.
Miller’s new job will be interesting and challenging for several reasons.
- We don’t know exactly what he’ll be working on — the idea, as we’ve hypothesized, is that Apple will be developing some sort of advertising tools for developers and publishers, so both parties can make more money from the iPhone and the forthcoming Apple tablet.
- It will likely involve competing with (and keeping ahead of) Google, adding to the companies’ increasingly competitive relationship.
- It could involve setting up a sales force, something Apple has never been particularly strong at (except for its retail stores).
- It will need to dovetail advertisers’ need for eyeballs and attention with Apple’s need for user-friendly design and respect for its customers.
- And it could test Apple’s historic mouth-sealed sense of secrecy. Dealing with advertisers and publishers is a more social and public activity, versus dealing with gadget manufacturers and parts suppliers.
So who is this guy?
- Andy co-founded Quattro Wireless in 2006. (Here’s his LinkedIn profile.)
- Before that, he was SVP of business development and strategy for m-Qube, a mobile content company that VeriSign bought for $250 million in 2006 (and sold for peanuts last November).
- He was also CEO of WatchPoint Media, an interactive TV spin-off from MIT Media Lab. Goldpocket/Tandberg bought that company in 2003.
- He has a bachelor’s degree from Union College (class of 1990) and a JD from Boston College Law School (class of 1993).
- He was one of Ernst & Young’s New England entrepreneurs of the year in 2009.
- He gave Apple and his new boss a nice wink in a 2007 article contributed to the E-Commerce Times: “Of course, the level of awareness and conversation about the mobile Web has skyrocketed thanks to Mr. Jobs and our friends at Apple. It is an exciting cocktail of converging interests and approaches, and clearly an advertising medium worth exploring today.”
What do his peers say about him?
We asked a bunch of his old competitors in mobile advertising, and some of his former business partners, and here are some of their comments. They were overwhelmingly positive. This is no surprise, given his new role — no doubt everyone wants a piece of Apple’s business.
- “Andy is a great entrepreneur. He is smart, hard working, charismatic and amazingly creative. He loves to be out with customers and partners and as a result always has a great pulse on the market and where things stand. I cannot be more thrilled that he and the Quattro team will now be part of Apple.”
- “Typical new media c-suite’er, Andy’s solid. One of the good guys.”
- “Nice guy.”
- “Seems like he’s a good manager and someone that has built some strong businesses. He’s one of my favourite CEOs out there.”
Have more info or a different point of view? Reach us in comments below or at [email protected] Anonymity guaranteed.
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