Meet The 28 Most Powerful Women In Mobile Advertising: 2013

Diana LaGattutaNativeXDiana Lagattuta of NativeX

While there are plenty of influential women in the mobile ad business, most of them have
CEOs above them who are male. When women are mobile adtech CEOs, it tends to be at smaller companies they founded themselves.

So here is our ranking of the most powerful female executives in the mobile ad business.

Skip straight to the list >

First, we asked our readers to submit nominations. To ensure the nominations weren’t self-serving, we also asked you to submit two nominations from other companies, rivals or colleagues. And we asked for revenue numbers in dollars, to gauge the size of the business these executives are in charge of.

This is not a complete list of every influential woman in mobile advertising, obviously. We chose the women with larger client bases, greater revenues (or spending), larger staffs and more innovative ideas than their peers.

You can see more details on our ranking methodology at the end of this list.

28. Kathy Leake, co-founder/CEO of LocalResponse

Leake co-founded LocalResponse with Nihal Mehta, the investor best known for his early funding of AdMob. Her profile rose this year because Mehta stepped aside as CEO to become executive chairman; at the same time it looks as if LocalResponse is looking to be acquired.

LocalResponse now has about 30 employees and has taken $US8 million in funding.

LocalResponse's ingenious but simple offering: It's a mobile retargeting agency that serves location-based ads based on the content of your social media actions. If you tweet that you're hungry, you might next see a local pizza joint ad, for instance.

Twitter's recent big moves have been to open up its advertising API (to allow companies to place ads directly into the system) and to buy MoPub, an ad network and exchange. LocalResponse has not yet been named an Ads API partner. We'd love to see LocalResponse break out of that 'interesting startup' phase and get to the next level.

27. Diana LaGattuta, vp/marketing at NativeX

NativeX, an app development/in-app advertising platform, has annual revenue in the 'tens of millions,' we're told. Its employee headcount is now 170, and it has taken $US15 million in venture funding.

LaGuttata has a long history in mobile, having been a former global marketing director at Nokia and, as far back as 1995, a senior marketing manager at Cingular.

26. Polly Lieberman, vp/agency sales at Celtra

Lieberman again was referred to as a 'rockstar' by her colleagues in the business.

Celtra offers AdCreator, a rich media ad production, delivery and analytics platform. This year it added mobile video analytics to the platform. The company also signed a deal with DDB Chicago to allow the agency to use AdCreator for its clients.

Celtra's other clients have included Nike, P&G and Paramount Pictures, and agencies/adtech companies Carat, Digitas, Hill Holliday, Isobar Mobile, Joule, MEC, Mindshare and Mobext.

Celtra says it became profitable in Q3 2012 with revenue growth of more than 300 per cent. However, the company declines to disclose hard dollar numbers. We believe its net revenues are modest at this stage. The company has ~65 employees, and has plans to grow to 100 people after taking another $US4 million in funding at the beginning of 2013.

Celtra has offices in Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London and Ljubljana.

25. Anna Bager, vp/general manager at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence

Bager is the mobile chief at lobby group IAB. She has shepherded various standardization initiatives that the nascent industry needs, such as the MRAID technical standards for mobile rich media serving, a guide for marketers to optimise their mobile offerings, and a benchmark report on global mobile ad media revenue.

She also seems to know everyone in the industry, judging by our email inbox.

She was formerly head of business intelligence at Ericsson and has been an analyst or consultant in telecoms since 1999 at IDC and Ovum.

24. Erin 'Mack' McKelvey, CEO of SalientMG

Until September last year, McKelvey was the svp/marketing at Millennial Media, which went public and now has combined revenue of about $US241 million (including its acquisitions).

Since then she became a strategy consultant as CEO of her new company, SalientMG. Her earliest clients include Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds.

McKelvey seems to know everyone in the business.

23. Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, CEO at Drawbridge

Kamakshi is the go-to woman for cross-device ad targeting, the task of figuring out if the person who just searched for sushi on a mobile phone is the same person who was shopping for shoes from a laptop 2 minutes prior. (And yes, everyone uses her first name rather than her multisyllabic last name).

Drawbridge has a current revenue run rate of $US20 million and 45 employees. This will be a big year for Drawbridge as it attempts to scale up and prove its targeting model. Clients include Expedia, Groupon, HotelTonight, Square, and Kabam. She tempted Daryl McNutt, who left an svp position at BrightRoll, to join as vp/Marketing.

Drawbridge has taken total venture funding of $US20.5 million.

22. Jennifer Lum, president/cofounder at Adelphic Mobile

Lum's Adelphic, a mobile ad targeting platform, made several significant strides since our last ranking. It became the data platform for Vivaki's AOD mobile audience buying operation. The company also hired Michael Collins, for former CEO of WPP's mobile ad agency, Joule, as its CEO. And it raised $US10 million in new funding in December last year, for a total of $US12 million. Lum also hired a chief revenue officer.

Adelphic's revenues are a mystery thus far, but she has the management team and the client partnerships in place. The company has fewer than 50 employees, according to LinkedIn.

Lum previously was vp/advertising operations at Quattro Wireless, the company that was acquired by Apple and turned into iAd. She's been in mobile advertising since 2005, and mentors and invests in other small mobile companies.

21. Julie Preis, svp/product management, Mocean Mobile

Preis has worked in mobile marketing since 2003, when she founded GoldPocket Wireless, a platform development company for scaleable content distribution. She has also previously been vp/product marketing at Mojiva and general manager/North America at Ansible.

This year, Mocean launched Mocean Mobile Exchange, an ad exchange for DSPs.

Mocean's parent, Mojiva, filed a Form D equity offering disclosure late last year which placed the company's revenues at $US25 - $US100 million annually. IDC estimates Mojiva's U.S. revenues are ~$30 million.

Mojiva took a $US7 million round of funding at the end of last year, for a total of $US42.3 million since it was founded. It also started a tablet-only ad network. Mojiva's Mocean Mobile ad serving platform has clients such as AT&T, Vodafone, Microsoft, Time, RIM, MSNBC and NBC.

The company has its HQ in New York and offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, Chicago and London. It has ~105 employees.

20. Hannah Magee, vp sales/East at Mobile Theory (Opera Mediaworks)

Magee was a key figure in growing Mobile Theory until it was acquired in 2012, and we're told it met its revenue targets after that. Opera Mediaworks is one of the few mobile ad platforms that is actually profitable.

Total revenue at Opera's publisher and advertiser network for the first half of 2013 was ~$46.1 million and we're told that Mobile Theory is the top earner within that group.

19. Erica Chriss, svp/publisher development at Mobile Theory (Opera Mediaworks)

Chriss heads relations with mobile publishers for Mobile Theory.

Total revenue at Opera's publisher and advertiser network for the first half of 2013 was ~ $US46.1 million and we're told that Mobile Theory is the top earner within that group.

Its buy-side clients include Coca-Cola, Paramount Pictures and Chase Bank.

18. Laura Buchman, vp/publisher solutions at OpenX

Buchman got a new gig between this year's list and last: She switched jobs from Mojiva, where she was a vp/business development, to her current post at OpenX.

We're told OpenX's revenues are in the $US135 million range, and the company has about 300 employees, so she's playing in a bigger stadium than her previous role. (It's not clear what portion of OpenX's revenues come from mobile, however.)

She will be looking to leverage OpenX's partnership with Samsung.

She started her career as an account director at Worldcom and has worked at Ameritech, Cable & Wireless, Yahoo!, AOL and Lijit.

17. Jarah Euston, head of analytics at Flurry

Euston joined Flurry in May 2012. The company says it sees more mobile app data than any other in the world. Flurry Analytics covers more than 100,000 app developers, 380,000 apps and 1.2 billion mobile device impressions every month.

Euston is a consultant to Rovio, Skype, Snapchat and Spotify, among others. We're told Flurry currently has a revenue run rate of around $US100 million.

16. Erin Simino svp/director of mobility at Starcom/Mediavest Group

Earlier this year, global ad media buyer Starcom and Twitter forged a mobile ad deal that could be worth up to $US200 million in spending. With Twitter's acquisition of MoPub, that deal suddenly looks prescient.

Simino is one of Starcom's more important media buyers. She's been with the company for eight years and has worked on the Procter & Gamble business.

15. Julie Mattern, cofounder/CIO at Amobee's Gradient X

Mattern has a habit of showing up where the action is. She was a cofounder and chief technologist at Rubicon Project, the massive digital ad network that has 250 employees, which has taken $US51 million in funding, and is now a constant source of IPO and M&A gossip.

In 2012 Mattern joined GradientX, a relatively small real-time bidding platform for mobile ad buyers.

Then, on Sept. 5, Gradient X was acquired by Amobee, the big Asian mobile ad player. So Mattern is basically now Amobee's top RTB woman. (Amobee itself was acquired for $US321 million by SingTel in March 2012. It also did a revenue sharing deal with Omnicom earlier that year.)

Amobee has 200 employees globally and a reported $US19.1 million in revenue in Q4 2012 (ended March 2013), according to the company and SingTel's investor disclosures. That would imply annual revenue of ~$100 million.

14. Michele Tobin, head of advertising for North America at Rovio

Rovio reported fiscal 2012 revenues of ~$195 million, about 55% of which came from its games unit, where it collects sales through advertising and paid app downloads of Angry Birds.

On its own, Rovio is one of the larger mobile ad networks in the world.

13. Phalgun Raju, vp/strategic sales and vp/general manager, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Taiwan, InMobi

InMobi is huge in Asia, and Raju, based in Singapore, is its Asian sales lead. She heads a team of 40+ people.

Previously she was at Google and Nokia, after an early stint at McKinsey.

InMobi now has about 900 employees. Since 2012, InMobi has acquired Overlay Media, MMTG Labs and Our back-of-the-envelope maths suggests InMobi's annual revenues could be ~$372 million annually. IDC puts InMobi's U.S. revenue alone at ~$40 million.

12. Stephanie Sarofian, executive director/brand and agency partnerships in North America, InMobi

Sarofian will be overseeing growth for InMobi in North America.

She was previously svp/managing director at Digitas' The Third Act. Her arrival at InMobi in August of this year, poached from a major digital ad agency, is an indicator of where the money in adtech is flowing. Her Digitas clients included American Express, MillerCoors, and Delta Air.

InMobi now has about 900 employees.

Since 2012, InMobi has acquired Overlay Media, MMTG Labs and Our back-of-the-envelope maths suggests InMobi's annual revenues could be ~$372 million annually. IDC puts InMobi's U.S. revenue alone at ~$40 million.

11. Janae McDonough, vp marketplace at MoPub/Twitter

McDonough leads the largest non-engineering team at MoPub, which claims to be the largest mobile exchange in the business.

Now that MoPub has been acquired by Twitter and is being retooled into the latter's ad exchange/supply-side platform offering, she's suddenly a huge figure at that company too.

MoPub CEO Jim Payne makes a compelling case for her: 'Janae is a tremendously capable executive who joined our team almost exactly a year ago. Since that time, she's delivered a 10X in our exchange revenue, driving it past a $US100M revenue run rate and scaled her team from two to twelve across SF, NYC and London.'

10. Carrie Seifer, vp/strategy, Millennial Media

Millennial acquired Jumptap in August, and the company went from being a notable publicly traded mobile ad player to one of the more dominant players in the field. Combined revenues will be about $US241 million, annually.

Seifer was Millennial's vp/sales since 2010, ramping up its revenue as it went public in 2012. She previously was director of sponsorships at Meetup and Conde Nast's director of emerging media.

We also like that she coined the phrase, ' the mobile phone zombie apocalypse is clearly upon us.'

9. Anne Frisbie, general manager/North America at InMobi

Frisbie manages a team of more than 100 employees in North America for InMobi, which claims to be the largest independent mobile ad network globally. It has 900 employees in offices in Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.

Frisbie has been working in digital marketing since 1996. She was previously Yahoo!'s vp/category and sales intelligence until she joined InMobi in 2008. Prior to her work in digital media, Anne was an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs.

InMobi just continues to grow and grow. Last year it had 'only' 774 employees globally; this year the headcount is nearer 900.

Since 2012, InMobi has acquired Overlay Media, MMTG Labs and Our back-of-the-envelope maths suggests InMobi's annual revenues could be ~$372 million annually. IDC puts InMobi's U.S. revenue alone at ~$40 million.

8. Mollie Spilman, evp/global sales and marketing at Millennial Media

Spilman joined Millennial in 2012. Previously she was CMO for Yahoo. At Millennial, she has led a push to sell more mobile video inventory.

When Millennial acquired Jumptap in August, the company went from being a notable publicly traded mobile ad player to one of the more dominant players in the field. Combined revenues will be about $US241 million, annually.

7. Deb Liu, director of product management/payments and mobile app install ads at Facebook

Liu led the team that came up with mobile app install ads, a mobile ad product that app developers and e-commerce partners are raving about, and which COO Sheryl Sandberg promoted specifically on Facebook's Q2 2013 earnings call. Target, eBay, Expedia, Hotel Tonight and King all use the product.

In Q2 2013, 8,400 developers used mobile app install ads, driving more than 46 million installs in the Apple App Store/Google Play. Facebook's total mobile ad revenue was around $US656 million in Q2.

Liu is also an adviser to several start-ups, including Causera, a startup focused on organizational fundraising. Previously she worked at eBay and PayPal. She also has an MBA from Stanford and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Duke.

6. Maria Mandel Dunsche, vp/marketing and media innovation at AT&T AdWorks

Mandel Dunsche is one of mobile's biggest marketing clients (with a $US2.3 billion ad budget) and one of its biggest ad sales chiefs, due to ATT&T's AdWorks platform.

This year her focus has been cross-device targeting, to allow advertisers to reach AT&T's 70 million subscribers on either mobile, web or TV devices with as little friction as possible. AT&T's new Blueprint platform is the heart of that effort (although it is apparently a work in progress).

Previously, she was a senior partner/executive director of digital innovation at Ogilvy. She also did stints at DraftFCB and Lowe Worldwide and had a brief period on the client side at Kraft.

5. Stephanie Bauer Marshall, director of new market development at Verizon Wireless

Bauer Marshall has been at Verizon since 2005. She's been in mobile since 2000, when she was a product manager at CTIA. She sits on the boards of the IAB and the Mobile Marketing Association.

But mostly she is the face of mobile at Verizon, which spends $US1.6 billion on ads annually, and thus a huge player.

4. Lisa Utzschneider, global vp/advertising sales at Amazon

This year, Amazon unveiled a new mobile ad network. That alone qualifies Utzschneider for our list: Everyone knows Amazon is huge; yet the company is relatively silent about the scale of its advertising business.

Advertisers would love to use Amazon's shopping data to target their mobile ads. We don't know how big the mobile ad network is but Amazon's general ad business is worth ~$800 million.

And, of course, there are still rumours that Amazon is working on its own phone -- which would be a huge step if it ever happens.

3. Wanda Young, vp/media and digital marketing at Walmart

Young joined Walmart in October 2008 to lead the company's digital marketing strategy. Today she oversees all of Walmart's mobile experiences, including the brand's mobile apps and features such as 'Scan and Go,' which allows customers to speed through the self-checkout lanes.

Walmart's @WalmartLabs project -- 200 developers in Silicon Valley brainstorming new ways to reach and help shoppers digitally -- makes the company a much more important mobile player than most brick-and-mortar marketers.

Walmart once rolled out Facebook's biggest ever mobile ad campaign, consisting of 50 million ads. (The company declines to say what portion of its $US2.1 billion ad budget go on mobile ads, but it is one of Facebook's biggest advertisers.)

2. Jesse Haines, head of marketing for mobile ads at Google and YouTube

Haines shifted strategy at Google in 2013. Her focus used to be on encouraging businesses to enter the mobile ad market. Now she's more interested in getting them to ascribe value -- ROI or otherwise -- to mobile marketing.

She's also a champion of other women in mobile. She recently told Mobile Marketer, 'The challenge is retaining and advancing women to leadership positions. There are lots of ways to do this. One that is very important to me is to 'lift as you climb.' This is about helping other women and creating stronger networks.'

Haines has been at Google since 2005. The search giant has the largest mobile ad revenue stream on the planet -- an estimated $US885 million globally, according to eMarketer.

1. Carolyn Everson, vp/global marketing solutions at Facebook

Facebook's mobile ad revenues rose to a massive ~$656 million in Q2, up from $US375 million in Q1. Yet Facebook has offered mobile advertising for only about a year.

Carolyn Everson has been a huge part of that -- she travels the globe convincing the world's biggest advertisers to give Facebook a try. She's incredibly well connected, through her client council and her creative council.

This year, Everson moved to London to revamp Facebook's European sales operations. Among her new hires there, Claire Valoti of O2 Media.


We polled a wide selection of executives in the mobile advertising business. We asked them about the scale of their own companies and then asked them to confidentially nominate two executives from different or competing companies that they feel are the most influential.

We then considered the following factors in ranking the Most Powerful Women In Mobile Advertising 2013:

  • Revenues: Most companies don't disclose their revenues and those that do sometimes don't break out the portion of sales attributable to mobile ads. Where revenue numbers are available it factored heavily in favour of the executive whose operation generated them. We also discriminated against companies that aren't specific about their revenues, employee headcounts and user reach. (Mature companies have revenues to speak of; companies that demur about the true size of their business are usually modest for good reason.)
  • Employees: Staff headcount isn't a perfect proxy for revenues but it's better than nothing.
  • Innovation: It's a fast-moving business, and although some companies are still quite small, they appear to have original ideas that make them much more influential than their size suggests.
  • Best representative: Obviously, there are many other executives in the mobile ad business who could have been named on this list. We took a selection from the various sectors of the business -- ad agencies, exchange networks, media sellers and so on -- and tried to pick the person whose business best represents the sector.

Do you think we missed someone who should be on this list? Tell us in the comments (below) or email [email protected]

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.