When Brian O’Kelley was fired from Right Media after its sale to Yahoo because of a major disagreement about the direction the company had been being taken in, he considered whether he should retire or maybe become a venture capitalist.
Instead, later in 2007, he decided to start something new.
“It took me about six weeks to realize that my passion was to build the next generation of the ad exchange, and so I founded AppNexus and had a bit of a chip on my shoulder,” O’Kelley, the company’s CEO, says in an interview with Beet.TV. “I really wanted to prove that I could build a great company and really change the way the industry worked.”
His goal was to build out real-time bidding, and now “eight years later I can say mission, sort of, accomplished,” he says.
Given how quickly both consumer behavior and technology are evolving, it’s difficult to predict what advertising will look like in 10 years, but O’Kelley does foresee the continued rise of more interruptive forms of digital ads, like interstitials and in-feed formats.
“I think that’s the only way to get a TV-like experience that’s also natural for the evolution of content to more and more personalized devices,” he says.
This is segment is part of Beet.TV’s “Media Revolutionaries,” a 50-part series of interviews with key innovators and leaders in the media, technology and advertising industries, sponsored by Xaxis and Microsoft. Xaxis is a unit of WPP.
O’Kelley was interviewed for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital.