24/7 Real Media
reshuffled its management, announcing
late Wednesday the departure of its president and chief operating officer, Tony Plesner, after
two years with the New York-based Internet ad server.
With Plesner’s departure, 24/7 Real Media said it would organize its managment team on product areas, instead of geography: John Barbera, formerly a
senior vice president and chief revenue officer, was promoted to president
of worldwide media; and Christopher Wagner, the company’s chief executive of
European operations, was put in charge of 24/7 Real Media’s technology
Plesner’s departure comes almost exactly two years since he joined the
company in October 2000, when 24/7 Media was beginning to feel the effects
of the online ad slowdown.
“When Tony came on board he was brought on for a specific job,” said David Moore, 24/7 Real Media’s chief executive. “His set of expertise was to take business from one point to another. His job here was to get the company the right size and to re-capitalize the company. Once that was finished, he wanted to move on.”
Plesner engineered 24/7 Media retrenchment, which
included selling off non-core assets, and ultimately the October 2001 merger with
“Tony Plesner was brought in two years ago to help change the direction of
this company and put us on the path to success,” 24/7 Real Media Chairman
and CEO David Moore said in a statement. “Under Tony’s guidance, 24/7 Real
Media has emerged as a leading player in the interactive marketing arena,
with a clear game plan and bright future.”
In the past year, Plesner’s been sorting out the consolidation of operations
from 24/7 Media and Real Media, looking to trim costs and sell off
loss-making assets in an effort to reach profitability by the fourth
During the cost-cutting, the company sold its e-mail
list management and broadband businesses, and discontinued its legacy
Connect ad server — all holdovers from its 24/7 Media days.
In July, the company got some breathing room in the form of a $5 million
financing commitment from Sunra Capital Holdings.
24/7 Real Media has been touting the privacy policies of its OpenAdStream
server to differentiate it with market leader DoubleClick’s DART, which has
long drawn the ire of privacy advocates.
In August, 24/7 Real Media won an exclusive
ad-serving contract from Vivendi Univeral’s VUNet USA subsidiary.
In his new position, Barbera will be in charge of 24/7 Real Media’s media
sales, media operation, and affiliate relations. After an initial stint in
2000 as COO of 24/7 Media Europe, Barbera rejoined the company a month ago.
“This is something we’ve carefully planned out,” Moore said. “He’s a very experienced executive and has demonstrated his operating expertise.”