Automated ad network AdFlight has a new chief executive, following a reduction in the role
of company founder Albert Lopez.
Company spokespeople told InternetNews.com’s Internet Advertising Report Wednesday that
day-to-day operations at the Belmont, Calif. firm now will be overseen by former acting
chief operating officer Susan Atherton, who the company said has been “intricately
involved” with product and business development since she joined the firm as a member of
the board of directors last year.
Prior to joining AdFlight, Atherton served as vice president and general manager of
DoubleClick’s global technology business, and before, at NetGravity, which DoubleClick
acquired in 1999. Atherton oversaw the company’s AdServer software and DART service
offerings for publishers and merchants across North America, Latin America, Europe/Middle
East/Africa and Asia Pacific.
Lopez, who previously founded e-business consultancy USWeb WorldPort, will continue to
serve on the board of directors, and will focus his energies on the company’s technology,
said company spokeswoman Isabel Gonzales. The shift was voluntary, according to the
“Albert … has been CEO since the inception of the company, and has really shaped the
company into what AdFlight is today,” Gonzales said. “He feels that he’s gotten the
company at a point where he can step back and play more of a strategic role in terms of the
development of technology — that’s really were his passions lay.”
Atherton will be “focusing more on all of the operations as well as helping and
combining Albert’s vision and strategy for the company, in terms of executing it,” Gonzales
The company said that the rest of the company’s structure remains in place following the
transition of power, although Gonzales said the company is exploring additional products
and business “options,” but declined to discuss these in detail.
Recently, a host of founders of Internet marketing-related companies have been ceding
their CEO posts in the wake of poor performance, often in favor of more experienced
executives. Last month, LifeMinders and U.S. Interactive both their top execs;
LifeMinders had posted a worse-than-expected annual performance, while U.S. Interactive
filed for Chapter 11.
But AdFlight maintains that this isn’t the case — and that business is going fine.
“We continue to operate in the business that we have built — one in which we’ve shown
revenue growth consistently,” she said.