AdFlight CEO Steps Aside

Automated ad network AdFlight has a new chief executive, following a reduction in the role

of company founder Albert Lopez.

Company spokespeople told’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.

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