Mediaplex will have a new top executive on Monday, as the firm’s co-founder vacates the spot in favor of an outside hire.
That new hire, software technology executive Tom Vadnais, means a more seasoned business executive will be handling the San Francisco-based company’s day-to-day operations as president and chief executive officer. The firm’s previous CEO and president, company co-founder Greg Raifman, will continue in the role of chairman.
Such moves are becoming increasingly common among Internet plays, as firms’ founders step aside to bring in executives with more business experience — to help the companies stay afloat and reach profitability. Yahoo!, for instance, is looking for a replacement for its CEO, Tim Koogle, who will retain the title of chairman.
Vadnais has operations experience in large professional service organizations. Most recently, he served as executive vice president for professional services at Compuware Corp., a software and professional services provider. Vadnais joined Compuware following its purchase of Data Processing Resources Corp., of which he was president and chief operating officer.
Additionally, Vadnais had stints at Tascor, Norrell and IBM — where he worked for 22 years, beginning in sales and eventually holding the post of vice president of operations.
“It’s a testament to Mediaplex’s superior technology and market position that we are able to attract a leader of Tom’s capabilities, experience and proven track record,” Raifman said. “Tom has over 25 years of experience in managing technology companies through organic growth and mergers and acquisitions. With Tom assuming the leadership of Mediaplex, I will have more time to identify the company’s strategic opportunities as we remain committed to moving Mediaplex towards profitability by Q4 2001.”
Vadnais also will become a member of Mediaplex’s board of directors, replacing Jon Logan Edwards. Edwards, who once held the post of president at the firm, left to pursue other opportunities, according to the company.
“I am excited to be joining Mediaplex at a time when it remains committed to becoming the premier digital messaging technology company,” Vadnais said. “By combining a strong, tenured executive team with the demonstrated ability to foresee practical technology trends, our goal is to position Mediaplex as the dominant company in providing technology solutions to marketers.”
The move isn’t necessarily a surprise. Battered like much of the online marketing space, Mediaplex is trading near its 52-week low, around $0.67 at press time. And the firm also is at an important juncture — like many peers, it’s trying to wean itself off of lower-margin media revenues to focus on its core marketing technology business.