ADOTAS – He’s back, all right — yesterday YuMe announced that cofounder Jayant Kadambi would be reclaiming the title of CEO, with Michael Mathieu stepping down but keeping a seat on the board.
The video advertising platform — and the video advertising space — has changed a great deal since Kadambi was last CEO three years ago. Now serving 1.5 billion ad impressions a month, this year alone the company has gained a presence in Europe through the acquisition of Appealing Media, partnered with digital radio service Slacker and significantly upgraded the publisher side of its offerings.
We stole some time with Kadambi to ask what inspired him to take the helm again and what this move signifies for the direction of YuMe.
ADOTAS: Why did you decide to take the reins as CEO again? Was there a particular moment when you knew you should make the move?
KADAMBI: YuMe is doing great, we hit triple digit revenue growth for three consecutive years, far outpacing the industry, assembled a great management team, and have an industry leading video infrastructure platform of products and services. YuMe’s Board of Directors looked at our business and the stage of the company and felt my technology and product background was needed to place a heightened focus on our video infrastructure solutions.
Stay tuned because we will have some exciting developments to announce in the coming months as it relates to our technology and product offerings.
Is this a temporary change or an ideally long-term move?
This is not a temporary change; I am in it for the long-run.
How will your role in the company’s day-to-day actions change? What does the change-up mean for YuMe’s directions and goals?
The key change is that I will now have more time to focus on the company’s overall strategic direction. YuMe’s overall direction and goals however remain the same — to provide leading SaaS video ad management solutions for publishers and with our Connected Audience Network, provide agencies and marketers a means to reach audiences at scale across all screens, whether it is on a PC, mobile device or TV.
Why did you decide to step back from the CEO chair before?
At the time, I felt we needed someone with a strong ad sales background to really help build the ad network side of YuMe’s business. Michael was the ideal choice and did an amazing job, we look forward to continuing to collaborate with him about the ongoing success of the business. But with our push this year into mobile and connected TV, our board felt a renewed focus on our technology and SaaS solutions was needed.
How has YuMe changed since your switch? How about the video space as a whole?
The market is now much larger, but the core competencies required remain the same. I have an amazing management team supporting me and ensuring we execute and deliver against our goals. We feel very lucky to be in the video space. The industry is at an exciting point with the growth of connected devices in the marketplace and in consumer’s viewership of video. To be at the center of this growth, developing technology products that help publishers monetize audiences and advertisers reach them is truly exciting.
Have you missed being CEO? What do you think will be different about this go-round?
I am excited to be back in this role. What will be different is hard to say, but I do know that I have an amazing team in the U.S., U.K. and India and that we are positioned to dominate the video ad technology space and continue our growth trajectory.