So a changing of the guard at mobile ad company 4INFO, which announced a funding round of $14 million just last month: Zaw Thet, the company’s outspoken founder, has left his role as the CEO and is getting replaced by Tim Jenkins, who has worked for a number of tech companies, including Apple.
Jenkins is a relative newcomer to the mobile ad space but is a long-time veteran of the highs and lows of the tech industry in both the U.S. and Europe.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s actually already been with 4INFO as the COO for the last few months, but he joins company most recently from Solera Networks, a Utah-based network security firm, where he was the CFO. He has also held roles at Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), where he worked for the company in Europe running its education business (before Apple the days of the Apple Store when it relied on channel partnerships to sell through). Other past companies include KPMG and OnStor, a network storage company that sold to LSI during the economic downturn in 2009 for $25 million.
Speaking to paidContent, Jenkins says his main goal at the company going forward — and the reason for the executive change — was to bring more scale to the company. He says the company is using some of the funding round from last month to invest in expansion internationally, but the bulk of that, he says, will likely be achieved through partnerships rather than as a standalone company.
Jenkins says that the company is currently under NDA with two international partners — like 4INFO, both in the ad serving business and with “interesting relationships with carriers”. The idea will be to use their platform for cross-expansion purposes: “We will leverage our own SMS capabilities on their platforms in Europe, and they will have the ability to leverage our U.S. footprint,” he says. More on that could be revealed in future.
Jenkins would not give any up-to-date stats on traffic and business at 4INFO — citing the fact that his company has publicly-listed investors (the most high-profile perhaps being the publisher Gannett). But we do have some numbers in the archive: at the beginning of this year the company reported that traffic on its ad network had increased by 2,000 percent (yes, 2,000) in 2010. Last month, the company noted at the time of its funding round that its AdHaven “mobile audience” platform reaches 90 million uniques each month.
AdHaven brings together several of the technical, behind-the-scenes aspects of mobile advertising that will likely grow in importance as advertisers look for more specific and assured ways of getting their campaigns seen by the right people. The services offered by AdHaven include audience targeting and analytics, which are used in campaigns that can be delivered across a range of mobile screens and formats, including mobile web pages, apps and text messages — which to some might seem an an old-school format that is becoming less used in mature markets, but still represents significant business for 4INFO, which has been in operation since 2004.
looks like he will be taking a less active role in the company going forward will work closely with Tim during the transition and will spend more time on philanthropy — he has his own non-profit called Palindrome Advisors, among other activities — something he has already been dedicating time to for the past several years.