The IAB UK’s head of industry programmes Clare O’Brien will be departing following changes made to trade body’s executive board, according to an email sent by CEO Jon Mew to members of the Performance Marketing Council yesterday evening (March 20).

The email, which went into detail on new appointments, including the hiring of former Snap Inc. executive, James Chandler to CMO, said that the restructure had led to closing down the IAB’s programmes team, formerly headed by O’Brien, and mobile team.

As a result said Mew, O’Brien’s role has become “redundant”, with both of these departments to be replaced by an “industry initiatives” team headed by the group’s current senior mobile and video manager, Mike Reynolds.

Mew is banking that Chandler’s connections to the brand and advertising world, built through time as Mindshare’s global mobile director, will move the IAB into “new territory” as it seeks to increase engagement with brands and agencies and paint a more positive public picture of digital marketing.

“Digital is on the back foot at the moment, with a stream of bad news and headline articles about the problems that exist. I believe the IAB needs to play a unique and important role in standing up for digital,” said Mew.

“The end result is that we build an IAB that better understands and engages with brands and agencies, and is better resourced to address some of the big issues that face digital.”

Performance Marketing Council

While it’s unclear at this point what the impact of O’Brien’s departure will be on the Performance Marketing Council, Mew stated that “nothing will change” in the IAB’s commitment towards growing performance marketing and improving advertisers understanding of it.

Despite this statement, concerns have already been voiced by its members, who hope to seek assurances in the coming weeks regarding the IAB’s “support and vision” for the council going forward.

In a recent post supporting the need for the council, affilinet managing director Helen Southgate lauded O’Brien’s dedication and time spent developing the council as a “huge driver of growth, reputation and success”, calling the council necessary for weathering an “unpredictable” social and economic environment.

The former managing director of communications consultancy CDA, O’Brien has served at the IAB UK for six years, playing an instrumental part in bringing accountability and regulation to the performance marketing industry through contributions to building council.

Further to that, O’Brien has served as an ambassador for the performance marketing as a whole; a well-known authority, educator and mouthpiece on the industry’s rapid development, that has undeniably helped in pushing the channel’s wider adoption in recent years.