The current president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), David Cohen, has been named as the company’s new CEO, effective from September 15. Cohen will succeed Randall Rothenberg, who will remain at IAB as Executive Chair through to 2022.
In his new role, Cohen will serve as CEO of both IAB and its separate, affiliated, global trade association devoted to the development of industry technical standards, IAB Tech Lab, which is led by Dennis Buchheim. He will report to the IAB Board of Directors, which is chaired by Van der Kooi. The President and CEO of National Public Media, Gina Garrubbo, is the IAB Vice-Chair.
A longtime, deeply respected advertising agency executive, Cohen joined IAB only days before the COVID-19 quarantine began. Acclimating to the association, and its 750 member companies entirely via Zoom and telephone, he aggressively reorganized IAB around a set of strategic campaigns aimed at boosting members’ revenue growth, reducing their costs, mitigating their risks, and enhancing their diversity and inclusiveness.
Under Cohen’s leadership, these campaigns have served as the focal point of IAB’s strategic initiatives. They include critical topics such as privacy, addressability, measurement, brand disruption, and emerging consumer trends. Cohen has also served as the lead driver of two vital programs for the digital media and marketing industries as well as leading two of the industry’s largest marketplaces – the video-centered IAB Digital NewFronts, and the audio-centered IAB Podcast Upfront – and transformed them into virtual events, doubling the number of participating publishers, and quintupling the brand and agency buyer attendance.
“In less than a year as President of IAB, David Cohen has vastly increased the size of our media marketplaces, brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into our leadership councils, transformed the timeliness of our strategic initiatives, and injected new enthusiasm into our already energetic leadership team,” Rothenberg said, in announcing the change.
“He is a true leader with the steadiness, strategic insights, and experience necessary to take IAB and the digital marketing and media industries through the economic recovery and ultimately to the next level of growth. The Board and I felt strongly that there was no reason to wait. He should be our CEO now,” he added.
“As the industry continues to face some of its biggest challenges, we rely on IAB to bring us together, tackle the tough questions, and develop real, actionable solutions,” said Rik Van der Kooi, corporate vice president at Microsoft Advertising and interim Chair of IAB Board of Directors; “In this next chapter, we’ll still be able to rely on Randall’s wisdom and counsel, and we’ll have all the benefits and tremendous strengths David brings to the table. Everybody wins — especially IAB members.”
“I knew that coming to IAB would give me the opportunity to leverage the experience and relationships that I have worked my entire career to develop. Bringing together publishers, brands, and agencies for the common good has been rewarding, and we are just getting started. I continue to be energized by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the media, marketing, and advertising industries,” said Cohen; “But what makes the IAB leadership position so meaningful is that the team here is not just helping individual companies – we’re helping to reshape and grow an entire sector of the economy.”
Cohen continued: “We are boosting our focus on dramatically increasing our brand, agency, and publisher presence across all IAB activities. My buy-side experience has shown me that connecting all those dots is critical for industry collaboration, agenda-setting, and leadership.”