AppNexus Announces C-Suite Appointments as Momentum Builds for 2017

Enhanced leadership team will support unified technology and service platform

Press Release

AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced the promotion of several key executives. The appointments, including Ryan Christensen as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Ben John as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), cap off a year in which AppNexus signed global strategic partnerships with News Corp and LinkedIn and follow an announcement earlier this month that AppNexus has integrated its publisher and advertiser business units into a unified technology and service platform.

“Our enhanced leadership team is uniquely positioned to build on our considerable momentum as we head into 2017,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO of AppNexus. “In just a few short years, AppNexus has evolved from a small startup to a scaled, global leader. It’s essential that we build out our executive bench as we look to the next phase of our growth and progress.”

Christensen, previously SVP & GM, Publisher Technology Group, will now oversee Strategy & Operations, Product, Services and Client Success for AppNexus. A versatile executive with a proven capacity to deliver transformative outcomes, he has held senior product, commercial and operations roles throughout his career in technology and advertising. Immediately prior to AppNexus, Christensen served as GM of Ad Product at Zynga, where he led the development of the company’s innovative mobile, video and native ad platform. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. 

John, formerly SVP, Engineering, is responsible for AppNexus’ global technology organization, including Architecture, Product Development, Platform Innovation, Engineering and Technology Operations. A hands-on technology leader with over 20 years of experience in leading global teams, John holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science in the open content space, where he specialized in machine learning and big data mining.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see Ryan and Ben take on their new roles,” continued O’Kelley. “In his time here, Ryan has built the publisher business from the ground up, developing the industry’s only independent, full-stack option for publishers. Ben has also been a foundational part of AppNexus and is the natural choice to lead our team of approximately 450 technicians.”

AppNexus also announced the appointment of Michele Weber as global head of marketing. Weber, a former SAP marketing executive, will lead the company’s corporate, product and channel marketing functions, reporting directly to Michael Rubenstein, President of AppNexus.  

Tom Shields will assume the role of Chief Strategy Officer. Shields was the co-founder and first CEO of Yieldex, a digital advertising and analytics company that AppNexus acquired in April 2015. He also serves on the IAB Tech Lab Executive Committee. 



AppNexus is an internet technology company that enables and optimizes the real-time sale and purchase of digital advertising. Our powerful, real-time decisioning platform supports core products that enable publishers to maximize yield; and marketers and agencies to harness data and machine learning to deliver intelligent and customized campaigns. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at