AppNexus promotes top Executives to lead new business units and lay foundation for continued success

Company Builds on Extraordinary 2014 with 63% YoY Revenue Growth and Three Consecutive Quarters of Profitability

Press Release

AppNexus, the world’s largest independent ad tech company, today announced the promotion of several key executives and formation of four new business units, as well as corporate-level shared services organizations to support those divisions. The four business units are: Publishers, Programmatic Media Companies, Agencies and Advertisers, and Marketplaces. The move will allow the company to simultaneously operate several market-leading businesses, each of which will have the agility, resources, and focus needed to capitalize on new growth opportunities in 2015 and beyond. AppNexus has had an extremely strong 2014, including three straight quarters of profitability and growth fueled by record volume and revenue, its recent strategic transaction with WPP, the acquisition of OAS®, and a $110 million capital raise. AppNexus has grown year-over-year revenue 63% through Q3, while adding eight offices and more than 250 employees, bringing its global total to 20 offices and more than 750 employees.

“We’ve gotten to where we are today by refusing to rest on our laurels and by constantly evolving to seize new opportunities,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO and Co-founder, AppNexus. “This new structure will empower our world-class executives with the autonomy to succeed, and will provide each of our businesses increased alignment to innovate and grow as AppNexus becomes a truly multiproduct company."

To lead its core business units, AppNexus has promoted talented and proven executives from within its ranks:

  • Ryan Christensen, GM, Publishers. Christensen, who joined AppNexus from Zynga in July 2013, was previously SVP, Product.
  • Casey Birtwell, GM, Programmatic Media Companies. Birtwell, who joined AppNexus from Avaya in April 2014, was previously SVP, Strategy & Operations.
  • Andy Atherton, GM, Marketplaces. Atherton, who joined AppNexus after co-founding, was previously SVP, Discovery.

A General Manager for AppNexus’ Agencies and Advertisers unit will be named at a future date.

To support AppNexus’ newly formed business units, the company will employ a shared services model across legal, finance, strategy and operations, people, technology, and marketing. Promotions into new shared services leaderships roles are:

    • Brandon Atkinson, Chief People Officer. To facilitate the fast-growing company’s new corporate structure, AppNexus has named Brandon Atkinson to Chief People Officer, a new role at the company. Atkinson will be responsible for scaling AppNexus’ global culture across its international offices and empowering the company’s more than 750 employees worldwide. Atkinson was previously SVP, Global Services and has been with the company since 2010.
    • Catherine Williams, Chief Data Scientist. In a new role at the company, Williams, who has been at AppNexus since January 2012, will be responsible for designing innovative algorithms that achieve product and company goals regarding optimization, anti-fraud, budget, and marketplace design. She has a PhD in Mathematics from The University of Washington and previously held post-doctoral positions at Stanford and Columbia University.

AppNexus is also creating four distinct engineering teams which will report into each respective GM. CIO Igor Shindel will run the shared technology teams including Tech Ops, Dev Ops, Business Systems Group, and more. As part of the move to a shared technology function, AppNexus’ current CTO Geir Magnusson will step down following a period of transition.

“AppNexus’ success as one of the world’s foremost technology companies has not come just by having unrivaled products – it’s the result of our employees’ unremitting desire to push boundaries and make greatness happen,” said Michael Rubenstein, President, AppNexus. “Having that rare culture at our size is a testament to the deep bench of talent we’ve developed, so we’re always thrilled when a new class of leaders has the opportunity to step up and continue to move this company forward.”


AppNexus is a technology company that provides trading solutions and powers marketplaces for Internet advertising. Its open, unified, and powerful programmatic platform empowers customers to more effectively buy and sell media, allowing them to innovate, differentiate, and transform their businesses. As the world’s largest independent ad tech company, AppNexus is led by the pioneers of the web’s original ad exchanges. Headquartered in New York City with ten global offices, AppNexus employs hundreds of the brightest minds in advertising and technology who believe that advertising powers the Internet. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at