Facebook poaches Google’s Damian Burns to run global sales for Atlas

Facebook has poached Google’s director of global strategic partnerships Damian Burns to run global sales of its ad platform Atlas, The Drum understands.

Burns, who has held a variety of senior roles at Google since 2005 when he joined as head of agency relations for EMEA, is understood to currently be on gardening leave.

Facebook has rebuilt Atlas from the ground up since it took it over from Microsoft last year, introducing cross-device targeting and offline sales tracking as the social media juggernaut seeks to enforce its position as a serious Google rival.

These changes have seen Facebook ditch the use of cookies to track users in favour of a new system of ‘people-based marketing’.

Details of Burns’ remit are yet to be revealed, along with his start date, but it is understood that he will drive growth for Atlas sales globally.

The appointment signals the increasing intensity between the tech giants, with data having become the battleground for today’s big innovations and the engine for all marketing strategies.

Facebook and Google were unavailable for comment at the time of this article's publication.

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