Rubicon Project’s European head exits amidst a host of high level departures

Rubicon Project has confirmed with The Drum that its European head Oliver Whitten (pictured) has exited the company after several years, and just four months after assuming the leadership role which was left vacant by fellow ad tech veteran Jay Stevens. This comes amidst a host of high-level departures in the last few months.

The publicly listed ad tech company did not name a successor, but it is understood that James Brown, the managing director for its UK and Nordics business, will assume the mantle in the region post the departure of Whitten (whose formal job title was senior vice president of Europe).

A statement from Rubicon Project reads: “After nearly seven years with the company Oliver Whiten [sic] has made the decision to leave Rubicon Project. He has been a great member of the team and we all wish him the very best.”

Whitten and Stevens’ departures come amidst a host of senior level exits from the publicly listed company, including last month’s departure of former chief financial officer Todd Tappin (replaced by David Day), a switch that quickly followed the less trumpeted exit of its chief product officer Dax Hamman (who joined Rubicon Project by way of its 2015 purchase of Chango).

The Rubicon statement continued: “As for other individuals, we have seen several members of the team who joined Rubicon Project through acquisitions during the past two years complete their planned earn outs and some have chosen to move on to other challenges.”

This is “a pretty natural transition for a fast growth industry like ours” according to Rubicon Project, which hastened to add that “at the same time we have welcomed a number of new senior leaders from companies”, although it declined to name names.

Included in the 2016 exodus of Rubicon Project employees that joined by way of acquisition are Chris Sukornyk (formerly chief executive of Chango and latterly general manager at Buyer Cloud at Rubicon) as well as Mazdak Rezvani (formerly Chango's chief technology officer, and latterly senior vice president of engineering at Buyer Cloud at Rubicon).

In addition, this year has also seen the exit of ex-employees from Rubicon Project’s other recent big ticket acquisitions, i.e. iSocket and ShinyAds. While iSocket's leadership left last year, former Shiny Ads chief executive Roy Pereira (later Rubicon Project’s VP product strategy) left in February this year.

“As we continue to invest in new areas like mobile and video and eventually emerging areas like VR and AR and programmatic TV, we anticipate announcing additional hires and investments as our business continues to evolve and grow,” concluded Rubicon Project’s statement to The Drum.

Additional reporting by Ronan Shields

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