The 30 most powerful women in mobile advertising

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Vox’s Lindsay Nelson is on our list.
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LinkedIn

Men tend to dominate the mobile-advertising world.

So each year we ask readers and companies to nominate who they think are the most influential women in the business. We also asked that they nominate at least one other competitor to ensure that the list wasn’t self-serving.

In addition, we also consulted with Erin “Mack” McKelvey, CEO of SalientMG, whose knowledge of the mobile-ad business exceeds our own.

This is, by no means, a complete list of all the influential women in the mobile-advertising business. It is, however, a representation of some of the most powerful women out there, who are running big businesses with large client bases and sizeable revenues to report.

If you’re interested in previous lists, here’s last year’s rankings for comparison.


30. Liz Valentine, CEO at Swift

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Swift

Swift is the digital agency behind the award-winning Real PSL mobile/social work for Starbucks, to promote its Pumpkin Spice Latte. Other recent work includes a project for Google, which saw the agency create an LED dress that encouraged girls to code a little black dress for the digital age.

“Mobile-first” Swift claims to have achieved 100% revenue growth every year since its inception in 2007 and last year it was acquired by WPP’s Possible agency. In 2014, it was targeted to generated $13 million in revenue.


29. Kyoko Matsushita, managing director of APAC for Essence

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Essence

Essence is a global digital agency that has a client listing including Google, Tesco Mobile, and The Financial Times.

Matsushita serves clients in the growing Asia-Pacific, where, in her first year on the job, she grew revenue by 107%, opened the agency’s Tokyo office, and is expected to grow the region’s headcount again by the end of 2015.

Before joining Essence, Matsushita was VP of global product and business at GREE, a Japan-oriented global mobile-gaming and social-network service company.


28. Alia Lamborghini, senior vice president of sales at Millennial Media

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Millennial Media

Lamborghini leads a team of more than 70 employees at Millennial Media, which was acquired by AOL in a deal valued at around $238 million in September. In the second quarter, ahead of the acquisition, Millennial Media reported revenues of $65.8 million and said it expected total non-GAAP revenue to reach $344 million to $360 million for the full year.

She also sponsors an in-house group called the “Future CROs of America.”

Outside Millennial Media, Lamborghini is an active member of the mentoring groups within Advertising Women of New York and the Year Up program, and she is also a founding member of Digital Divas Atlanta.


27. Sarah Utermark, CEO for Sub-Saharan Africa at Opera Mediaworks

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Opera Mediaworks

Utermark is one of the thought leaders in the South Africa tech industry and, aside from her day job, she also serves as vice-chair of the Mobile Marketing Association in South Africa.

She founded AdVine in 2010, which was acquired by Opera Mediaworks late last year. The company says she has generated over $7 million in revenue already.

While most of Africa still remains a feature-phone-led market, Utermark has played a pivotal role in the positioning of Opera Mini as one of the market-leading media channels across Sub-Saharan Africa. This led to securing, at the time, one of the largest cross-platform media deals for Opera Software and Opera Mediaworks, resulting in a two-year deal with one of Africa’s largest broadcasters.


26. Petra Vorsteher, chief alliances officer and co-founder of Smaato

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Smaato

Smaato is a real-time bidding and supply-side platform and ad network for app developers and publishers. AdExchanger reported the company’s annual “ballpark revenue” was about $100 million in August.

The company claims to have more than 90,000 app-developer and publisher partners, which it says now makes it the biggest global-mobile real-time bidding ad exchange. It says its growth last year was fueled by increased demand from big-brand advertisers.

Vorsteher is a board member at German-trade-organization Hamburg@work, a member of the global leadership team at Women in Wireless, and the co-chair for mobile at the German American Business Association in Silicon Valley.


25. Gladys Kong, CEO at UberMedia

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UberMedia

Kong joined UberMedia as its CTO and general manager in 2012. She was promoted to president last year and became CEO this September.

UberMedia is a mobile ad platform that uses social and location data and intent cues to help advertisers to target user’s smartphones, mostly via in-app ads.

The company, founded by entrepreneur Bill Gross, has raised $34.6 million in funding.


24. Monica Ho, head of marketing and infrastructure at xAd

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xAd

XAd is a location-focused mobile-advertising network, which claims to work with nearly 1 million advertisers.

We estimated earlier this year that the company generates around $130 million in revenue.

Ho is also an executive committee member for the Mobile Marketing Association’s North America board.


23. Jennifer Lum, cofounder of Adelphic

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Jennifer Lum / Twitter

As well as serving as chief strategy officer of Adelphic, Lum is also an angel investor and startup adviser to companies such as Burstly, which was acquired by Apple, Lum’s former employer.

Adelphic’s main point of difference is user identification, no matter which device they are using.

The company has yet to reveal its revenues, but it raised $11 million in Series B funding late last year. Adelphic says that second-quarter revenues rose 282% year-on-year, but we don’t know from what base.


22. Danielle Lee, vice president of commercial marketing at Vevo

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LinkedIn

Lee was one of the key figures on stage at Vevo’s “newfront” presentation to advertisers this year, where she announced that the company had partnered with Nielsen to launch a digital content-ratings system to compare how well online videos perform compared to primetime TV.

Vevo is reported to have been expecting revenue of $350 million in 2014.


21. Katie Jansen, vice president of corporate marketing at AppLovin

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AppLovin

Mobile-ad-network AppLovin is on pace to generate $200 million in gross pass-through revenue for this calendar year. Jansen was appointed as its first marketing hire back in 2012 when it had just 15 employees.

In addition to her work at AppLovin, Jansen is also an advocate for women in tech and equality in the workplace and is involved with organizations including Women 2.0 and Women in Wireless.


20. Anna Bager, senior vice president and general manager of the Interactive Advertising Bureau

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Anna Bager / IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau represents the digital-advertising industry, and this year Bager has been responsible for the trade body’s initiatives addressing areas including viewability, ad fraud, and ad blocking.

In mobile in particular, she launched the Mobile Ad Rising Stars and the MRaid – mobile-rich media ad-interface definitions – ad standards, and she has been a force in bringing about HTML5 adoption to support the needs of the growing mobile landscape.

Bager was the most-nominated person for our list.


19. Maria Mandel Dunsche, vice president and head of marketing at AT&T AdWorks

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AT&T

Mandel Dunsche launched the AT&T AdWorks brand in 2011, which allows advertisers to target around 100 million AT&T subscribers across mobile, online, and TV.

AdWork’s biggest sell is that it has audience data nobody else has access to, and it can offer cross-platform advertising, thanks to AT&T’s consumer products across TV, digital, and mobile.

While it was thought a couple years ago that AT&T was winding down its AdWorks division, following a change in strategy and some job cuts, we are told that Mandel Dunsche is leading its “resurgence.”


18. Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, CEO and founder of Drawbridge

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Drawbridge

Drawbridge – which helps advertisers identify shoppers who browse for a product on their mobiles that go on to purchase on their desktop computers – has become the fastest-growing female-led company in America, according to the Inc. 5000. It was also ranked as top in the marketing/advertising sector, and No. 6 overall.

The company generated $32.9 million in revenue in 2014, up more than 100% on the previous year. It has secured $20.5 million in funding.

In the summer, Sivaramakrishnan hired the former head of Apple’s mobile ad marketplace, Winston Crawford, as Drawbrige’s chief operating officer.


17. Nada Stirrat, CEO of Verve

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LinkedIn

Stirratt is a digital media veteran who was appointed as location-based advertising-company Verve Mobile’s CEO in April.

Verve has raised $36 million in funding and works with more than 2,000 media partners, including NBC Universal, Hearst, and 21st Century Fox.

Prior to joining Verve, Stirratt was chief revenue officer at data-and-analytics company Acxiom.


16. Kelly Andresen, vice president and head of branded​ content at Gannett

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Twitter

Having flown up the ranks at The Washington Post and leading its native advertising strategy, Andresen was snapped up by Gannett, where she leads its branded-content division.

In her new role, Andresen is focused on expanding Gannett’s branded content efforts, particularly in mobile, video, virtual reality, and data visualization.

Gannett owns more than 500 digital-, mobile-, and print-media brands, including USA Today, Detroit Free Press, and Newsquest Media Group in the UK.


15. Samantha Skey, chief revenue officer at SheKnows

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SheKnows

Skey is responsible for growing revenue at SheKnows Media, which publishes articles and videos aimed at women and describes itself as the No. 1 women’s lifestyle media platform.

It claims more than 83 million visitors a month, according to comScore, and 2 billion ad impressions, according to DFP and OAS.

In November 2014, SheKnows acquired blogging network BlogHer, and this year SheKnows launched the #Femvertising Awards to honor brands that are challenging gender stereotypes.


14. Kim Reed Perell, president at Amobee

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Adconion Direct

Amobee is a marketing and technology company and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singtel, an Asian telco with more than 550 million mobile subscribers. Singtel acquired Amobee for $321 million in 2012.

Recent successes under Reed Perell’s leadership include the launch of Amobee’s cross-device tracking technology, INK, and Amobee Brand Intelligence, an analytics technology platform for marketers.

Amobee has also recently been named a marketing developer partner of Pinterest and an Instagram Ads API partner.


13. Lauren Wiener, president of global sales and marketing at Tremor Video

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Twitter

Wiener oversees public ad tech company Tremor Video’s US and international sales and marketing departments.

Tremor Video has increasingly turned its attention to mobile, given that so many consumers are viewing video on their smartphones.

In its second quarter, revenue grew 5.4% year-over-year to a record $46.1 million and it expects full-year revenue to be in the range of $195 million to $200 million.


12. Shannon Brayton, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of corporate communications at LinkedIn

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LinkedIn

Brayton, formerly Stubo, was officially named LinkedIn’s CMO in June this year, reporting to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

Weiner wrote in an email to colleagues announcing her appointment: “In just eight weeks as our interim CMO, has had a material impact on the business. Her progress thus far – through key hires, improved communication and alignment, and clear prioritization – has generated very positive feedback from the teams she’s worked with.”

Mobile represents 52% of LinkedIn’s traffic, according to its second-quarter earnings.


11. Tessa Gould, vice president of strategy and operations at BuzzFeed

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LinkedIn

Gould oversees BuzzFeed’s advertising strategy, business operations, and social discovery.

Leaked documents show BuzzFeed’s revenue tripled between 2012 and 2013, and hit $46 million in the first half of 2014. Gould joined in November 2014. Earlier this year, NBCUniversal invested $200 million in BuzzFeed.

The majority of BuzzFeed’s video views and social shares are on mobile, and Gould is responsible for increasing monetization of those views through branded content.

Before joining BuzzFeed, she ran The Huffington Post’s native-advertising business.


10. Lindsay Nelson, global head of brand strategy at Vox Creative

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LinkedIn

Nelson is responsible for Vox’s branded content studio, as well as partnerships, events, and sales and marketing.

In August, NBCUniversal invested $200 million in Vox Media at an $850 million pre-money valuation. It owns media properties, including Vox.com, Recode, Eater, and SB Nation.

This year, Nelson was also featured in AdAge’s annual “Women to Watch” list.


9. Sara Clemens, chief strategy officer at Pandora

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LinkedIn

Clemens is responsible for leading Pandora’s business strategy, corporate development international, and expansion. She also leads the company’s Music Maker Group that develops marketing tools for artists.

Pandora’s second-quarter ad revenue grew 30% year-on-year to $230.9 million, while mobile revenue grew 37% to $229.7 million – 80.4% of revenue.

Prior to joining Pandora, Celemens was an executive in residence at Greylock Partners.


8. Mari Kim Novak, chief marketing officer at Rubicon Project

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LinkedIn

Novak’s job at ad-tech company Rubicon Project is “marketing to marketers.”

Her efforts over the past year since she was promoted to CMO appear to be paying off. In the second quarter, Rubicon Project announced an 88% increase in revenue to $53 million, and the company says it “significantly increased” the size of its orders and mobile offerings in the period.

Before joining Rubicon, Novak spent nine years as head of global marketing for Microsoft Advertising.


7. Janae McDonough, Twitter VP of MoPub

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MoPub

Twitter acquired MoPub, a mobile-app ad network, ad server, and real-time bidding exchange, for $350 million in stock in 2013.

Last year, one analyst predicted MoPub will bring in more than $500 million in annual revenue by 2017, up from an estimated $56 million in 2014.

It’s a big, often under-appreciated, at least by the outside world, part of Twitter’s business, one of the world’s largest – if not the largest – mobile-ad servers, and McDonough is at the helm.


6. Mollie Spilman, chief revenue officer at Criteo

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Criteo

Spilman is responsible for leading all commercial operations for Criteo, a public ad-tech company that has been described as the “poster child” of a technique called “retargeting.”

Criteo reported a record set of results for its second quarter, with revenue up 64% year-on-year to 165 million euros, or $187 million. It has a market cap of around $2.5 billion.

Prior to joining Criteo, Spilman was executive vice president of global sales and operations at mobile ad-tech company Millennial Media. Before that, she was SVP of Americas marketing for Yahoo.


5. Meredith Kopit Levien, The New York Times’ chief revenue officer

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Monica Kopit Levien/Getty Images

Kopit Levien was promoted to chief revenue officer in April, and is now responsible for “the generation of all advertising and subscription revenue” at The New York Times.

A memo released by the company earlier this month showed how The Times plans to double its digital revenues to $800 million by 2020. In it, the newspaper owner says its organization must be “redesigned for the mobile era.”

Part of that will be achieved through encouraging more digital subscriptions, and Kopit Levien and her team have also been working on some interesting mobile ad products, including a new Mobile Moments format, and creating branded content experiences designed for mobile.

Digital advertising revenue represented 27% of total ad revenue – $662 million – in 2014.


4. Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo’s chief revenue officer

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Yahoo

Yahoo poached Utzschneider from Amazon late last year to become its SVP of sales for the Americas region, and she was quickly promoted to become its global revenue chief.

Mobile is increasingly important for Yahoo – it’s the “M” of its “Mavens” strategy.

Mobile revenue in Yahoo’s second quarter was up 54% to $252 million.


3. Allie Kline, chief marketing officer at AOL

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AOL

Kline oversees marketing efforts for all of AOL’s corporate initiatives and advertising platforms.

Her role is set to become increasingly more mobile-focused following Verizon’s acquisition of AOL earlier this year. In September, AOL acquired mobile-focused ad-tech company Millennial Media.

Since being named AOL CMO in January, Kline has helped launch the company’s in-house branded content studio Partner Studio.


2. Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO

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Norman Jean Roy

Google employee No. 16, Wojcicki has been the CEO of YouTube since 2014.

More than half of YouTube’s traffic now comes from mobile devices, and the company claims it reaches more 18-to-49-year-olds than any cable network in the US. In total, more than 1 billion people visit YouTube every month.

YouTube’s mobile revenue has also doubled year-on-year.


1. Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook

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Carolyn Everson/Facebook

Facebook is the biggest mobile -advertising company in the world, and Everson is leading the charge.

The social network had 844 million active mobile daily users in June and, in total, it has brought more than 2.5 million advertisers on board. Meanwhile, the Instagram app is estimated by eMarketer to bring in $595 million in ad revenue this year.

Recent advertising announcements from Facebook have included bringing Facebook targeting to Instagram, launching video ads that marketers only pay for if users watch 10 seconds or more, partnering with Moat to verify video ad views, launching a Target Rating Point ad-buying method, and partnering with Millward Brown to allow advertisers to poll their audiences on mobile.