OpenX Names President John Gentry New CEO

OpenX announced current CEO Tim Cadogan will step down after 12 years and will be replaced by current president John Gentry.

Cadogan will become CEO of GoFundMe, but remain as OpenX’s chairman and maintain his seat on the sell-side outfit’s board.

Speaking with Adweek, Cadogan described his job move as “a completely fresh learning experience” that will mirror “the fast rate of change” involved in building an ad-tech company over the last decade.

“I wanted something with more of a social dimension,” he said. “And GoFundMe has a powerful social purpose.”

The change in leadership follows a year of strategic overhaul at the ad-tech company, which began with shedding approximately 100 staff in late 2018 and then moving its infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform to further its OpenAudience rollout.

OpenX’s new CEO John Gentry also takes over at a time when the entire sector faces a fundamental overhaul as Google prepares to mirror the policies of other web browser providers by withdrawing support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. Simultaneously, privacy legislation such as General Data Protection Regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act are fundamentally challenging ad tech.

John Gentry (left) replaces Tim Cadogan (right) as CEO.

“I’m not saying that Chrome coming out and saying it will stop supporting third-party cookies [before 2022] is not a tectonic shift, but we feel good because we were one of the first to help publishers with a post-cookie solution,” Gentry said.

Both executives said OpenX will continue to prepare for a post-cookie industry by rolling out a solution dubbed OA.JS to help publishers use a number of identity solutions, such as the Advertising ID Consortium and IAB Tech Lab’s DigiTrust, and make further investments in the open-source ad-tech consortium PreBid.

“This is the execution layer of what was put in place last year,” Cadogan added. “OpenX is a very durable company.”

In Gentry’s eyes, 2020 will see the sell-side outfit rollout solutions for the buy-side that will likewise help them aggregate audience types and then purchase inventory via private marketplaces.

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