WPP Group is changing leadership at its 24/7 Real Media unit, with founder and current chairman David Moore returning to the CEO slot.
Moore (pictured) replaces Jonathan Hsu, who succeeded Moore as CEO in July 2008. Hsu, a 10-year 24/7 veteran, is departing WPP to serve as CEO of RecycleBank, a company that uses a reward system to encourage environmental activity.
WPP bought 24/7 for $649 million in May 2007, signaling a shift in the holding company’s structure to include a broader technology component.
24/7 has helped craft the company’s audience-based ad buying trading desk, B3, and it operates one of the Web’s biggest ad networks.
WPP said Hsu would continue to have ties with the company as a member of a newly formed Global Technology Advisory Council comprised of outside experts. WPP also said it would collaborate with RecycleBank on green initiatives for clients.
“It’s a shame, but the company is doing very well,” WPP Digital CEO Mark Read said of Hsu’s departure. Even so, “I think we’re ahead of our competition and the market. We had a DSP before they were called DSPs,” he said.
Read said Moore would easily slide back into the CEO role. WPP is not “actively” seeking a CEO for 24/7, he said. WPP said Moore was on vacation and unavailable for comment.
Moore is a longtime Internet industry veteran. He founded 24/7 in 1996, led its acquisition of Real Media and guided it through the dot-com boom and bust prior to the WPP union. He had remained active of late in what the company termed an “advanced chairman role.”