Google has brought back former DoubleClick president Barry Salzman to head up its display advertising business.
Salzman left DoubleClick in 2002 after five years, subsequently working as COO of ShopWiki and CEO of digital retail company YCD Multimedia, where he departed in July 2009.
As head of media and platforms for the Americas, Salzman will lead the sales efforts for the Google Content Network, DoubleClick's ad serving and exchange and YouTube advertising.
Salzman said Google now has the opportunity to realize DoubleClick's original vision of making Internet display advertising a huge business by marrying media with technology. (DoubleClick subsequently moved away from the former to concentrate on the latter.)
"It's an exciting time to be at Google in the display business," Salzman said, noting CEO Eric Schmidt recently called display advertising Google's "next huge" business" after search. "We're getting some tremendous traction."
Salzman reports to Google vp of global media and platforms Henrique de Castro. He handles the advertising side while Neal Mohan, vp of product management, supervises the product side.
Google is attacking the display business on several fronts. One of its most important initiatives is the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, which uses real-time bidding to match advertisers to audiences they want to reach. The company is focused on solving one of the biggest hurdles the industry faces to growth: the complexity in running and measuring campaigns, Salzman said.
"The major issue for the industry is how do we streamline the ecosystem," he said. "How do you take cost out of the system for the buyer and create sustainable margins for agencies? It's about bringing efficiency to a segment of online advertising which has been largely inefficient."
Salzman said he believes YouTube is on track to become a big advertising vehicle, with its home page boasting a 90 percent sell-through rate and its experiments with units on the rest of the site bearing fruit, particularly as advertisers use YouTube as part of larger efforts.
"The growth opportunities are very compelling," Salzman said. "Where the real sweet spot is in integrated campaigns."