Larsen Joins Active as COO

NEW YORK Active International said today it has hired Eric Larsen as chief operating officer.

He replaces Frederick Feust, who the Pearl River, N.Y.-based corporate trading company has shifted to the newly created role of president of Active’s international division.

The company buys media time for clients, who pay for it with a combination of cash and underperforming assets. Last year the company placed an estimated $1.1 billion in ads for its clients.

Larsen is a 25-year veteran marketing executive who served as a vice president and later president for North American operations of WPP Group’s Wunderman direct marketing agency from 1999 to 2000. He left Wunderman for Netcentives, the now-defunct e-marketing software package developer that was based in San Francisco, where he was president and CEO.

Most recently, Larsen has advised venture capital firms on extracting value from their investments in marketing companies “where results had fallen short of expectations,” according to a bio supplied by Active. Before Wunderman, Larsen held positions with Apple Computer and Gateway.

At Active, Larsen’s mandate is to expand the company’s “business solutions portfolio,” according to a statement issued by the company. “Eric’s impressive experience demonstrates his ability to get people to work together productively and to deal with the complexities of the day-to-day business without losing sight of the overall strategy,” said Active CEO Alan Elkin, in a statement.