Backed by Verizon Data and New Targeting Tools, AOL Hires Its First Chief Mobile Officer

Mark Connon will report to CEO Tim Armstrong

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BARCELONA, Spain—After being acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion and buying ad network Millennial Media for $238 million last year, AOL has a new mobile chief tasked with growing the company's revenue and competing with the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter for a piece of the growing mobile pie.

Mark Connon, previously evp of platform business at Millennial Media, has been elevated to the newly created position of global chief mobile officer for AOL platforms and advertising. Connon, who will report to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, will be responsible for leading the media company's global mobile strategy, which includes Millennial's ad network and mobile video service go90.

With the acquisitions and technology needed to compete for big mobile dollars now in place, Connon is charged with showing marketers how all of the AOL pieces fit together.

"AOL's global reach, scale, infrastructure and brands already provide a differentiated starting point for mobile, but the combination of these brands and assets take advertiser and publisher opportunities to new heights," Connon said.

"We've reached a point where the massive mobile opportunities overshadow the medium's challenges, which is a challenge in itself," Connon said. "Enhanced targeting, data solutions, unique and compelling formats and ad-quality enhancements are all at our clients' fingertips. Even the traditional objections related to attribution, cross-screen targeting and first-party data utilization continue to see improvements," said Connon, adding that AOL is poised to "continue to make significant investments" in those areas.

Before joining AOL through the Millennial Media acquisition, Connon worked to build out Millennial's programmatic business. Connon also worked at Nexage as chief revenue officer and evp of corporate development before it was bought by Millennial Media for $107 million in 2014.

In addition to Connon's promotion, Zac Pinkham, who had been managing director of Europe/Middle East/Asia at Millennial Media, has been elevated to vp of international mobile at AOL.


@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.