Pinterest Poaches Snapchat Exec for New Ad Measurement Role

Gunnard Johnson will help build out data and analytics

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

As Pinterest looks to build out its data and measurement offerings for advertisers, the company has hired one of Snapchat's top research chiefs to fill a newly created role.

The image-sharing site has hired Gunnard Johnson as its head of measurement science and insights, managing Pinterest's 12-person measurement and insights team. Previously, Johnson was head of quantitative ads research at Snapchat.

Johnson will work to build out Pinterest's data programs that aim to show marketers the ROI from creating and buying pins, including metrics like sales, traffic and brand lift.

For example, Pinterest recently released a study with Oracle Data Cloud that found people are 12 percent more likely to buy a product after seeing a promoted pin. Moreover, 40 percent of Pinterest users make over $100,000 a year.

And in June, Pinterest launched look-alike targeting and retargeting to help advertisers fine-tune their campaigns.

"I am excited to join the Pinterest team as the consumer and advertiser objectives align like no other platform in the industry," Johnson said in a statement. "I see the growth potential being tremendous as the unique insights created from people discovering and bringing ideas to life on Pinterest should deliver a superior advertising ROI versus other forms of media investments."

The move comes at an important time as Snapchat is building out its own ad-measurement program that marketers see as a crucial step in shifting ad dollars to the platform. Snapchat has measurement partnerships with more than 10 companies and recently inked a deal with location-data company Yext to help brands set up geofilters.

According to LinkedIn, Johnson has worked at Snapchat since March 2016. A Snapchat rep didn't immediately respond to questions about replacing Johnson.

In addition to Snapchat, Johnson's career also includes roles at Google as advertising research director and analytic roles at WPP-owned TeamDetroit and Anderson Consulting.

Johnson starts his new job at Pinterest on Aug. 1 at the company's San Francisco headquarters. He'll report to Jon Kaplan, head of global sales, who joined Pinterest earlier this year from Google.

"With his strong measurement experience in media, we're looking forward to continuing to grow our program that shows the value of our platform through data and insights," Kaplan said in a statement.

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