The Wall Street Journal today reported that AT&T is exploring a potential sale of Xandr, the ad tech company formerly known as AppNexus. According to WSJ, AT&T paid around $1.6 billion for AppNexus in 2018.
The Xandr leadership story
Brian Lesser joined AT&T in 2017 to launch and run the advertising unit. Brian Lesser led Xandr, acquired by AT&T in 2018, until March, this year.
Before AT&T, Brian Lesser served as North America CEO of WPP’s media buying unit, GroupM. Right now, Brian Lesser is the Executive Chairman of Infosum, a data company founded in 2015.
When Brian Lesser left AT&T in March, this year, WSJ reported that Xandr had difficulties in convincing TV networks to supply their inventory, as each TV network is interested in setting up their own data-driven TV products.
With Brian Lesser gone, advertisers started questioning AT&T’s commitment to Xandr, Digiday reported.
Kirk McDonald, at the time Chief Business Officer at Xandr, was leading Xandr, reporting to Zeiler.
Kirk McDonald ended up also leaving Xandr, last month, to become the North America CEO of WPP’s media buying unit, GroupM.