Rubicon Project announces drop in final quarter results and announces new CEO

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Rubicon Project, the mobile advertising exchange, just reported its final quarter results for 2016, revealing a drop from $94m in 2015 to $72.7m. Losses came in at $21.2m, compared to 20.4m at the end of 2015.

At the heart of the profit drop was the company’s slow adjusting to advertisers demanding increasingly mobile ad focus. Desktop ad spend dropped from 74% in 2015 to 67%, whilst mobile increased to 33% from 26%.

Rubicon Project says much of the decline can be attributed to ongoing restructuring costs as well as a commitment to catch up with header bidding.

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In a note, Frank Addante, Founder and Chairman of Rubicon Project pointed out that the company’s mobile and video sectors were on track and its FastLane solution had shown promising results.

“Through restructuring and divestiture during the year, we strengthened our business and refocused our energies, resources and investments on what has made Rubicon Project successful for nearly a decade: our global ad exchange business. As we move into 2017, we remain focused on signing up more publishers, application developers, and adding inventory to our global exchange, a key component to drive future growth.”

The company did not issue guidance for the full year ahead.

Ahead of its earnings call, the company did announce the appointment of ex-Millennial Media chief Michael Barratt as Chief Executive Officer. Frank Addante will step down and continue as Founder and Chairman of Rubicon Project.

Barratt joins with some solid leadership roles under his belt, including CEO of Millennial Media, and CRO at Yahoo!. Addante said that there was now a real need for an independent advertising exchange.

“Michael is the right leader to help Rubicon Project achieve our vision. I have been appreciative and proud to serve our team as CEO for the past ten years. I love this company and I’m proud to continue in our mission as Chairman and Founder. Rubicon Project’s strategic position is strong and our team is more focused than ever. I’m excited to bring Michael on to our team as CEO. Michael understands our customers’ needs well, having led the advertising businesses for some of the largest publishers in the world and he has tremendous experience in mobile advertising and even a supply-side platform. The combination of Michael’s proven experience and natural cultural fit is why I approached Michael to lead this company as CEO through its next phase of growth.”