Randall Rothenberg is relinquishing his role as CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau after 14 years atop the digital advertising and marketing trade association.
David Cohen, who has served as president of IAB since March 2020 after more than two decades in the media agency world, will take over as chief exec as of Sept. 15. Rothenberg will stay on in the role of executive chair of IAB (not the IAB board of directors) through 2022, reporting to Cohen.
Cohen will serve as CEO of both IAB and IAB Tech Lab, its affiliated, global trade association dedicated to the development of industry technical standards, which is led by Dennis Buchheim. Cohen will report to the IAB board, which is led by Rik Van der Kooi, corporate VP of Microsoft Advertising and interim IAB chair, and vice chair Gina Garrubbo, president and CEO of National Public Media.
Rothenberg became CEO of IAB in January 2007, after a career as a journalist, author and management consulting executive. During his tenure leading the association, IAB tripled its membership, to 750 companies, tripled its staff, and quintupled its annual revenue, to $30 million. He also established the digital ad industry’s first significant federal and state policy and lobbying unit based in Washington, D.C.
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Rothenberg also collaborated with multiple trade associations to create the Digital Advertising Alliance, a cross-industry self-regulatory coalition focused on consumer privacy issues; the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), focused on eliminate fraudulent ad inventory; and, most recently, the Partnership for Responsible and Addressable Media, aimed at protecting advertisers’ access to consumers in privacy.
Cohen, before joining the IAB six months ago, most recently was an independent consultant and before that served as president, North America for IPG’s Magna media research and investment division. Prior to Magna, Cohen was chief investment officer of IPG’s UM, which he first joined in 2001. In the late ’90s, Cohen was responsible for launching and building IPG’s digital practice.
“In less than a year as president of IAB, David Cohen has vastly increased the size of our media marketplaces, brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into our leadership councils, transformed the timeliness of our strategic initiatives, and injected new enthusiasm into our already energetic leadership team,” Rothenberg said in a statement. “He is a true leader with the steadiness, strategic insights, and experience necessary to take IAB and the digital marketing and media industries through the economic recovery and ultimately to the next level of growth.”
“The bottom line in business is results, and David delivers,” said Peter Naylor, VP of sales at Snap and formerly Hulu’s head of advertising. Naylor, founding chair of the IAB Video Center, added that Cohen’s buy-side experience “already has made a difference for all of us in IAB’s membership.”
Cohen commented, “I continue to be energized by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the media, marketing, and advertising industries… We are boosting our focus on dramatically increasing our brand, agency, and publisher presence across all IAB activities.”
Pictured above: Randall Rothenberg (l.), David Cohen