EXCLUSIVE: Mobile ad network InMobi has lured Aegis Media’s chief investment officer Jon White as its new regional director and general manger of Australia and New Zealand.
White, who has 24 years experience in media, replaces Francisco Cordero, who has been promoted to the role of vice president and general manager of brand sales based in New York.
In his role at Aegis White was responsible for budgets negotiations of around $1.7bn each year, and has previously worked for Mitchells Communication Group, Zenith Media and George Patterson advertising.
Aegis has told B&T it expects to make announcement about his replacement “very soon”.
Former Navy officer White told B&T he was “excited” to be joining a smaller tech startup after spending his career at large agencies, but added: “Mobile is on the horizon at the moment, and that’s really exciting.
“I think part of my appointment is to take a sensible business approach, not go chasing pots of gold that aren’t there, and building a credible and reliable industry as we go through this period of growth.”
InMobi, headquartered in India, claims to be the world’s largest independent mobile ad network, and White said he would be looking to leverage this scale as he looks to make new appointments and grow the ANZ team.
Earlier today M&C Saatchi Mobile’s Asia Pacific managing director Chris Steedman told B&T the spend on mobile advertising per subscriber in Australia is about a quarter of that in the UK and US.
White agreed there is still a lot of ground to make up Down Under, adding agencies and clients need to stop treating mobile as a sub set of digital and start accepting the “mobile revolution” and move their budgets to support better executions.
“It’s not just carving up budgets and allowing mobile to have a little proportion of that, it’s actually about thinking and strategising mobile,” he added. “It’s not just another channel, it’s different from other media.”
He predicted the sector, which grew by 190% according to the IAB last financial year, would continue to enjoy similar rates of increase for the next 18 – 24 months, but said that would only come by companies like InMobi working with agencies and clients to smooth over the processes and let them know what is and is not possible,
Atul Satija, vice president of InMobi, Japan and Asia Pacific said: “Jon’s experience in the Australian media industry is second to none. His expertise in developing new business, in particular, will ensure we continue to expand and meet the unrelenting demand for mobile advertising head-on.”