Business Insider, Microsoft
Marc McDonald - then and now.
Marc McDonald, the first-ever salaried employee of Microsoft, hired in 1976, has joined adtech startup PaperG.
PaperG runs an ad platform that allows any business, large or small, to automate the creation of an online ad campaign in seconds. Rather than employing an ad agency or designer to create a set of ads, PaperG's system just pulls in a bunch of visual assets from the web and assembles the whole thing automatically, depending on what instructions you give it.
McDonald worked for Microsoft from 1976 to 1984, when he left the company because it became "too big," legend has it. He went back to Microsoft in 2000 when Microsoft acquired Design Intelligence, a company where he worked on adaptive layout technology.
At the time, Microsoft's HR department tried to assign him the employee number "1," but the system would not allow it. So he wore an employee badge with all the digits scratched off except 1, he once told tech blogger Robert Scoble.
“PaperG reminds me of one of the startups I most enjoyed working at, Design Intelligence where we worked on dynamic document templates that adjust to media and content,” McDonald told Business Insider in a statement.
PaperG has 56 employees in San Francisco and Seattle, more than double from the beginning of the year, we're told. The company opened its office in Seattle specifically to recruit talent bailing out of Microsoft's adtech divisions.
PaperG wants to expand into providing "native" ad formats for Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter, in addition to the standard desktop and mobile display ads the company already makes.
Led by CEO Victor Wong, president Roger Lee and CTO Victor Cheng, the company has taken a total of $2.7 million in venture capital funding. It has "8-figures in annual revenue," we're told.
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