Late last year, one of New York's most valuable startups, AppNexus, made a splash with a big hire. Suddenly, that person is out.
In November, the ad tech firm brought in AOL veteran Lynda Clarizio as EVP of corporate development and operations.
Last Friday – just five months later – Clarizio and AppNexus split ways, two sources close to people at the company tell us.
It's said that Clarizio and AppNexus CEO Brian O'Kelley didn't get along.
We're still working on the exact reasoning behind the split. For what it's worth, former colleagues have told us in the past that O'Kelley has a brash personality, and that he can sometimes be hard to work with because of it.
Another recent hire, AppNexus's new VP of people operations, Michelle Dvorkin, is taking over some of Clarizio's responsibilities, and will report to O'Kelley.
If Clarizio's name rings a bell, it probably means you've been paying close to attention AOL over the years.
We have calls, texts and emails into AppNexus. No response yet.
AppNexus is a "real-time bidding platform." It's a place where ad buyers, ad sellers, and lots of middlemen like data providers and ad networks meet and move massive amounts of money and ad inventory.
With one founder, Brian O'Kelley, who made his name as CTO of a startup that sold to Yahoo for hundreds of millions of dollars, and another, Michael Rubenstein, who built Google's ad exchange, AppNexus is considered, by some, to be "one of New York's greatest startup success stories."
In January, AppNexus raised $75 million. We've heard whispers that the valuation was just south of $1 billion.
AppNexus is a direct competitor to Google's display advertising business, which is run by a former colleague of Rubenstein's, Neal Mohan.
AppNexus had some trouble with executive turnover before Clarizio's hire last fall, when SVP of product management Ari Paparo left and two other senior executives appeared close to following.
Since the new year, AppNexus has hired 100 new fulltime employees. Including summer hires who haven't started yet, headcount is up from 375 at the end of 2012 to 550.
At the time of Clarizio's hire, AppNexus CEO Brian O'Kelley said: “Lynda joins AppNexus at a time when the company is undergoing a major expansion across many dimensions including headcount and revenue, international, and product.”
“She is one of the strongest and most respected executives in the digital media universe and we are excited to have her join the team to help lead the company through this period of explosive growth. AppNexus has become the home for the digital advertising industry’s top talent, and Lynda’s addition validates that.”
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