Instagram; Facebook; John Lamparski/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York; Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York; Yutong Yuan/Business Insider
- With more focus on privacy and regulation, Facebook has been shaking up its leadership lately, including expanding David Fischer’s role to chief revenue officer.
- Business Insider assembled a list of 21 top Facebook executives who are responsible for setting the company’s strategy and working with its seven million advertisers.
- The list reflects how Facebook’s leadership is increasingly pitching advertisers formats like Stories, doubling down on its advertising transparency efforts, and betting big on its Watch video section.
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Despite a string of data scandals and privacy concerns over the past couple of years, Facebook’s advertising business has never been bigger.
Marketers often complain about Facebook and Google’s chokehold on digital advertising dollars but few have moved money away from the platform. In fact, Facebook’s ad revenue grew 38% to $55 billion in 2018 over 2017.
The company’s massive advertising business can be chalked up to sophisticated ad tools and experts that marketers lean on to learn about new products, formats and targeting.
But with looming regulation and Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of making the company a more private social network, Facebook’s ad business is changing. It’s trying to diversify its revenue outside of its main flagship app into Instagram, Messenger and eventually WhatsApp. Instagram in particular is under pressure to ramp up its revenue as people move from feeds to Stories and make e-commerce transactions from the app.
The shift to broaden Facebook’s revenue is reflected in leadership changes. David Fischer, formerly VP of business and marketing partnerships, became chief revenue officer in March, giving him more oversight into revenue across all of Facebook’s properties. Longtime sales execs Carolyn Everson and Dan Levy‘s roles have been tweaked since late last year, too.
Business Insider has compiled a list of the 21 most powerful and important advertising execs at the company. These employees work across multiple teams and departments and span everything from new ad formats and creative to Facebook’s work on advertising transparency policies.
Below is an alphabetical list of the executives responsible for setting the social network’s strategy amid big shifts that are rippling across the advertising industry.
Ty Ahmad-Taylor, VP of product marketing
The Consumer Electronics Show/Facebook
Ahmad-Taylor is a longtime tech and media exec who ran George Lucas-founded audio and video firm THX as CEO before joining Facebook two years ago. He’s also worked at Samsung, Viacom and Comcast.
His team works with Facebook’s advertising engineering and sales teams to create new ad formats like augmented reality ads. According to his LinkedIn profile, the business product marketing team provides financial analysis to both teams. He also sits on GoPro’s board of directors.
As Facebook continues to try to grow its video advertising, Ahmad-Taylor has also spoken about the opportunity to take share from broadcasters and cable companies.
"We view that we are a likely substitute or a swap for television, for print, for cable advertising and for other types of media that might compete for your attention," he said during a workshop hosted in March by the Department of Justice. "You see the same scale and scope offered in the digital realm."
Gedioen Aloula, global VP of marketing at Instagram
Aloula joined Instagram in June, filling a role that Clifford Hopkins previously held.
Aloula’s task of building awareness for Instagram comes as Facebook is working to integrate all its brands. According to a job posting earlier this year for the position, he’ll be tasked with moving Instagram’s marketing from a performance-focused model to one with a more equal balance of performance and brand building.
Before joining Instagram, he served as global head of marketing at HP and worked in consumer marketing at Visa.
Gene Alston, VP of partnerships
Think of Alston as the gatekeeper to Facebook’s partnerships with hundreds of ad-tech firms, marketing companies and startups.
Advertisers often complain that Facebook limits the amount of data it shares with third parties, and it’s further cut back the third-party data advertisers have access to for ad targeting after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Alston, a former Pinterest and Groupon exec who joined Facebook in 2017, is charged with vetting the companies Facebook works with. In January, he was involved in inking a deal with ad-tech companies DoubleVerify and OpenSlate to provide brand-safety tools to advertisers. Facebook also created an online training course that freelance and independent consultants can take for $99 to become certified in skills like using the Facebook Pixel to run and track ad campaigns.
"Our latest partnerships really help people understand how their ads have been seen on our platform," he said in a March interview with his alma mater, the UCLA Anderson School of Management. "Companies can verify on a third-party basis whether ads have been seen by the audience that the clients are looking to reach. And then that allows them to better measure the impact on their business."
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- Instagram is testing ads in its Explore tab — here’s how marketers say it will change their ad spend