The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the well-regarded national trade association for the digital media and marketing industries, has announced David Cohen, its current President, has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Randall Rothenberg. Rothenberg had served as the IAB CEO since 2007, except for six months when he was at Time, Inc. Rothenberg will remain at IAB as Executive Chair through 2022.
The IAB sets standards, develops best practices, provides continuing education and training, provides advice and assistance, as well as research and data to the many advertisers and advertising companies that work with IAB. IAB has been instrumental in the growth of digital revenue since its founding in 1996 – the very wild west of the Internet.
Cohen takes on the leadership of the IAB at a time when traditional advertising is faltering, which has been catalyzed by the Covid pandemic, while digital advertising is projected to grow, albeit, no doubt at a lower rate than in the past.
Cohen has been President of the IAB for the last year and was responsible for a big increase in their media marketplaces and the number of industry executives involved in IAB’s leadership councils. Rothenberg said about Cohen, “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 Board and I felt strongly that there was no reason to wait. He should be our CEO now.”
“As the industry continues to face some of its biggest challenges, we rely on IAB to bring us together, tackle the tough questions, and develop real, actionable solutions,” said Rik Van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft MSFT 0.0% Advertising and Interim Chair of IAB Board of Directors. “In this next chapter, we’ll still be able to rely on Randall’s wisdom and counsel, and we’ll have all the benefits and tremendous strengths David brings to the table. Everybody wins — especially IAB members.”
In his new role Cohen will report to the IAB Board of Directors, chaired by Rik Van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft MSFT 0.0% Advertising. The IAB Vice Chair, is Gina Garrubbo, President and CEO of National Public Media. A long-standing member of the IAB Board, Peter Naylor, VP of Sales, Snap Inc. SNAP -4.7%said, “The bottom line in business is results, and David delivers. His buy-side experience and perspective, most recently as President of Magna, is invaluable. He has built organizations responsible for purchasing billions of dollars of digital media inventory annually.”
Cohen expressed enthusiasm for leading the IAB and serving their clients and partners in the digital media eco-system. He said, “what makes the IAB leadership position so meaningful is that the team here is not just helping individual companies – we’re helping to reshape and grow an entire sector of the economy.”
Cohen continued, “We are boosting our focus on dramatically increasing our brand, agency, and publisher presence across all IAB activities. My buy-side experience has shown me that connecting all those dots is critical for industry collaboration, agenda-setting, and leadership.”
As Executive Chair, Rothenberg will report to Cohen, and advise the IAB on economic, public policy, compliance, and consumer brand and retail issues.
“I speak for all of us at IAB when I say we can’t thank Randall enough for his leadership, his friendship, his sage counsel, and for everything he has done for the industry he has served so faithfully for the past 14 years,” said Cohen. “What we are able to build in the years ahead would not have been possible without him.”