Rubicon CEO Frank Addante leaves post at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After ten years on the job
  • Michael Barrett taking over
  • Addante will remain as Chairman
  • Addante spoke at length and said 144 words

(exechange) — Los Angeles, California, March 14, 2017 — Frank Addante, chief executive of Rubicon, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by The Rubicon Project, Inc. in a news release on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Frank Addante leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the online advertising technology firm in a surprising move after ten years on the job, effective this week.

It is the end of an era.

Addante’s duties are taken over by Michael Barrett, most recently Chief Executive Officer at Millennial Media.

The fact that Addante’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider doesn’t have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

No reason given

In the announcement, Rubicon did not explicitly explain the reason for Addante’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Addante will remain as Chairman at Rubicon

“Frank Addante will continue with the company as Founder and Chairman focused on Rubicon Project’s vision, strategy and thought leadership for the future,” Rubicon said.

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often a wake-up call for shareholders when a CEO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of The Rubicon Project, Inc. since May 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2007

Addante co-founded the Rubicon Project, Inc. in 1998 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2007.

An engineer turned entrepreneur, Addante is an early pioneer of digital advertising technology and a successful repeat entrepreneur, having founded four companies prior to Rubicon Project.

In 2002, Addante founded the email infrastructure provider StrongMail Systems, Inc. (Sequoia Capital backed).

Prior, Addante was CTO and Technology Founder of L90, an Internet advertising company, where he pioneered one of the Internet’s first ad serving platforms, adMonitor.

After its initial public offering, L90 was acquired by DoubleClick.

Addante started his “Internet” career with the creation of Starting Point, a search engine that was ranked 7th most popular site on the Internet in 1997 and “later” acquired by CMGI.

In 2011, Addante was named Ernst & Young Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year.

Addante is an avid snowboarder and enjoys morning runs on the beach.

He is an active Board member of CASA, a non-profit focused on helping abused and neglected foster children.

He also serves on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Council on Technology and Innovation.

Addante studied Electrical and Computer Engineering with minors in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Frank Addante’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 12.2017 ($).