Former GroupM North America CEO Brian Lesser will help AT&T build a new advertising and analytics business in the wake of its merger with content giant Time Warner, the carrier announced Friday.
According to AT&T, Lesser will serve as CEO for the new division, where he will be responsible for building and leading a new automated advertising and data analytics platform for video and TV advertisements. Lesser will report to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
AT&T declined to provide more details about the new ad business and what data it will use.
Lesser comes to AT&T from his position as head of GroupM North America, a media investment management company that reportedly uses data and technology to boost advertising values for large companies.
“Brian is a terrific executive and one of the best there is in harnessing technology and data to create targeted advertising,” Stephenson commented. “Once we complete our acquisition of Time Warner Inc., we believe there is an opportunity to build an automated advertising platform that can do for premium video and TV advertising what the search and social media companies have done for digital advertising.”
Lesser said in a statement advertising has evolved away from broad based messaging to a system that favors “customized, individual content coordinated across all connected devices.” Once the Time Warner merger is complete, Lesser indicated AT&T will be in a perfect position to deliver on that strategy.
“AT&T has amazing assets for creating engaging advertising experiences for consumers,” Lesser observed. “I am excited to work with Randall and the entire AT&T team to build a world-class advertising and insights business.”
AT&T’s Time Warner deal is still under review by the U.S. Department of Justice and foreign competition regulators. However, the operator is already making moves to prepare for integration of the two companies.
Earlier this week, AT&T announced a shuffle of leadership, assigning new roles to well-known department heads including John Stankey, John Donovan, and Lori Lee. More on that here.
AT&T this week also confirmed Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie will be stepping down from his post as of September 1. Details on that change can be found here.