XA.net Management and Board of Directors
Rob Leathern | CEO and founder
Rob founded XA.net in early 2008. Recognized as an expert in the field of online advertising and e-commerce, Rob has built scalable technology-based media businesses and advised Fortune 500 companies and startup firms alike on their online revenue-generating strategies. Rob was previously chief operating officer for Consorte Media, an online advertising company focused on the Hispanic market. Before that, Rob was vice president of business development for Root Markets and general manager of advertising at LinkedIn. Before LinkedIn, Rob was at NexTag where he built up NexTag’s display advertising lead generation and media business, propelling the firm to a position as a top 5 US online advertiser according to Nielsen//NetRatings. He led the creation of the firm’s advertising server systems, yield management, media buying and creative creation tools, which enabled an unprecedented automation of media buying and management. Rob began his professional career as an investment banking analyst in New York with ING Barings/Furman Selz, and then in 1999 joined Jupiter Communications as an e-commerce research analyst. Rob left Jupiter in 2003 and joined Nielsen//NetRatings as the company’s director of commerce analytics, where he delivered custom analysis and led strategic engagements for Nielsen’s financial services, retail and Internet clients. Rob holds an AB degree in computer science and economics from Dartmouth College, and received the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst®) designation in 2003.
David Li | CTO and founder
David leads XA’s engineering and development efforts. David was previously Chief Architect at Consorte Media, where he was responsible for building the company’s advertising network and lead generation infrastructure, including the development of a data center that automated key business workflows and integrated via API with external systems including Google AdWords, Right Media’s Exchange, and Salesforce.com. Prior to Consorte Media, David worked as a technical lead at Root Markets, where he designed and implemented web applications for the company’s lead generation exchange platform, and built adserving and conversion optimization systems. Prior to Root Markets, David worked as a senior developer for firms including ZipRealty and BenefitPoint. David holds a BS degree in Computer Science from San Jose State University.
Matt Esslinger | COO
Matt leads the XA.net operations team. Matt has over ten years of experience in online media and has built and scaled operations for several $20MM+ business units. Matt was most recently vice president at ARPU, a leader in data-enabled online advertising. Prior to ARPU, Matt was vice president at Adteractive, where he ran the online education lead generation business, including all sales, distribution, and product marketing efforts. Before Adteractive, Matt was at Looksmart, where he was the founding product manager for the company’s core paid listing product and later built out the operations team responsible for managing several hundred clients. Matt began his career at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown as an investment banking analyst working with clients in retail, business services, and online media. Matt holds an AB Degree in Economics from Stanford University.
Jonah Goodhart | Board of Directors – WGI Group
Jonah is a co-founder of WGI Group, Point Ventures Group, Smarter Ad Group, and Colonize.com. Jonah was one of the founding investors and Board members of Right Media, the leading online advertising exchange which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2007. Most recently, Jonah co-founded WGI Group, a seed stage fund which has invested in over ten early stage technology companies.
Atul Patel | Board of Directors – CEO, OneScreen, Inc
Atul is the CEO of OneScreen which is introducing new ways for content producers, publishers, and advertisers to work in concert to provide their audiences with relevant, rich, and engaging digital video experiences. Atul was previously co-founder of LeadROI, a lead management software company which was recently acquired by MediaWhiz.
XA.net Advisory Board
Tom Cole | CEO of Beau-coup Favors, former General Partner, Trinity Ventures
Tom Cole is the CEO of Beau-coup Favors, the leading online retailer of favors, gifts, and party supplies for weddings and other celebrations of life events. Most recently, he was a General Partner at Trinity Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm where he spent a decade investing in leading-edge technology and new media companies. While at Trinity, Tom worked on the boards of Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai in 2005) and Photobucket (acquired by Fox Interactive in 2007). He also led Trinity’ss investments in Sygate (acquired by Symantec in 2005) and Invio Software (acquired by VERITAS in 2004). Prior to joining Trinity in 1998, Tom held numerous design and development roles at both startups and larger companies including Approach Software and Oracle Corporation. Tom graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. with distinction in Computer Science summa cum laude from Yale University, and holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Jerry Neumann | Investor
Former Managing Director of Communicade, the venture capital arm of Omnicom Group. Seed funded early internet marketing pioneers, including Razorfish, Agency.com, Organic and Oyster Interactive, and early stage investor in other leading digital media firms like Spray AB, Healthology, eMedicine, Taleo and Think New Ideas. Co-founder of Root Markets.
Edmond Jonckheere | USC Professor of Mathematics/Engineering
Professor Jonckheere received the Electrical Engineer degree from the Universite de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; the Doctor in Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France; and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His past research interests included topological methods in robust control, “complicated” non linear dynamics, and propulsion control of aerospace vehicles. Dr. Jonckheere was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1991, for Contributions to the spectral theory of linear-quadratic and H-infinity control. In 1999, he was listed in the Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.
Antony Taylor | former VP of Display Platforms Group at Yahoo!
Ant Taylor recently left Yahoo! where he was VP of the Display Platforms Group, leading architecture and delivery of Yahoo’s platform solutions for advertisers, publishers and ad networks. Ant arrived at Yahoo through the Right Media acquisition where he first led the Advertiser Product Group and later Platform Solutions. Before Right Media, Ant worked at American Express in a variety of strategy and finance roles. Ant is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University where he also played basketball. He is active in the startup community as an advisor and angel investor.
Greg Yardley | Vice President, Products & Co-Founder at Flurry
Greg Yardley was co-founder and CEO of Pinch Media, which merged with Flurry in December 2009. He has several years of experience designing analytics and ad serving products. Prior to Pinch Media, Greg led product management for Yahoo!’s ad serving platform. He joined Yahoo! through the acquisition of Right Media, where he was a product manager. Earlier, Greg held product management positions at Root Markets and NexTag. Greg holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with honors from York University and a Master of Arts in History from Stanford University.
Matt Barash | Advisory Board Member
Matt Barash received his BA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Matt’s most recent role was at Forbes Media, serving as Vice President of Audience Monetization. While there, Matt was focused on the cultivation of a new business unit to leverage real time bidding, data management and ad tech partnerships to create a suite of technology driven ad products to bring to market. Previously, Matt had served as the Senior Director of Publisher Development at Fox Audience Network, where he and his team assembled and managed a portfolio of more than 800 third party publishers. Matt has extensive third party ad network experience at both Traffic Marketplace and 24/7 Real Media, where he worked in various business development capacities on data, technology and strategic publisher partnerships. Prior to entering the digital world, Matt held sales and strategy roles in both broadcast and print media at Discovery Communications, ESPN/ABC Sports, Conde Nast and the Smithsonian.