- Amazon is betting big on advertising and building out new ad formats, conversion-focused measurement tools, and a self-serve platform to win over marketers.
- Business Insider identified 19 executives leading these initiatives and more at Amazon Advertising. They represent a variety of roles and a mix of longtime employees and newer hires from agencies and media companies.
- The list reflects people working on newer growth areas like over-the-top advertising as well as Amazon’s core performance-based ad business serving big consumer packaged goods brands like Procter & Gamble.
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Amazon is becoming a formidable online advertising competitor to juggernauts Facebook and Google.
Advertising is Amazon’s fastest-growing business. It’s building ad formats like video, search and programmatic advertising that use shopping data to help advertisers target and measure ads, and is hiring for more than 1,300 positions to help grow the division, according to its website. Financial services firm Cowen predicted that Amazon would make $17.6 million from advertising this year, up 36% from 2019.
Business Insider asked advertising execs and experts that regularly work with Amazon who the top insiders are leading its advertising business. Most of the sources, whose identities are known to Business Insider, requested anonymity because of their close ties to Amazon.
We also scoured public information to find people working on everything from deepening relationships with marketers to solving measurement challenges. Our list reflects people working in a variety of roles and overseeing various parts of Amazon’s ad products, from its core search ad business to newer initiatives like over-the-top advertising in Amazon Fire.
At the top of the advertising leadership is Paul Kotas, a longtime Amazon employee who is close to CEO Jeff Bezos’ inner circle as a member of Amazon’s executive suite, dubbed the “S-team.” Under Kotas, Amazon has a big gap in its leadership since VP of global advertising and marketing Seth Dallaire left last year to become CRO of Instacart.
Here are the top 19 Amazon Advertising execs, listed alphabetically.
Title: Director of API and global partner program
What he does: Angilivelil helps marketers find Amazon experts.
As Amazon’s ad business has grown, so has a group of technology firms and agencies to help marketers navigate the ins and outs of selling and advertising on the platform.
Angilivelil works to bring those firms, which are often founded by ex-Amazon employees, closer to Amazon’s ecosystem. Last year he helped launch an online directory that serves as a resource for marketers that includes small Amazon-focused agencies as well as e-commerce shops within large holding companies like WPP and Interpublic Group. He also works with the companies to build tools that help advertisers run ads.
Angilivelil has been in his role for about a year and at Amazon since 2000, having previously worked on teams like Kindle with a focus on typography and layout of content on the ereader devices.
Title: Global VP of performance advertising
What she does: Aubrey oversees Amazon’s lucrative search ad revenue.
Aubrey is a longtime Amazon employee who oversees Amazon’s search products.
She is one of a handful of insiders whose seen as a top candidate to succeed Seth Dallaire, who left Amazon last year to join Instacart as chief revenue officer. Her profile also grew when she was named to Amazon’s executive suite, nicknamed the “S-team,” in December. The group is made up of about 20 employees from across Amazon’s businesses who are close to Bezos.
“It’s pretty clear that Colleen is helming the ship at this point,” said an agency exec who works closely with Amazon.
Aubrey’s role mainly comprises the business that places keyword-based ads on its website and app. Search makes up the bulk of Amazon’s ad revenue, which a second agency exec said is indicated in Aubrey’s boost internally.
“In some ways, Colleen’s ascension is an acknowledgement of just how big the sponsored ad businesses is,” the executive said.
Title: Director and head of global expansion
What he does: Bar-Haim is trying to expand Amazon’s ad business globally.
Amazon is increasingly trying to scale its advertising business internationally, and Bar-Haim is the exec doing so behind the scenes.
Based in Amazon’s Toronto headquarters, his focus is on finding new and emerging regions for Amazon. Within the past couple of years, Amazon has expanded its ad business to Australia and Mexico and brought new features to regions like the United Arab Emirates. In each region, Bar-Haim creates custom strategies for advertisers.
Bar-Haim previously headed sales for clothing, shoes, watches and jewelry at Amazon for two years.
He is on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada and previously worked in marketing at Microsoft.
Title: Global agency development lead for Omnicom
What she does: Bloom helps the advertising holding company’s clients buy ads and navigate the platform.
Like Facebook and Google, Amazon has sales reps dedicated to individual advertising holding companies, and Bloom is dedicated to Omnicom, which handles advertising for the likes of Pepsi, McDonald’s and Apple.
Navigating Amazon can be tough for brands that don’t sell products through the platform, and Bloom’s job is to help Omnicom understand everything from ad formats to targeting.
Before joining Amazon in 2018, Bloom worked at AOL, Yahoo, and Starcom, where Procter & Gamble was her client.
Title: Sales director of global agency development
What he does: Christer works with international ad agencies.
Christer is an agency and technology sales veteran who is working to forge relationships with international ad agencies.
Christer joined last fall and reports to Ryan Mayward, signaling that Amazon is working to strengthen its ties to international agencies and large advertisers that are focused on brand building.
He previously was president of global accounts at Dentsu-owned media agency Carat and worked in agency development for six years at Google. Before that, he was a managing partner at Zenith.
Title: Global agency development lead for WPP
What he does: Cloonan helps the world’s biggest advertising holding company navigate Amazon.
Cloonan started his career at WPP and rose to brokering and managing media partnership deals for WPP agencies like Mindshare, Mediacom, and Wavemaker between 2010 and 2016.
Last year, Cloonan joined Amazon to work on WPP’s account, replacing the role that Andy Reinhard previously held. WPP’s GroupM is the largest media-buying firm in the world and works with Nestlé, Unilever and Target. Cloonan works with WPP to help its advertisers create strategies and run campaigns.
Title: Head of US agency development
What she does: Coffey works with agencies’ large advertisers on ad packages.
Coffey is part of Amazon’s growing agency development team.
As agencies build out Amazon-specific arms — like Dentsu’s Sellwin Consulting and Omnicom’s OMG Transact — Coffey works with the holding companies like WPP and Publicis to explain Amazon’s advertising business to their clients and help them develop strategies to use the platform.
Before she joined Amazon eight years ago, Coffey worked in sales roles for publishers including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Time Inc.
Title: Sales director of global programmatic
What he does: Dinichert is building Amazon’s programmatic ad business.
Last year, Amazon acquired Sizmek’s ad server to compete against Google’s ad server that dominates the placement and measurement of online ads.
Dinichert leads the integration of Sizmek’s ad server and reports to Ryan Mayward. Dinichert is a longtime ad sales veteran and previously worked at WPP-owned 24/7 Real Media.
He joined Amazon in 2012 to start Amazon Advertising’s France arm and moved to New York in 2018 to focus on Amazon’s programmatic ad business.
Title: Head of global sponsored ads partner management
What she does: Douin leads Amazon’s biggest ad format with big agencies.
Sponsored ads, the keyword-targeted text and images that appear in searches on Amazon, are its most popular ad format. They’re used by sellers to rank higher in searches alongside competitors and Amazon’s own private-label brands.
Douin works directly with the biggest agencies and holding companies and educates them on best practices. Her team acts as a product expert and develops relationships with agencies to grow adoption, particularly with Amazon’s API that allows agencies to buy ads through a self-serve platform.
Before joining Amazon in 2014, Douin worked in sales at Unruly and French telecom Orange.
Title: Head of US advertising sales
What he does: Elton is Amazon’s top sales lead for big advertisers.
Amazon splits its sales accounts into two groups: Field sales (which provides big spending advertisers with a high level of service), and emerging sales (which handles smaller advertisers and sellers).
Elton is the US lead for field sales and works with some of Amazon’s largest advertisers on custom campaigns like an experiential campaign for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” that included a life-size Amazon box plastered with the movie’s logo.
Elton worked on the entertainment sales side of Amazon before being promoted last year to head of US ad sales succeeding Jeremi Gorman, who left to join Snap as chief business officer in 2018.
Elton’s counterpoint in Europe is Zach Johnson.
Title: Head of US advertising sales for IMDb, head of grocery
What he does: Friedland is central to Amazon’s ad-supported streaming plans.
Amazon has been building up its library of ad-supported content within IMDb’s streaming service, IMDb TV. IMDb TV is becoming a bigger part of Amazon’s pitch to marketers wanting to reach TV-like audiences.
Amazon competes against a number of similar ad-supported services like Roku, Pluto TV, Xumo, and Tubi.
Friedland leads Amazon’s sales efforts for IMDb and has a background in media and entertainment. Before joining Amazon in 2012, he worked in marketing roles at Viacom’s MTV Networks as well as Yahoo. Previously he worked with Universal Pictures at media agency OMD.
Title: Director of international advertising sales and global accounts
What he does: Johnson is a longtime Amazon exec who is making inroads with European marketers.
Johnson runs the international arm of Amazon Advertising’s field service team that works with big sellers and advertisers that receive a high level of service from sales reps.
He previously worked in advertising-focused roles at Amazon in the US for 14 years. Sources said he made deep relationships with advertisers while at Amazon and see him as a possible successor to Dellaire.
Title: SVP of Amazon Advertising
What he does: Kotas is at the top of Amazon Advertising and a long-time exec who’s part of Jeff Bezos’ inner circle.
Kotas oversees Amazon’s advertising, one of Amazon’s fastest-growing businesses, reporting to Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.
Kotas is a longtime employee and part of Amazon’s “S-team,” a group of about 20 employees from across Amazon’s businesses who are close to Bezos.
He has also led Amazon’s expansion into New York — the epicenter of the advertising industry — over the past few years, promising to bring 2,000 jobs to the city in marketing, finance, design and IT.
Title: Director of global emerging account sales
What he does: Lomas oversees thousands of small advertisers.
Consumer-packaged goods giants like Procter & Gamble and Unilever are some of Amazon’s biggest advertisers, but Amazon is trying to get small and mid-size advertisers to spend and experiment more, and Lomas is key to that effort.
Lomas has worked at Amazon since 2011 and has experience across Amazon’s display and programmatic ad business. He previously worked at Seattle-based startups like AdReady.
Title: GM of Amazon DSP
What he does: Mannino is a longtime adtech vet leading Amazon’s programmatic push.
As Amazon’s advertising ambitions grow, the company has hired people with programmatic, or automated, advertising backgrounds like Mannino.
Since 2018, Mannino has been general manager of Amazon’s demand-side platform (or DSP) that advertisers use to programmatically buy ads on publishers’ websites. While most of Amazon’s advertising revenue comes from ads sold on its own website and app, Amazon has been growing this programmatic ad business over the past couple of years.
Mannino is well-known in adtech circles and has worked at Amazon in two tenures. He first joined Amazon in 2012 from MediaMath and ran the Amazon Advertising platform as general manager. He left in 2016 to be CRO at Yieldbot and returned to Amazon in 2017.
Title: Sales director
What he does: Mayward is growing Amazon’s relationships with agencies.
Mayward is at the center of Amazon’s efforts to cozy up to large holding companies.
He has worked at Amazon since 2012 and is credited with putting together several of Amazon’s big deals with holding companies. He previously worked in sales at NBCUniversal.
Eric Heller, EVP of marketplace services at Wunderman Thompson, said Mayward’s role has grown as more agencies spend more brand dollars with Amazon.
In addition to working with agencies, Mayward helps larger brands run programmatic ad campaigns through a demand-side-platform, including ads in Amazon Fire TV apps.
Mayward is on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and The Advertising Club of New York.
Title: Head of North America agency commercial deals
What he does: Reinhard has ins with the biggest ad agencies.
Reinhard oversees large deals with advertisers and vets Amazon’s ad tech partners, and sources call him one of the most high-profile members on Ryan Mayward’s agency-focused team.
Reinhard used to be Amazon’s global lead for the giant ad holding company WPP and worked solely with the holding company for three years.
Before that, he split his time between an agency lead for WPP and Havas Media and brought on financial services brands like Bank of America and Allstate as Amazon advertisers.
Title: Director of Amazon’s Advertising Console
What he does: Saltzman manages Amazon’s tool that helps advertisers manage campaigns.
Saltzman oversees Amazon’s Advertising Console, a tool that first-party sellers use to manage all of their ad buys, accounts and analytics.
The console is central to Amazon’s push to make its advertising business easier for marketers to navigate. A couple years ago, Amazon consolidated its advertising business under the Amazon Advertising brand and renamed Amazon Marketing Services as Advertising Console.
Saltzman is a boomerang at Amazon. He’s a longtime product and engineering exec who left the company in 2014 for a top user experience role at Nordstrom before returning to Amazon in 2016.
Title: Head of North American partner development
What he does: Swilley is focused on opening up Amazon’s ad business to third parties.
Swilley was named by sources as an Amazon leader who works with agencies and tech firms to build tools that plug into Amazon’s ad platform.
These companies, like Teikametrics and Sellics, sell software to help marketers manage campaigns, set bid prices for ads, and handle logistics like setting sales prices and fulfillment. Swilley works with those companies on business development.
Swilley has worked at Amazon since 2016 in several roles, including head of national brand sales for Amazon Restaurants, the company’s defunct restaurant-delivery service that shut down last year. Before Amazon, Swilley worked at Colgate-Palmolive with retailers like CVS.