Jessica Goodfellow
Sep 18, 2019

Michael Rubenstein departs AppNexus one year after AT&T acquisition

The president of AppNexus is stepping down from the business after completing the adtech unit's integration into AT&T's Xandr

Michael Rubenstein
Michael Rubenstein

AppNexus’ most senior remaining executive, Michael Rubenstein, is to step down from the business one year after its acquisition by AT&T.

Rubenstein, who has been AppNexus’ president for a decade, will leave the business at the end of the year. The news was first reported by AdExchanger.

His departure will follow that of AppNexus co-founder and chief executive Brian O’Kelley, who stepped back to become a strategic advisor to the business in October last year. As of February it appears as though O’Kelley no longer has any connection to the company, according to his LinkedIn.

There’s been a lot of change at AppNexus since AT&T completed its around US$2 billion acquisition of the business in August last year.

The AppNexus brand is slowly being wound down and folded into a new business unit, Xandr, which consolidates AT&T’s advertising, data and analytics businesses under one roof, including AppNexus, ATT.net and AdWorks. The unit supports AT&T’s more than 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships across its wireless, video and broadband businesses.

Rubenstein’s role since the acquisition has been to help integrate AppNexus into the new business unit.

In a note sent to employees last week, Rubenstein wrote that now the integration is “meaningfully complete, I feel it’s the right time for me to leave the company in your capable hands and begin my next journey”.

Rubenstein joined AppNexus in 2009 during its formative years, and as a former Google ad exec played a crucial role in establishing the business as an independent force against the internet’s walled gardens. Prior to joining AppNexus, he founded and led Google AdX.

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