Staff Reporters
May 21, 2021

Tech MVP 2021: Philip Coetzee, Xandr

MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONAL: Philip Coetzee is passionate about solving systemic problems in adtech and his latest development work has far-reaching benefits. His work elevating the industry extends into mentorship and people development, too.

Tech MVP 2021: Philip Coetzee, Xandr
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Philip Coetzee 

Senior associate director
Xandr
Australia

Philip Coetzee has long been fascinated by technology, with an insatiable appetite to push boundaries. Moving from his native South Africa to Australia in 2008 to complete a bachelor's degree in IT business systems, soon after Coetzee gained technology and development roles at a number of progressive companies, including Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra. As a custom app consultant, one of his proudest achievements was the development of a custom app for NSW Health, which featured voice biometrics capabilities to allow users to seamlessly reset their passwords.

The lure of adtech saw Coetzee join AppNexus (now Xandr) in 2015 as he desired to work in a (at the time) relatively nascent and dynamic industry where he could work on solving systemic problems. His passion for working on complex issues has seen him rise through the ranks and gain the trust of senior clients at some of Australia’s largest publishers and agencies.

Today, Coetzee’s desire to improve the status quo has led him to develop Xandr’s proprietary Video Ad Server Suite (VASS) to overcome issues in tag-based integrations for CTV supply. The VASS product is now adopted by all broadcasters in Australia, and has proven successful in improving revenue and consumer outcomes like user experience. Furthermore, the impact has positively benefited the buy side. In fact, one of the strategic buy-side partners registered an 80% increase in incremental revenue since the solution was deployed, the company claims. As the lead architect and developer, Coetzee played a pivotal role in the creation of this innovative product by leveraging his background as a software developer. VASS is now in the process of being integrated into Xandr’s core product offering and made available to CTV sellers globally—testament to the scale and impact of his contribution.

Tech MVP jury members noted that the VASS product was exemplary, with strong use cases.

Jury members also commended Coetzee for his mentorship and leadership qualities. Coetzee is described a hands-on leader. His values are grounded in three core pillars: solving real problems, diversity, and talent development. He hires based on these values, enabling him to discover ‘diamonds in the rough’. The team members he works with today come from diverse backgrounds, and had limited technical expertise when they first started.

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