On February 6, MTS announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Orey Gilliam, has decided to leave the company, effective at the end of April 2017. Alon Mualem, MTS’ Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will take over as CEO on an interim basis, effective immediately, while MTS searches for a replacement CEO. Gilliam brought his internet and media background to his role at MTS, where video advertising continues to be a core area of business for the company. MTS cited differences in long-term strategic vision as a reason for Gilliam’s departure.
Gilliam was appointed as CEO on June 1, 2016, joining MTS with 20 years of experience in the consumer internet, business intelligence, and telecom verticals. Gilliam previously served as CEO of ICQ, an AOL company, and later headed all of AOL Messaging, including AIM and ICQ product lines. Most recently prior to joining MTS, Gilliam served as an advisor, consultant, and board member to internet- and mobile-focused startups.
MTS currently supports solutions across telecom expense management, enterprise mobility management, and video advertising. Under MTS’ former CEO, Lior Salansky, MTS closed its acquisition of Vexigo Ltd. – a software company providing mobile- and internet-based video advertising solutions – in April 2015, for a total cost of $4 million.
Vexigo continues to drive a core portion of MTS’ business. MTS reported video advertising revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 totaling $4.6 million. Total revenues during this period were $10.0 million, down slightly from $10.5 million for the same period in 2015.
Said Gilliam at the time of reporting, “We continue to make progress in implementing our strategy to enhance Vexigo’s position as a leader in the video advertising space. We are moving forward with additional investments in our technology and products… and believe in its future growth potential.”
Blue Hill notes that for the time being, Vexigo will continue to be a core portion of MTS’ business, representing nearly 50% of the company’s revenue as of September 2016. However, as traditional video advertising has become an increasingly competitive space, with the emergence of new media platforms such as Snapchat vying for advertising revenues, MTS may end up placing a lesser priority on this vertical in the future.
Gilliam’s background in mobile- and internet-based startups demonstrates his entrepreneurial spirit and his focus on high-growth technologies. While TEM remains an interesting space with its market leadership movement, private equity investments, and frequent, niche market-entrants, it has not typically been known as the most fast-moving or high-risk technology area. However, as TEM expands into supporting non-traditional IT assets, such as Internet of Things and cloud technologies, Blue Hill believes that the space will become more attractive for entrepreneurial-minded executives and technology startups in the near future.