The WarnerMedia advertising sales manager role, which had been vacant for more than a year, has finally been filled. Jean-Paul “JP” Colaco has been hired for the new role, WarnerMedia said today.
“JP is a well-respected, proven leader bringing a new perspective on the relationship between the customer journey and advanced advertising,” said Tony Goncalves, director of commercial operations for WarnerMedia – and will report to Colaco – in a statement. “He understands our vision as a company: If we accept moments of big change and take risks, we can create a better customer experience for our brands.”
Colaco comes from Apple, where he has been heading the America region for Apple search ads since April 2019. Before that, he was responsible for business development at Veseel and until 2013 worked as SVP for advertising sales and operations at Hulu.
“It’s humbling to be part of the team that, together with our incredible brand partners, are creating the next generation of advertising experiences. We are in the middle of the next chapter of media transformation and advertising is an important component of the structure of the ecosystem, ”Colaco said in a statement. “I’m very excited to be joining this talented team and building a customer-centric advertising experience together that delivers powerful and relevant brand messages across platforms.”
Amit Chaturvedi’s WarnerMedia Ad Sales Leadership Team, which oversees sales and product management; Katrina Cukaj, director of ad sales strategy and network partnerships; Joe Hogan, Senior Sales and Relationship Manager; and Amy Leifer, who is responsible for operations and services, will report directly to Colaco.
Colaco has filled the position, which has been open since Donna Speciale, who has been with the company since 2012, was shown the door in July 2019 by WarnerMedia CFO Gerhard Zeiler, who at the time was overseeing Speciale and her team as part of WarnerMedia, Affiliates and Advertising sales group.
When Speciale left, Zeiler said he would lead ad sales as interim president and work with Chaturvedi, Cukaj and Hogan.
At that point, the buyers were told that the agreement would be temporary, but the company continued to operate under the same structure for more than a year. Hogan, EVP for sales and marketing at WarnerMedia, ran ad sales without the official title.
In July, marking the one-year anniversary of Speciale’s exit, a WarnerMedia source told Adweek that the company was expecting to select its next ad sales manager by the end of the summer.
The schedule was changed in August, however, when WarnerMedia’s new CEO Jason Kilar unveiled a formidable executive overhaul that led Otter CEO Goncalves to lead a new business unit, the U.S. advertising sales and distribution groups combined with home entertainment and content licensing. (Zeiler was hired to lead a newly integrated international group made up of the international operations of Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner Networks.)
The company spoke to several candidates in late 2019, including former Viacom ad sales director Sean Moran (who, according to a source, wasn’t interested due to his plans for the future). However, the search was suspended earlier this year when Zeiler first learned that AT&T would consolidate its ad sales units and move Xandr, its ad tech unit, to WarnerMedia under his supervision. At this point, according to the WarnerMedia source, Zeiler shifted its priority to focus on this new structure, which was released in April.
According to the WarnerMedia source, the new hire would likely oversee both the WarnerMedia and Xandr ad sales teams – and in August, Hogan received a provisional Xandr ad sales oversight as part of that transition following the August exit from Kirk McDonald’s.