Apple Inc. (AAPL) hired Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) executive Todd Teresi to lead its iAd mobile-advertising business, three people with knowledge of the matter said, filling a role in an area where the company has struggled.
Teresi, who was vice president of Adobe’s media solutions group, has already started at Apple as vice president of iAd, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced. Teresi is reporting to Eddy Cue, a senior vice president who also oversees Apple’s iTunes and the App Store.
The iAd business, introduced in 2010, has attempted to parlay Apple’s leadership in consumer electronics into mobile- advertising revenue -- with mixed results. While the system has attracted ads from companies such as Walt Disney Co., some marketers have complained that iAd costs more than other ad services and only works on Apple devices. Apple trails Google Inc. (GOOG) in the mobile advertising market, which may generate $4.4 billion by 2015, according to research firm EMarketer Inc.
“Charging premium prices and reaching only Apple devices is a much harder sell,” said Noah Elkin, an analyst at EMarketer. “That has been a huge stumbling block.”
Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment. Jodi Sorensen, a spokeswoman for Adobe, confirmed that Teresi is no longer at the company.
Teresi, who joined Adobe last year, had worked at Yahoo! Inc. for almost a decade, serving as a senior vice president in charge of the company’s publishing network and vice president responsible for worldwide sales, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before joining Adobe, he was chief revenue officer at Quantcast Corp. (0096172D)
At Adobe, a company Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had chided for making subpar products, Teresi managed Digital Publishing Suite software, which let magazine and newspaper publishers including Conde Nast put out digital editions of their publications for Apple’s iPad and tablets running Google’s Android software. Teresi also was involved making deals in this area last year, including Adobe’s partnership with WoodWing Software and the acquisition of Auditude.
The new job makes Teresi the main liaison between Apple and Madison Avenue, the heart of the ad industry in New York. The role was vacated by Andy Miller, a founder of Quattro Wireless Inc., which Apple acquired (AAPL) two years ago and used as the basis for iAd.
In addition to generating revenue for Apple, the iAd program was conceived as a way for application developers to make money. When an iAd is carried within an app, Apple gives the developer 60 percent of the revenue. When the system was introduced in 2010, the ads were more interactive and graphically rich than others being shown on phones at the time.
The more feature-heavy ads also cost more for marketers, and Apple’s rivals have tried to lure customers by undercutting it on price and letting campaigns be shown on a wider range of devices. Google’s mobile-ad system works with Apple’s products as well as devices running its own Android software.
Google leads the mobile display-advertising market with a 23.8 percent share, according to IDC. Millennial Media has 16.7 percent, and Apple ranks third with 15.1 percent.
Faced with this competition, Apple has become more flexible. It trimmed the minimum ad purchase price required and offered more help to companies in building effective promotions.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook also has been searching for a new head of retail, a position vacated last year by Ron Johnson, who is now the CEO of J.C. Penney Co.
Apple shares rose less than 1 percent to $413.44 at the close in New York. The shares climbed 26 percent in 2011, marking a third straight year of gains. Adobe shares dropped 1 percent to $28.28.
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