Outbrain Culture

10 Years at Outbrain: My Story

Agathe Rakowicz
Agathe Rakowicz
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This past week has been a very special one in Paris, for Outbrain and for me too, with the celebration of the company’s 10th anniversary in France!

Back in time, 10 years ago…

In 2011, native advertising didn’t yet exist, but Outbrain still created the first recommendation widgets on websites and ran the first advertising campaigns of that type. This set the foundations for one of the most engaging advertising channels ever, revealing the future power of the “feed of the open web.”

During my first steps as an Outbrain employee, London was my home. I remember the excitement of being the first Account Manager (AM) for the French market. I was keen to kick off this new professional challenge together with an incredible and talented team of six in London and just two in Paris. FX Préaut, the current Managing Director for France, was part of this founding team and we are now the most veteran staff members at Outbrain in Europe!

During those first years, we built up a hub of Account Managers out of London to support all European countries. It was a fascinating,  dynamic, and fun experience, evolving in such a multicultural environment. As we were scaling, we decided to localize the AM teams to be closer to our partners. And this eventually led to my personal desire – to move back to my hometown of Paris.

Our evolution since has been simply incredible! For example, during the first two years, all the Account Managers were handling both demand and supply partners. But we quickly separated out to deliver higher focus and expertise, and to add more value for the different clients. Nowadays we also have teams at the global level developing partnerships with all the largest stakeholders of the programmatic industry, for instance, and our business has gone far beyond the bounds of content recommendation. 

I’m celebrating my 10th Outbrain work anniversary this year too, and I feel proud of our amazing achievements in the French market and globally. Over the years, some extremely talented people joined the adventure and helped us establish our position in the market; we owe them everything. The fun we had and still have together is immeasurable too, from the team dinners and international offsites, to annual 4th of July parties with clients. We work hard and play hard, but in everything we do, the motivation is always there to go beyond! 

Outbrain Culture is real!

What is most remarkable about Outbrain is how much the company culture hasn’t changed over the years. From the 80-person start-up I joined in 2011 to the 1000-employee public company of today, the values of both the business and our  people have remained the same. From our lighthouse mission – “creating the most meaningful and trustworthy online discovery feeds connecting a person, channel and marketer” – to other values described in our cultural manifesto, like “Tachles” (Get Stuff Done), the same professional engagement has always remained over the years and allowed me to develop my career in a very fulfilling way. 

Also, our product, an incredibly clever algorithmic machine, has been our key market differentiator since day one. We are improving on it every day, as part of our internal challenge as a team, and more importantly to continue to be worthy of our clients.

Outbrain is also a company that cares a lot about work-life-balance and allowed me to start a family without affecting my career path. I’m now the happy mother of one son and a second on the way.  

Trust is at the core of all we do

Our clients’ feedback and employee stories alike often center around the idea of trust. Trust in the team, in the vision, and the Outbrain “lighthouse”, as well as ensuring employees, peers, clients, and partners trust us too. As we like to say, “User trust is our long-term currency and that of our partners’ business.”

As I reflect on what we have accomplished, I personally want to say a huge ⭐️THANK YOU⭐️ to all our partners for their trust over the years, and for supporting us in our vision to make Outbrain what it is today.

Same goes to all the people at Outbrain who trusted me over the years and who supported me even when I pursued some crazily creative ideas!

Excited about the future

While nowadays I’m part of Outbrain’s global team, I’m still very grateful to work closely with the incredible French #dreamteam, always pioneers in taking the initiative and delivering A-class professionalism on all fronts. 

The work I’m leading in Global Brands Operations is extremely exciting, as we are developing new services to reinforce our trusted relationship with major brands all around the world. We have the ambition to be the best alternative to GAFA in helping brands achieve their marketing goals, and I have no doubt we are going to achieve even more.

Our commitment to excellence and growth is real! I am extremely excited about the future that lies ahead, and I look forward to seeing what the next 10 years of Outbrain will bring! 

Agathe Rakowicz

Agathe Rakowicz

Agathe joined Outbrain in 2011, as a founding member of the French office where she set up and led the account management function in France and then all of Southern Europe. In 2018, Agathe stepped in as Global Programmatic Director, and in 2020, she started a new role as Director Global Brands Operations to lead sales strategy across Enterprise brand clients.