Doubling Down

David Kostman is joining Outbrain as Co-CEO.

It’s been many months in the making, and I’m thrilled to finally announce that David Kostman is joining Outbrain as my partner and Co-CEO. I realize that this is a fairly unusual move, but these are also fairly unusual times for our industry.

Outbrain invented the space for Content Discovery over a decade ago, and we continue to lead it today. We are proud to have inspired many others who have followed in our footsteps over the years.

More importantly, we’re proud with having generated significantly more than $1B+ for publishers over the years — revenue that is paramount for sustaining quality journalism at a time where loss of ad revenue and competitors like Facebook are putting publishers at existential risks. There is no other company in the world that has had as long and as consistent of a track record of deep commitment to the best and most premium publishers on the planet as Outbrain.

There are lots of great opportunities in our business as it exists today — Outbrain’s business keeps growing rapidly at double-digit rates (and triple-digit growth rates in a bunch of markets). But a situation where Outbrain grows while publishers are struggling does not fit our long-term vision for this industry. Outbrain’s mission is to be successful by making our publisher partners thrive in their business, and help their users enjoy quality content and journalism.

For that to happen, we believe that the smartest publishers in the world — the ones that will survive and thrive in the long term — will soon be changing how they run their business in a pretty fundamental way. We are hard at work at Outbrain in making that fundamental evolution for publishers a reality. I couldn’t be more excited with what’s in store for us, and for Outbrain’s partners, in 2018-19 (and 2028-29!).

Which brings me back to our announcement today. Inventing the industry as we did a decade ago as a startup was quite the challenge. Re-inventing the industry as we’re doing now, while at the same time executing on a billion-dollar business, is doubly challenging. To make sure that we have both the attention to execute on our current business, while at the same time working with the smartest publishers in the world to reinvent their business, I decided that the best structure of leadership for us is one of Co-CEOs.

David Kostman brings an incredible depth of knowledge of our business and people. In addition to decades of global business leadership, he’s been on our board of directors for over three years in which we’ve worked very closely together. In a nutshell, David will be running our existing core business, while I’ll be working on re-inventing the future of publishing with the smartest publishers in the world.

I couldn’t be more excited with what lies ahead for Outbrain, and for our partners, in years ahead. More to come!

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