As Longtime Leader Randall Rothenberg Steps Down, IAB Names David Cohen CEO

By 09/09/2020
As Longtime Leader Randall Rothenberg Steps Down, IAB Names David Cohen CEO

After 14 years, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) — a trade association focused on the digital media sector, which annually hosts the Digital NewFronts and the audio-focused Podcast Upfront — will see a changing of the guard.

Longtime CEO Randall Rothenberg is stepping down, effective Sept. 15, whereupon president David Cohen (pictured above) is set to ascend to the chief executive role. Rothenberg will remain involved with the organization as executive chair, reporting to Cohen and working full-time through year’s end, and half-time through 2022.

Cohen, who formerly served as the North American president of ad agency Magna Global, joined the IAB as president days before the coronavirus lockdown in March. At that time, he was tapped with transforming the NewFronts and Podcast Upfront into virtual events, with the IAB saying that the number of participating publishers for the former doubled this year, while brand and agency attendance quintupled.

“In less than a year as president of IAB, David Cohen has vastly increased the size of our media marketplaces, brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into our leadership councils, transformed the timeliness of our strategic initiatives, and injected new enthusiasm into our already energetic leadership team,” Rothenberg said in a statement. “He is a true leader with the steadiness, strategic insights, and experience necessary to take IAB and the digital marketing and media industries through the economic recovery and ultimately to the next level of growth.”

Since onboarding exclusively via Zoom and telephone, Cohen has aggressively reorganized the IAB — which counts 750 member companies — around new campaigns to boost member revenue growth, reduce costs, and to help enhance diversity, the IAB says.

Rothenberg was named CEO of the organization in Jan. 2007 after a distinguished career in writing and management consulting. During his tenure, IAB tripled its membership and staff, and quintupled annual revenues to $30 million, with 47 national and regional offices globally.