Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo’s Ad Platform Is in Limbo, but Right Media Dude Brian Silver Is Moving Forward (Video)

Last week, during the ad:tech gathering in San Francisco, I sat down to do a video interview with Brian Silver, who runs Yahoo’s Right Media advertising exchange.

Silver only got the gig in January, which is when new CEO Scott Thompson also came on board, and it’s already been a wild ride, especially due to all the layoffs and restructuring at the company.

That includes the possible sale or spinoff of Right Media, which Yahoo has been contemplating, along with other parts of its advertising technology platform.

Yahoo bought Right Media for $700 million in 2007.

The concept behind such a sale, according to several sources inside and outside the company, is to turn a cost center into a revenue source, with Yahoo essentially outsourcing a business that was a cornerstone of its strategy. A negotiable number of employees affiliated with those units would then move over to the new owner.

Among the possible buyers: Microsoft and Google, which has put the pressure on Right Media with its aggressive DoubleClick unit.

Silver is trying not to pay attention, focusing on improving the customer experience and also rolling out a new logo, a revamped Web site and promise to excel again.

Here he is talking about it with me in a video interview:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik