Kara Swisher

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Former Yahoo, AOL, HuffPo Sales Dude Greg Coleman Lands Again

Greg Coleman, the online advertising sales exec who keeps making bank after bouncing from top Web jobs, has a new one.

The former Yahoo, AOL and Huffington Post sales leader has just taken over as president of Criteo, a “personalized retargeting” company–essentially, it delivers highly targeted ads to consumers.

Coleman said in an interview with BoomTown last night that he will be focused on expanding Criteo’s U.S. business.

“Performance advertising is a huge opportunity in a high-growth arena,” he said. “I couldn’t pass it up.”

While the 300-person company has offices in Silicon Valley and New York, its HQ is in Paris.

So, Coleman (pictured here)–who has grabbed huge sums of exit cash, first when AOL management changed and then when AOL bought the HuffPo–now gets to visit the City of Lights all the time.

Zut alors! As I have previously written, I’ll have what Coleman’s having.

Toby Coppel, an investor in Criteo who is also on its board, worked with Coleman at Yahoo.

Criteo has raised almost $24 million from Coppel and other investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners and Index Ventures.

Its competitors are other start-ups, such as MyThings.

Here’s the official press release on Coleman’s new job:


Former Huffington Post president and Yahoo! sales chief will take retargeting leader to the “next phase of phenomenal expansion”

PALO ALTO, CA – (April 7, 2011)–Criteo, the global leader in personalized retargeting, today announced that Greg Coleman, former president and chief revenue officer of The Huffington Post and EVP global sales for Yahoo!, will join the company as president. Coleman will oversee global operations and lead the U.S. expansion of the company, whose platform for delivering personally relevant ads to Internet users has enabled the largest e-commerce marketers to post significant incremental sales for the past three years.

“Greg is a visionary who raises the bar,” said JB Rudelle, CEO of Criteo. “With his experience and relationships, we will extend our e-commerce solutions to new clients, deepen our engagement with existing customers, and bring industry appreciation of retargeting to new levels.”

Coleman has caused explosive sales growth for several of the world’s most influential media and technology companies. As the president and chief revenue officer of The Huffington Post, he built a $30 million ad business in one year. As EVP global sales at Yahoo!, he assembled a pre-eminent sales team that grew ad revenues from $600 million to more than $6 billion. As president of U.S. Magazine publishing for Reader’s Digest Association, he turned advertising from an afterthought to more than 25% of corporate profit. Coleman’s experience has translated to the top-ranked class for three years running at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

“Performance advertising is marketing’s new frontier, and it’s still wide open,” said Coleman. “Technology and sales will determine leadership. Criteo has the premier technology for personalizing the advertising experience. The company originated the worldwide market, is the leader in Europe, and has a secure foothold in the U.S., because the technology is the most reliable and scalable. I’m here to spur the next phase of phenomenal expansion.”

Criteo tripled operations in 2010, grew to 300 employees and served more than 50 billion personalized ads on behalf of more than 1,000 e-commerce companies across 20 countries globally–driving an 11x increase in incremental post-click revenues for clients. Criteo technology enables merchants to win back the consumers who leave their websites before completing purchases, and gives advertisers a single source for complete retargeting campaigns–design, buying, serving, optimization and reporting.

By colleagues’ accounts, Coleman has the assets to increase Criteo’s momentum. Former Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau calls him “a true innovator” and says he “created the model for selling social marketing.” And former Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel calls him “the most wired, successful and liked sales executive in Internet marketing.”

“Greg creates unique partnerships with advertisers and merchants,” added investor and Criteo board member Toby Coppel. “He can make Criteo the industry standard.”