Fairfax looks overseas for programmatic talent as skills crunch continues

By Brendan Coyne | 2 May 2014
Lee Callagher jets in to beef up Fairfax's programmatic clout.

Fairfax has looked outside of Australia in a bid to beef up its programmatic trading clout. The publisher has hired Lee Callagher as trading desk commercial manager from AOL in London.

Callagher said she was “thrilled” to join Fairfax. She will report to digital ad development director, Tereza Alexandratos.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lee to Fairfax Media from London. Lee has built an impressive career in digital advertising and understands the complexities of trading in our environment. Our programmatic trading is growing rapidly and we see it as a great complement to our commercial model and a key growth opportunity.”

The move ads fire power to Fairfax's trading team following the recent departures of Ben Green, who left to go platform-side at Turn, and Jess White, now general manager at IPG Mediabrands trading desk Cadreon.

Publishers, vendors and trading desks are all competing for similar talent, with a supply-demand imbalance in the programmatic market. Churn is high although Alexandratos told AdNews that problem will ease as the market matures.

In the meantime, Fairfax is not the only firm looking overseas or into other industries for the right people.

Mediabrands unit Anomaly today announced it had hired a former investment bank analyst to fine tune its algorithmic performance and help sharpen the edge of the holding group's trading desk.

Alexandratos is one of a number of panellists discussing the programmatic media market with AdNews on 22 May at the Media Sales Summit at Royal Randwick. Find out more here.

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