Industry Profile: InMobi vice president and general manager ANZ Richard O'Sullivan

20 April 2021

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to InMobi vice president and general manager, Australia & New Zealand, Richard O'Sullivan.

Time in current role/time at the company:
Two years in Australia (time at the company more than six and a half years globally).

How would you describe what the company does?
InMobi works with the world’s largest brands, agencies and demand-side platforms (DSP) to help them understand, identify, engage and acquire their customers by leveraging InMobi’s programmatic advertising platforms and exclusive access to mobile intelligence.

What do you do day-to-day?
Effectively implementing the strategy for InMobi’s expanded growth in Australia and New Zealand and building a versatile team to collaborate and solve business problems for and with our customers – be it advertisers, agencies, publishers, developers or DSPs.

Define your job in one word:

I got into adtech because:
Of the excitement and challenge in equal measure and my family has some pedigree in this space; my father was a marketing director for Pfizer, sister is a journalist and the other sister has 15+ years at NewsCorp, FT, etc. in media.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
I would say it’s managing for the continuing complexity, dynamism, and volatility of the market; from the current pandemic, regulatory changes related to privacy, impact on identifiers from Apple/Google and the resultant impact on revenue potential and mental wellbeing of the team. I believe we’re in a good position though and staying positive about the opportunities that arise with the disruption.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
It would have to be education and training. Because the pace of change in the industry has accelerated, the learning curve is ever steepening, and the skills shortage is evident in the industry.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Affectv, Abu Dhabi Media Company, Associated Newspapers, Trinity Mirror etc.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
In the last 10 years it would have to be our current CEO, Abhay Singhal. In the post Softbank investment years, we went through a lot of the same experiences at the same time; frequently changing/high pressure roles, international travel and young families. It created understanding, trust, and a straight-talking approach.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Constantly challenge yourself and avoid getting comfortable. Find a job that intersects with what you’re good at and what you enjoy and then, it’s less work and more fun.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
I would be a lawyer fighting the good fight, though the more aspirational career would have been closer to being a professional soccer player.

My mantra is:
You can achieve anything if you try/ nothing if you don’t...won’t be easy either way.

My favourite advert is:
It would have to be the Guinness ‘Surfer’ ad as much for the cinematic effect that made you want to watch it always, as the fact that it ignored research to deliver a campaign with such high impact on its target market.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? 
I have an eight and four-year-old which means we have everything – Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple, Disney, Stan, Kayo, Hopster, YouTube etc. Even Foxtel!

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’ve logged over 150 scuba dives including two saves where people had gotten into difficulty and most of them on the Barrier Reef.

In five years' time I'll be:
Interesting question since five years ago I was based in NYC, five years before that in Dubai and five years before that in London, all in the media/marketing/technology industry...and so I would like to think that in five years I’m continuing to push boundaries and end up somewhere equally exciting!

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