Industry Profile: Xaxis MD ANZ, Esther Carlsen

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 21 June 2016
Esther Carlsen

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia.

It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we head to Sydney to meet Xaxis MD ANZ, Esther Carlsen.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Nearly three years in company and nearly one year in current role.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

We help advertisers reach relevant consumers wherever they are, and we use tech, data and people to do so.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Helping create an environment where people want to work whilst trying to ensure our agencies, clients, tech, data and publishing partners all enjoy working with us, and would agree that we add value to their respective business’.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

We launched Xaxis NZ and we had a couple of firsts – namely the launch of programmatic radio and the test & subsequent launch of DAR across all inventory sources. Both of which have seen a huge shift to mobile in our business. We also continued to develop our proprietary DMP and successfully launched Turbine 4.4 – which won’t mean much for anyone who doesn’t work with us – but we are all very excited! We’ve also taken a front foot approach to brand safety and viewability and are proud to support the 3rd party verification stance of Group M for the industry and our clients.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The best (and also the worst) is the sheer pace of change, it’s exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. You have to be comfortable with confusion.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

BSKYB, ninemsn, total travel, Yahoo!7

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Popping my feet up and pressing a button and watching the machines actually do it all for me? Oh please.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

The fact that there is so much bullsh*t in the industry and that too many people deliberately make things complex to bamboozle people. There is a big difference between intelligence and knowledge and our industry often gets them confused

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I’m very good at lever leg headstands - mind you quite a few people probably do know that.

Top networking tip:

I’m the wrong person to ask – I need tips. I hate networking... I said networking not talking before people who know me roll their eyes.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:


My favourite advert is:

The Boddington’s ads from years ago – “ooo not ‘alf and give us ‘nother rub down with that chip fat would ya”

My must-have gadget is:

Anyone that knows me well knows that I live in a tech vortex where everything breaks – so I don’t like gadgets much. My phone battery pack thing possibly... Is that a gadget?

My favourite media is:

Is that a trick question?

My favourite TV show is:

Top Gear – that would be my dream job too.

The last book I read:

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

My mantra / philosophy is:

Treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself I think covers all other mantras – it’s the holding company of mantras.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I think I thought I was going to work at Sky Sports. I was wrong. I was filling spots on sky sports. Advertising isn’t really something the school career advisor tells you about in Wales.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

A singer. A really bad singer as I can’t sing, but I would just really like to be one.

In five years' time I'll be:

Still running around, waving my arms and swearing a lot - so still in media. Although I will be a bigger button presser by then.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Negroni’s – I find they take the edge off life.

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