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IAB Tech Lab CEO Dennis Buchheim Departs

Shailley Singh, SVP of Global Products and Programs, will serve as interim GM

In our careers, sometimes we get a call that is just plain impossible to resist. Dennis got a call like that, and felt he couldn’t ignore it — it presented an opportunity to collaborate with the industry from a different, and important, perspective. 

And so, after nearly four years leading IAB Tech Lab, Dennis Buchheim has resigned as its Chief Executive Officer. His last day will be May 21. Shailley Singh, Senior Vice President, Global Products and Programs, will serve as interim General Manager. 

“Dennis’ impact on the industry has been significant, and I have enjoyed working with him a great deal over the past year,” said David Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, IAB. “He has worked tirelessly on behalf of IAB and Tech Lab members, and we wish him the very best in his next adventure.”

During Dennis’ tenure, Tech Lab has grown into an indispensable global technical standards-setting organization. He tripled Tech Lab’s Board of Directors to 31 companies, and grew non-U.S. membership from single digits to nearly two hundred organizations around the world.

IAB Tech Lab is in the best shape it has been since its founding, financially and in terms of the breadth, depth, and impact of its standards. The Tech Lab team has also been expanded and developed, with more product talent and with European and Asia-Pacific (APAC) team members. 

Shailley Singh, who will serve as interim General Manager, is a six-year veteran of the organization and has been part of shaping IAB Tech Lab’s priorities every step of the way. He’ll keep expanding Tech Lab’s partnerships inside and outside the U.S., developing standards around growth areas like connected TV (CTV), and supporting progress in addressability, privacy, and accountability. Neal Richter (formerly SpotX Chief Scientist and now Director, Advertising Science, Amazon DSP) will continue as Chairman of the IAB Tech Lab Board of Directors.  

“IAB Tech Lab is the only global organization creating the standards and operating framework to have a vibrant digital advertising ecosystem and ultimately an open web,” said Neal Richter, Chairperson, IAB Tech Lab Board. “There has been tremendous progress under Dennis’ leadership and there is much ahead that Tech Lab can and will do to support the industry.” 

Some of the accomplishments that Tech Lab achieved during Dennis’ tenure: 

  • Project Rearc / Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM) draft standards for addressability, accountability and privacy  
  • DigiTrust identity service (acquired 2018; sunset 2020 as we transitioned to the rearchitecting of the industry with Project Rearc)
  • Open Measurement SDK, which standardizes key aspects of measurement and verification
  • Transparency and Consent Framework (IAB Europe partnership) for GDPR and CCPA Compliance Framework (IAB U.S. partnership), which provide standards by which the industry can safely operate under applicable laws 
  • Brand safety and anti-fraud suite standards, including ads.txt (authorized digital sellers list), sellers.json, buyers.json, SupplyChain and DemandChain Objects
  • Data Label and Data Transparency Standard, which provides a “nutrition label” so that buyers can make more informed decisions about data sources
  • Audience Taxonomy and Ad Product Taxonomy enabling advertisers and publishers to better categorize their content and ads using common language 
  • New versions of and updates or replacements for older standards, including OpenRTB (Real-time bidding), OpenDirect, VAST (Video Ad Serving Template), SIMID/VPAID (Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition & Video Player Ad Interface Definition), and Podcast Measurement

We wish Dennis the best, and at the same time recognize that there is critical work to be done to maintain an open web and a vibrant advertising ecosystem. Here are some of Tech Lab’s critical priorities for this year:

2021 IAB Tech Lab Priorities

  • Finalizing a portfolio of Project Rearc/PRAM standards and initiatives (including Unified ID 2.0) to support key addressability use cases, privacy compliance, and accountability
  • Growing the portfolio of standards, as well as building a new Transparency Center tool, to support brand safety and fight fraud/malware by providing visibility into supply chain relationships and compliance among sellers, buyers, and intermediaries
  • Enhanced scalability for cross-screen measurement and verification, and improved consistency in podcast measurement
  • Continued growth of Tech Lab’s global engagement and impact

We’re always happy to see our friends succeed, and we can safely say that everyone at IAB Tech Lab and IAB wishes Dennis nothing but the best.

And while digital marketing is a big and vital business, it’s also a small and tight-knit community.

So we’re happy to say this isn’t really goodbye. It’s more like “see you on the other side!”