updated 12:15 pm EDT, Wed August 17, 2011
Company's mobile ads still on shaky ground
(Updated with Highland Capital confirmation) Apple's VP of mobile advertising, Andy Miller, is preparing to depart the company, say sources described as "close to the situation." The executive's staff was reportedly told about the departure today. Miller is tipped to become a general partner at Highland Capital, a venture capital firm based in Boston.
Highland Capital was responsible for funding Quattro Wireless, the company Miller helped found in 2006. Apple later bought Quattro to get into mobile advertising, having been beaten by Google in trying to acquire AdMob. Apple would ultimately dissolve Quattro, employing its workers to build iAd, a proprietary mobile ad network.
The company has since had a harder time than anticipated with the platform. Advertisers have complained of high costs, to the extent that rates have been slashed by as much as 70 percent. Other complaints appear to remain unaddressed though, such as a lack of control and viewer data, and the fact that iAd remains iOS-only by design. A marketer going with AdMob, by contrast, can reach multiple platforms simultaneously, including iOS.
Update: Highland Capital has confirmed the move through a press release. Miller will be operating out of the firm's Menlo Park office in California. As part of the release, Highland remarks that Miller "reported directly to [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs."