On Thursday, AT&T announced Kirk McDonald, one of the most well-regarded digital and advertising gurus in the media and business worlds, as chief marketing officer of AT&T’s advertising and analytics company.
With a quarter of a century’s experience in media, branding, and advertising, McDonald was most recently a special adviser to the CEO of PubMatic—an advertising technology company where he managed global go-to-market functions. He also served as the president of Digital at Time Inc.
“Kirk brings invaluable experience in the media and advertising technology space,” said Brian Lesser, CEO of AT&T’s advertising and analytics company via a press release. “He is a transformational leader—one of many who will join AT&T as we invest in and build a new kind of advertising business.”
McDonald spoke on a panel at the 2016 Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit in the session “Business Tech: What’s Hot, Next, and New.” He spoke about the need for businesses to truly understand data analytics and how important speed is to the application of data for true innovation.
“If you are in a small, medium, or large business and you are not accelerating the processing of all data available to make a better-informed decision, you are going out of business,” McDonald said during the session. “Almost every business of innovation from Uber to Airbnb have found ways to capture a digital data asset, run it through an algorithm, some version of machine learning to actually inform a next decision quicker than a human could. That’s the point of automation.”
The business industry is keeping a keen eye on AT&T as it is currently in consideration to be acquired by Time Warner Inc. The potential purchase by Time Warner Inc. is currently under review by the United States Department of Justice and competition authorities in certain foreign countries, according to a statement on AT&T’s website.