Axel Springer appoints Adam Ross as new Chief Executive Officer of Awin

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Axel Springer appoints Adam Ross as Awin’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Mark Walters, who becomes a member of the Supervisory Board.

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As Awin’s CEO, Adam Ross is now driving the delivery of the company’s ambitious growth vision.

Departing the Awin Executive Board, Mark leaves an impressive legacy. Together with Adam Ross, CTO Peter Loveday and more recently CFO Virpy Richter, collectively their leadership has shaped Awin’s growth from Europe’s largest affiliate network to one with over 1,000 employees across 15 markets and three continents, more than doubling EBITDA to 48m EUR during their tenure. Many major milestones were accomplished during this period, including the unification of Affiliate Window, zanox and affilinet, double-digit organic growth in the US market, the acquisition of ShareASale and expansion into Australia and South East Asia with the purchase of Commission Factory. 

With Mark’s vast experience of Awin and the performance industry, he has been invited to join the Awin Supervisory Board by its Chairman and Axel Springer CFO, Julian Deutz.

Mark Walters, Awin Supervisory Board member says: “This move is bittersweet – I will miss being as hands on as I’ve been during my time at Awin but I’m extremely proud of the global company I’ve built with Peter, Adam and in recent years with Virpy, and I’m delighted I’ll be able to continue supporting Awin on the Supervisory Board. Following the recent bereavement of my wife, my family need me more than ever, so I wanted to reduce my operational workload. With his demonstratable experience, I’m honoured to hand over the reins to Adam. His appointment as my successor is a natural next step in his career, and as a well-respected member of our board, it will no doubt be welcome news for both Awin employees and our partners.”

Adam Ross’ appointment as Mark’s successor is a culmination of both his contribution to these strategic initiatives, as well as his highly regarded 15-year tenure as Awin’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). With Peter and Virpy, Adam will lead the company at a crucial turning point for Awin as it embarks on building the world’s leading open partner ecosystem.

“I have an ambitious vision for Awin over the next three years to transform our global network into a feature-rich martech platform, one that empowers businesses large or small to partner for mutual success”, explains Adam Ross, CEO at Awin. “We had a phenomenal 2020 and have been humbled by that given the circumstances around us. It would be easy for Awin to become complacent but while I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved, particularly our staff’s resilience, there’s a lot of work to be done to continue our evolution. We’ve listened carefully to our customers and have a range of products and features either in development or due for release that will allow us to deliver significantly greater value for our partners. I will focus the entire organisation on that clear mission and look forward to the future with great hope, purpose and excitement.”

Julian Deutz, CFO Axel Springer SE and Chairman of the Awin Supervisory Board comments: “I want to thank Mark for the outstanding job he has done over the past decade. He has put tremendous effort and excellent market know-how into his role and has developed Awin into a true global market leader in affiliate marketing. Both the organic and non-organic growth Awin has shown over the past years are the accomplishment of Mark and his team. Axel Springer is grateful that he will remain on the Supervisory Board to continue to support Awin with his remarkable experience. We are convinced that we have found the ideal successor for Mark in Adam. This is an important step both for him as well as for the entire company. This also serves as a strong example for Awin’s “promote from within” policy. I am looking forward to working with Adam and the entire management team and I wish him all the best for his new role. Axel Springer will stay committed to further support the future growth of Awin over the coming years.”

The Awin Executive Board will remain as four members, with further information to follow. Daily business operations are unaffected by these changes.

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About Awin

With twenty years of experience, our network offers a global community of people, technology and business intelligence insights. No matter what type of partner, level of service, or tools your business needs, Awin provides solutions to drive sustainable growth.

Part of the Axel Springer and United Internet Groups, with ShareASale and Commission Factory, Awin’s global affiliate network is powered by 15 offices worldwide, over 1,000 employees, 211,000 contributing publishers and 15,200 advertisers.

Connecting businesses with customers around the world across the retail, telecommunications, travel and finance verticals, Awin generated €11.1 billion in revenue for its advertisers and €818 million for its publishers in the last financial year.

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