After five years as head of the company that eventually became Seevast, CEO Lance Podell is leaving his post to become the head of online video syndicator NextNew Networks. Podell succeeds Herb Scannell who stepped down from the CEO job in June to become executive chairman. Scannell, former vice chairman of *MTV Networks* and president of Nickelodeon, started NextNew in January 2007. As for Podell, he came to Seevast when it was known as Kanoodle in December 2003. Before that, he was the general manager of Sprinks, a pay-per-click company that was sold by About.com to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in October 2003.
I interviewed Podell about his decision to leave Seevast for NextNew. He said he hadn’t been thinking of leaving, but when approached by NextNew, he accepted it because it brought him back to the intersection of content programming and advertising. “They said to me, ‘You know a lot about advertising; help us attract marketers.’” Podell officially starts next month. While he said he plans to explore acquisitions and hiring, any activity will wait until he gets settled in.
– Succession at Seevast: In Podell’s place at Seevast, the New York-based ad network operator has upped two executives who have been with the company since the summer 2007: Jaan Janes has been promoted to president of Business & Product Development, and Jeff Kamikow has been tapped as president of Sales & Operations. The pair will serve as the new executive management team of the company, responsible for lines of business which include Pulse 360, the sponsored links tool that’s marketed to publishers, and SyndiGO, which builds branded vertical ad networks for publishers. I spoke with Janes, who was previously an account director at *AOL* who told me that the company has no plans to hire a new CEO. Podell made the hand-off to Janes and Kamikow over a two month period that ended last week. Janes: “I’ve been on the distribution side and Jeff has been managing the ad sales side. Those are the two sides where the business thrives. The other parts of the Lance’s role, the administrative activities, such as finance and legal, roll back to us as well. But having us as co-presidents will keep us focused on the two things that matter: distribution and ad sales.”