Glam hires a Google veteran to handle strategic investments

updatedJust a day after Glam Media launched its developer platform, the women-focused Internet media company has hired a high-profile Google executive to handles its strategic investments.

Michael Adair (left) will become Glam’s vice president of corporate development of finance. He is the former head of sales and finance for Google North America and was responsible in part for Google’s acquisition of YouTube.

In the newly created position, Adair will be responsible for the evaluating Glam’s options for strategic investment, corporate development and corporate finance. In May, Glam appointed Bruce Jaffe, former corporate vice president for corporate development at Microsoft, to Glam’s advisory board to help with corporate development.

Clearly, a move like this will encourage talk about big corporate moves. A Google boss wouldn’t just quit a high-profile position unless he had a good reason to join Glam. His position suggests any number of things. Glam could go on an acquisition spree, raise money, or shoot for an initial public offering. [Update: We're aware that Glam has been in acquisition talks with numerous companies, especially in areas like health and travel.

Techcrunch is reporting that "a lot of money" was pulled off the table by Glam Founders. We're hearing it was $8M of the $86M investment. However, we're also hearing that it was shared by a large number of employees, not just the founders, as is most common. All employees who joined prior to the fourth (Series D) round were eligible and participated according to their share (pro rata). The logic here is employees have been with the company for a long time, with below-market salaries for more than four years -- and so giving them cash provides them some reward and lets them focus on growing the company without pushing for an immediate sale. This sort of thing has becoming increasingly common.

For instance, when competing company Federated Media raised $50 million in April, only $28 million of it went to the company. The rest went to John Battelle, though its possible some of it went to one or two of his other founders. I contacted Battelle at the time, and he declined comment, but his investors and others close to FM acknowledged that such deal took place.

Now that Glam has bought Monetize in UK and Codex in Germany, were hearing Glam now has slightly more than $77M of the $84.6 available.]

The company has more than 77 million monthly unique readers for its women’s interest site. It has built a lucrative ad network around its content and serves ads to small blogs and third-party publishers (640 of them in all) that are part of its network. Samir Arora, chief executive of Glam, is now trying to position Glam’s tech platform as a vertical network which can expand into a variety of different content era’s beyond its women’s niche. That is probably where its acquisition opportunities lie.

While at Google, Adair directed Google’s North American sales finance team and worked closely with Google’s president of advertising and commerce. He helped lead the team that managed strategic acquisitions responsible for over $3.5 billion in revenue, including dMarc, YouTube and DoubleClick.

Before joining Google, Adair was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in its communications and media group. Adair also worked for several years in sales, marketing and management at Computational Systems, a technology start-up, now a division of Emerson Electric.

Disclosure: VentureBeat’s business manager is related to a Glam co-founder.


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