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Martech firm Criteo today (April 25) announced that founder and chairman JB Rudelle will return to the role of chief executive officer at Criteo's Paris headquarters immediately.

Current chief executive officer Eric Eichmann will become an advisor to the Rudelle, and transition out of the board of directors effective today.

"The board of directors has asked Criteo's founder JB to play a more active role to help the company in its next phase of growth, and given this, Eric Eichmann has chosen to transition out of Criteo. Eric has offered to help transition the chief executive officer role and act as his advisor."

Eichmann had taken the role over from Rudelle back in late 2015, who stepped aside to chairman role since to focus on the company’s strategy. Rudelle said in a statement: "I sincerely thank Eric for his high integrity, great leadership and commitment in growing our business over the last five years. After being away from the day to day operations of the business for two years, I am honored and excited to return to the company that I love."

Added Eichmann: "Since joining the company in 2013, much has been accomplished that I am proud of, including taking the company public and achieving 18 quarters of consistent execution on our financial objectives. I believe the timing is now right to let JB lead Criteo forward and for me to contribute in a different capacity. I am very confident about the company's future and wish JB the best for his role,"

The switch in chief executive comes ahead of the implementation of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the EU, a move that many industry observers had assumed would prove challenging to Criteo’s primary business model of ad retargeting.

However, in an earlier interview with The Drum, Eichmann underlined the France-based adtech outfit’s interpretation of the legislation, namely that it would be covered by “legitimate interest” clause.

“We work on behalf of our customers, and they have a legitimate interest to use the data that is left on their site to better target for marketing activities. GDPR is not saying that marketing activities are not legitimate,” he explained.