Facebook has named long-time TV sales executive David Lawenda as VP, global sales U.S.
The move is a reflection that while digital ad sales are growing fast, Internet companies are looking to find better ways to tap into TV ad dollars, which still represent the biggest share of marketers' spending.
Lawenda had been head of sales at Univision until last year. Before that he was with Viacom, where he helped launch Spike TV and UPN, and at Turner Broadcasting.
He will report to Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions, whom also worked at Viacom.
"David is a fantastic and proven leader with a deep understanding of how to build brands and drive ROI for brands and agencies. He rebranded and launched networks while at Viacom and changed the way marketers thought about Univision as it moved from a multicultural/Spanish-language marketing tactic to a key marketing partner for some of the largest brands in the world," Everson said in a statement. "Throughout his career he's not only managed and led, but he's brought an entrepreneurial spirit and sense of evangelism to his teams and companies. He knows how to roll up his sleeves and inspire his team, and he's worked closely with the best marketers and agencies across the US."
In a separate statement, Lawenda said "From the people, to the platform, to the mission of connecting the world, I feel privileged to join and lead the US team. We intend to help every marketer use the power of Facebook to drive their business in the years ahead. As media consumption continues to shift to digital, and consumers recognize mobile as the first screen, our team will support clients in redefining how they market on these platforms."
Facebook has been focusing on growing its mobile ad sales as users increasingly access the social media platform on cell phones. In the second quarter, mobile sales rose 75% to 656 million, representing 41% of total ad sales, up from 30% of ad sales in the first quarter.