“This role is one that resonates deeply with me, and I’m looking forward to leveraging my experience to help our partners execute on innovation and growth,” Bowles said in the announcement.
Meta’s ad business is in a transition phase as Facebook and Instagram focus on monetizing Reels videos, the short-form style of videos that compete with TikTok’s social media model. Reels are capturing more of users’ time on the apps, but they don’t generate as much revenue as traditional in-feed ads. Meta also is revamping its ad platform to handle the data-sharing changes coming out of Apple and Google. With the death of cookies, and changes to consumer privacy, Facebook and Instagram had to rebuild their ad technology to target and measures ads effectively.
AI is another sea change that Meta is navigating, and the company is putting AI into its ad products. AI can help target ads and manage shopping campaigns that focus on commerce results for marketers. Generative AI will also start to play a bigger role in ad creation. Meta talked about Reels, AI and shopping at its NewFronts show last week.
Meta has reorganized parts of its leadership team in recent months with the exit of Stirratt, and before that Marne Levine, chief business officer. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg led a series of layoffs, too, which reduced more than 20,000 positions since late 2022.
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Meta’s ad sales had declined year over year in the last three quarters of 2022, then rose in the first quarter of this year, up 3% from a year earlier to $28.65 billion, according to its quarterly report.
In his new role, Bowles will report to Nicola Mendelsohn, Meta’s head of global business group.
“Alvin [Bowles] is respected and trusted within the industry and has a deep understanding of how we want to deliver impact for our clients and partners,” Mendelsohn said in a statement. “He knows what it takes to drive a massive business forward.”