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Google Appoints Sissie Hsiao as Mobile Ads Boss

The nine-year company vet steps in for VP Jonathan Alferness, who's jumping to the commerce division.

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Google has a mobile problem. It’s a well-known one: Search ads on phones make less money (although Google has not revealed how much less), and social media foes, chiefly Facebook, have better managed to cash in on the other ad sources from the devices, namely display and apps.

Google is trying to amend that. And now it has a new executive to run that business.

Sissie Hsiao, Product Management Director, Mobile Display and AdMob, Google
Sissie Hsiao, Product Management Director, Mobile Display and AdMob, Google

Sissie Hsiao, a nine-year company veteran who arrived after six years at Microsoft, is taking over as director for all mobile ads, including AdMob, the mobile exchange. She is replacing her current boss, Jonathan Alferness, who is heading over to lead commerce, as Re/code reported earlier. That role was vacated in May, when its occupant, Sameer Samat, left for Jawbone, as Re/code also reported.

Hsiao is the first female exec to hold her new role. She will report to display advertising VP Neal Mohan.

Her challenge will be to make sure the company forms, then follows through on, a mobile revenue strategy. Recently, Google reassured investors of its competency on mobile, and revealed some of its hand, releasing a suite of products to attract more ad dollars tied to commerce.

Hsiao joined Google in 2006, working two years with the search and docs teams then four with Analytics, which sits close to the ads business. Since 2012, she has been a product manager for mobile ads, including those within and promoting apps. She’s fairly well known in the industry, seen as one of the top deputies to Alferness and Jason Spero, the former mobile sales lead who now runs all performance media. Last week, at its I/O developer conference, Alferness announced a handful of new Google features for mobile developers to hawk and net cash from their apps, a bid to wrestle spending away from Facebook.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s SVP of ads and commerce, sent along this statement: “I couldn’t be more proud of the depth of experience across our ads team. Sissie has already done an amazing job moving our mobile display products forward, and it’s encouraging to see her take the reigns at such an exciting time for the business.”

Hsiao takes over later this summer, following a maternity leave.

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