Quixey, a mobile search and advertising startup that has raised considerable cash, has swapped out its chief executive after missing key revenue targets last year.
Mark Lazar, a veteran exec from several enterprise and networking companies, is now CEO. Quixey’s founding CEO, Tomer Kagan, is stepping over to focus on the company’s technology as chief strategy officer.
“Quixey has a unique vision and place in mobile search alongside big industry players like Google,” Lazar said in a statement.
It’s a bullish claim. Quixey launched in 2009 as a search engine for mobile apps, yet has shifted over to in-app advertising to generate revenue to match its roughly $600 million valuation. That hasn’t panned out as expected. As Re/code reported earlier, Quixey missed its sales targets last year and has lost several top execs, including its COO and CTO. Last month, Quixey promoted its search VP Rajat Mukherjee, a veteran of Google and Yahoo, as its new CTO.
Much of its growth potential now hangs on deals out of China, driven by its most recent investor, Alibaba.
Part of Quixey’s struggle is endemic to its industry. Some startups offering services in deep linking — tools that connect content between different apps — are hitting blockades as Google (and potentially Apple) begin to offer the very same services. URX, one of Quixey’s chief competitors, is in talks to move to Pinterest in what looks like a fire sale, as we earlier reported as well.
Lazar, Quixey’s new boss, was most recently CEO of Victrio, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that sells enterprise software against fraud attacks. Before that, he served as chief exec for eight other companies, primarily in the world of enterprise and Web services.
Bloomberg first reported the executive changes.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.