clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The mobile ad tech company GroundTruth has a new CEO, but we still don’t know what happened to the old one

We check back in on what happened at the company formerly known as xAd.

A man in a dark double-breasted coat holds a cellphone and uses his thumb to scroll on the screen. Alex Wong / Getty

The startup formerly known as xAd mysteriously canned its CEO eight months ago — and still isn’t saying what exactly happened to him.

What it is saying, though, is that it finally has a replacement: Sunil Kumar has replaced Dipanshu, or ‘D’, Sharma as CEO, the company said. Sharma was ousted from the CEO chair last July, just one month after he led the rebranding of the ad tech company, which is now called GroundTruth.

A companywide email at the time said he stepped down “amid an investigation into allegations of violations of company policy,” and that his depature was “in no way related to our company’s business performance.” Beyond that vague internal note obtained by Recode, though, the company did not respond to repeated requests for comment about what led to his ouster.

Since then, the company has changed its spokespeople, but its new rep similarly declined to comment. The company’s announcement made zero reference to Sharma or the circumstances surrounding his departure.

Sharma did not respond to a request for comment for this story. As of two weeks ago, he was still listing himself on LinkedIn as the CEO of the company, although his last day was July 14, 2017. He has since changed his profile description to “on sabbatical.”

GroundTruth, which shows customers ads on their phones that are customized based on their location data, has raised over $100 million in venture capital from firms like IVP and SoftBank Capital.

Eight months is a long time to go without a permanent CEO. But Sharma’s replacement isn’t much upheaval at the company: Kumar is a co-founder and served as its chief operating officer for the last two years.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.