AltaVista has poached Andy Mitchell, the head of the internet advertising company, DoubleClick UK, as its managing director.
The high-profile hiring is a clear signal from the most recent entrant into the UK search engine market that it intends to be a significant market player.
Mitchell has built DoubleClick UK from scratch after joining as its first UK employee two and half years ago. Today it has 90 staff and has secured deals with companies including Flextech Television, Emap and Freeserve among others.
Mitchell began his career as an analyst at Rank Xerox before moving into advertising in the US ten years ago. He worked at Stoorza Ziegaus Metzger, California, before joining Ogilvy & Mather in London in 1995 to launch its digital communications effort.