AltaVista has appointed Andy Mitchell, the head of the internet
advertising company, DoubleClick UK, as its managing director.
The high-profile hiring is a clear signal from a late entrant into the
UK search engine market that it intends to mount a significant challenge
to the dominance of Yahoo!, MSN and Freeserve.
AltaVista only announced the launch of its UK service in December and is
understood to have been engaged in protracted negotiations with
DoubleClick to secure the appointment of Mitchell.
Eric Stein from DoubleClick in the US has been named as Mitchell’s
Mitchell built DoubleClick UK from scratch after joining as its first UK
employee two and a half years ago. Today it has around 90 staff.
Mitchell said: ’AltaVista is a little late to market but without any
marketing it already has 2.5 million people in the UK using it every
AltaVista is already a big player without being here because of the
strength of its service. But now it is here you will see a very
aggressive brand-led marketing campaign which, if I have anything to do
with it, will start very shortly.’
Mitchell is AltaVista’ s first UK employee. He is in the process of
hiring his senior management team.
Although he has yet to reveal names, offers have gone out to at least
four people in the industry.
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.