‘Delicatessen owner, Scout leader, interior designer’: Ad tech execs reveal their Plan Bs

Let’s face it: no child harbors life-long dreams of one day breaking into the ad tech sector. It’s a far more serendipitous road than that. For that reason, many ad tech executives nurse a secret dream job, should they ever decide to leave the sector.

We asked a bunch of ad tech executives what they would wish to do should they ever leave ad tech.

The best responses are featured below.

Justin Taylor, managing director, Teads
My post-ad tech dream is to start a delicatessen where I live on the South Coast. Move away from the commute and connect with local produce and the local community. I suspect there would still be some programmatic advertising and content-rich marketing involved — can we ever get away from it fully?

Andrew Buckman, chief operating officer, Sublime 
I’ve tried to leave ad tech twice in the last 10 years; I even got as far a business plan once. I live for the outdoors. I dream of spending my time in the mountains and just getting out there. If I could, I would spend the rest of my days running my local Scout troop full time instead of just on Saturdays and every other spare moment. Introducing young people to new adventures is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

Ari Paparo, CEO, Beeswax
My dream is to create a panini press that can both toast the bread and make the middle of the sandwich hot. I think I might need microwave technology to make this happen but haven’t had the time to invest in R&D.

Fiona Salmon, managing director, 1PlusX
When GAFA [Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple] rules the world and ad tech players slide into the abyss, I’ll be an interior designer. I live for my daily Pinterest and Instagram interiors inspiration. It’s the last thing I check before I go to sleep, and it’s the first thing I check when I wake up. Before our first child was born, I decided to enroll on a yearlong interiors course with The Interior Design Institute, and I loved it. [With] three children along, I’ve not completed the course, but I will, one day!

Luke Fenney, vp of publisher sales, international, Index Exchange
I love this industry, but if I had to leave, I’d set up a high-end road cycling hire and tour company — something that would allow me to ride my bike in locations all over the world each day. Think: the Louis Vuitton of biking experiences. Stay tuned!

Dan Wilson, CEO London Media Exchange
I am not sure you can ever truly leave ad tech, but when I do, I am going to drive old people round an airport on one of those golf buggies. It will genuinely put a smile on my face helping the elderly get to what may possibly be their last flight somewhere.

Clare Delaney, sales director, EMEA, Staq
Everyone thinks about their Plan B, and my mind wanders sometimes to having my own cheese and wine shop/bar for people to stop by, eat cheese, drink and chat. So basically doing what I like to do. Weirdly, it does run in my family as my Grandad on my Dad’s side owned a Dairy, and there is still a creamery in the family down in Minehead in Somerset. For now, I will be working my way around London’s cheeseboards.

Craig Tuck, managing director, Ozone
We recently moved home and have acquired a slightly larger garden. That responsibility is not something that sits well with me, having been guilty in the demise of many pot plants over the years! We needed help. The gardener arrived, with a refreshingly positive outlook on life, laid-back style and all-around happy aura. Not only was the garden looking ship-shape, but we had some funny stories to tell and bigger smiles on our faces when they left. Post-ad tech, I’d like to do that: take in the fresh air, hug a few trees and make people smile again.

Chris Bennett, managing director, EMEA, Pixability
It’s all about books, boats and bicycles for me, with the proviso that any ambition beyond ad tech has to coincide with approval from The First Lady — aka Mrs. Bennett. At the top of the list will be a gentle bike ride from the East to the West Coast of the U.S. Ad tech normalizes you to Silicon Valley executives, Boston-based MIT dudes and deal-making New Yorkers. I’d like to meet some of the 327 million Americans between the coasts, and then write a book about the experience.

Denise Breslin, managing director, Mobsta
If I didn’t work in ad tech I’d want to work at Coca-Cola. Since I was young I’ve loved the brand — I had a Coca-Cola bottle-shaped pencil case at school — and actually moved to London, with a degree in marketing, thinking I’d be a brand manager at Coca-Cola.

Amit Kotecha, marketing director, Permutive
I’m currently on holiday at the home of Lego in Denmark. There is the opportunity to build Lego and be creative at every turn here. I think the ad tech industry often lacks this creativity. Everything is based on numbers and statistics which means that we deliver results based on facts, but forget we are delivering advertising to create a human connection for brands. If I ever left ad tech, I would love to work for a brand like Pixar or Lego that inspires and enables people to explore their own creative potential.


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