AllThings D is reporting that Apple is losing Andy Miller, the company’s VP of mobile advertising. Miller first joined Apple when Apple purchased Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising firm that Apple snatched up for $275 million in 2010 following their failure to purchase AdMob – which was subsequently purchased by Google.
Miller will reportedly be taking up a general partner position at Highland Capital, a VC firm based out of Boston and the same one that helped fund Quattro.
Apple will search for a replacement for Miller, whose staff was told of the impending departure today.
Since Miller got to Apple, he has reported directly to its CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, who noted after the acquisition:
Apple’s iAds initiative has been somewhat rocky since it first launched. Despite Apple’s efforts to infuse a bit of Apple culture into mobile advertising, advertisers have reportedly been put off by Apple’s desire to exert control over the creative process and the fact that iAds only show up on iOS devices. A few weeks ago, presumably in the face of slumping ad sales, Apple lowered the buy-in rates for iAds to combat advertisers taking their business elsewhere.
Whereas previous buy in rates were costing companies like JC Penney as much as $1 million, Apple recently began offering ad packages for as little as $300,000. For a company that is never keen on lowering prices, that’s quite a substantial price reduction.
All in all, Apple’s slow start in the mobile ad business isn’t terribly surprising.
For as much as Apple is trying to get into the advertising business, it genuinely lacks the passion for advertising to truly create an Apple-esque advertising program. Steve Jobs has even stated, quite explicitly, during various keynotes that Apple hates ads.