Ad Tech Vet Ari Buchalter Named CEO Role At Intersection To Drive Smart City Strategy

Intersection is continuing to work on evolving from its out-of-home origins into a marketing platform that connects people and technology in public places by hiring programmatic ad executive Ari Buchalter as its new CEO.

Among the dozens of smart city programs Intersection is primarily known for is the revamping of former phone booths into public wi-fi kiosk network known as LinkNYC. The kiosks are replacing pay phone booths by offering internet connections, charging stations, as well as directions. Like the phone booths LinkNYC is supplanting, the wi-fi kiosks provide space for advertising.

“The next digital revolution will take place offline, and no company is better positioned than Intersection to bring cutting-edge consumer-driven products—funded by advertising—into public spaces,” said Buchalter in a statement. “Joining Intersection is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to apply the strategies that have transformed the digital world to create value for people in their day-to-day lives and respond to real urban challenges. I can’t wait to get started.”

Buchalter, who was previously COO and president at demand-side platform MediaMath, succeeds interim CEO Dan Doctoroff, who will now serve as Intersection’s chairman.

“Just as Intersection is a pioneer of innovation in public spaces, Ari pioneered the development of algorithmic, data-driven technologies that transformed how we experience the web,” Doctoroff said. “He is uniquely qualified to help us develop and scale data-powered products to transform the experience of public spaces. Capitalizing on the immense opportunity in front of us—bringing the power of digital to transform life in cities—requires a leader driven by complex challenges, and we have found that leader in Ari.”

NYC Mayor De Blasio checks out a LinkNYC kiosk.

Intersection prefers to be described as a media and tech provider, not an OOH player. It was formed from a merger at the end of 2015 between OOH giant Titan and tech consultancy Control Group.

Buchalter’s hiring comes several months after one of Intersection’s last major hires, Dafna Sarnoff as CMO.Sarnoff served four years at SMB marketing platform Yodle and has been charged with managing global marketing and communications intended to highlight the company’s technology and media solutions to cities, transit authorities, retail, airports, and mixed-use real estate developments around the world.