Matt Gillis joins Baltimore startup Clean Creative as CEO
By Baltimore Sun staff
Jan 22, 2019 | 4:00 PM
Clean Creative, a Baltimore start-up focused on preventing malicious advertising online — or malvertising — announced Tuesday that it has appointed former Millennial Media executive Matt Gillis as its CEO.
The company, founded in 2017, also established its headquarters in the Spaces building in Stadium Square, a South Baltimore development along Ostend Street.
Clean Creative is a cybersecurity firm developing solutions to protect publishers, advertisers, publishers and consumers from malicious threats, such as pop-up ads on mobile sites that redirect your browser from what you were trying to view.
“Malvertising and specifically bad ads has long been a game of cat and mouse that has plagued the ecosystem for a long time,” said Gillis, who most recently was an executive at Verzion subsidiary Oath, which managed the telecommunication giant’s digital media.
Millennial Media disappeared from the New York Stock Exchange on Friday after a majority of its stockholders tendered their shares to AOL, closing AOL's $248 million acquisition of the Baltimore mobile advertising technology company.
“The DNA that Matt brings to Clean Creative is exactly what we were looking for,” said Seth Demsey, Clean Creative’s co-founder and former chief technology officer for AOL Platforms.
Gillis had what the company called a “front row seat for the monumental shifts impacting publishers and developers,” including the audience shift from desktop to mobile devices, the emergence of programmatic monetization and the industry’s critical need for more oversight and accountability.
“Matt’s experience leading startups and scaling them to be global leaders fits well with our aspiration to be the global leader in delivering publishers tools to protect the free Internet for consumers,” Demsey said.