Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: James Leaver, CEO, Multilocal

As part of our ongoing series, we asked James Leaver, CEO, Multilocal to name the person he admires most in his professional life. Here’s what he told us:

Who is your digital hero? 

Tom Bowman, Board Member at Multilocal Media.

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?  

Tom has been a pioneer in digital advertising both in the UK and internationally since its advent.  Working across agencies, publishers and trading desks, Tom’s influence and impact have been felt everywhere.  Tom is consistently always helping to move the industry forward. You just have to stand outside any ad-tech conference with Tom for five minutes to see how people across the industry, of all ages, stop to chat. Besides that, since I first had the idea of founding Multilocal, Tom’s friendship, advice and guidance has been utterly invaluable – not just to me but to everyone in the company, from top to bottom. To my eyes, he’s a total hero and completely deserving of this accolade.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?  

Tom’s worked for some of the biggest publishers in the world getting them into digital in the first place and then, more recently, introducing them to programmatic.  He’s an active investor and adviser to people across the industry in the UK and beyond, championing digital wherever he goes.  In short, I see him as one the godfathers of digital. 

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?  

To me, it’s solving the complexity that programmatic creates.  It was meant to make advertising more simple but in reality every new platform or idea – at least initially – creates increased complexity.  At Multilocal we are simplifying the supply side by helping advertisers to find their audiences, quickly, easily and at scale. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?  

I’m proud of still being here!  When I started in digital back in 1998 it was a fundamentally different world…and I was one of the young ones.  After 25 years, working for several companies, across multiple countries, of which I lived in three before finally setting up my own business, I am still excited by what this industry has to offer.