Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Zara Erismann

Zara Erismann leads publisher engagement across the EU for LiveRamp. She is focused on driving publisher adoption for its publisher-specific solutions, including its Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS). Previously Zara was at Index Exchange, where she built the Publisher base across Europe 

Who is your digital hero?

My digital hero is Lisa Su. She’s the CEO of AMD and has previously worked at Texas Instruments and IBM.

What has she done to win hero status in your opinion?

I love the fact she comes from an engineering background like myself, moved to a new country like myself – where the overlay stops sadly is that she is one of the highest earning CEOs out there. Indeed she’s the highest earning CEO in the S+P 500 becoming the first woman to do so.

When she took over AMD in 2015 they were almost at rock bottom. Lisa was brave enough to strip away many areas of AMD’s business and focus on what would be big in five years. And her thinking paid off. She’s a visionary and brave one at that.

How has her heroism and work helped drive the industry?

Although she’s not directly in our space, what Lisa Su shows us that we need took further down the line to achieve success. Clear, long term thinking isn’t always the strength of the digital industry. She encourages bravery in management and stands out as a great leader who just happens to be a woman. It’s interesting that she never makes a big deal out of that, doesn’t really court publicity and just gets on with doing the job.

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

We need a hero or a hero company to bring back integrity to our ecosystem. Google’s decision to scrap cookies in 2022 should be seen as a timeline not a deadline and allows every participant in the ecosystem to make changes for the better. 

This isn’t a topic for next month, next quarter or next year, we need to be thinking about this now. There’s no point trying to simplify them or trying to just fix what’s going to break, we have an opportunity to change our ecosystem and to bring back integrity.

What is your most heroic achievement so far in your career?

My mum always called me a trendsetter and actually looking back in my career, I always identified opportunities that were new or disruptive to the market but became a standard by now. In my previous role I opened up new markets and evangelised Headerbidding – now adopted by most Publishers. I’ve got a strong feeling that it will be the same for people based identity!