The road ahead

Picking up hardware for my first remote day.

When I joined my previous company after working for such a long time at Yahoo I would have never expected that I need to look for a new job so soon!

The Covid-19 crisis hit MairDumont Netletix really hard because of the close proximity to the travel industry and advertising budgets basically vanishing in the tourism area. We went on short work time (50% of the usual work time in my team – 4 hours per day) in April 2020 but I didn’t see the company attempting any turn-around whatsoever. To be frankly Yahoo had one foot in the grave for some time but there have been always people who came in and tried to turn things around. I.e. Marissa Mayer or Tim Armstrong who have been trying really hard to get Yahoo, later Oath and Verizon Media on a trajectory of growth. The lady who gave up on turning Yahoo around was Carol Bartz and she was ousted because of that.

Where did I decide to go? The company is AutoScout24, a European automotive classifieds leader. Why? The job fits my profile better. The team and company profile convinced me. Overall, I believe in the sustainability of the cars business with electric drive. Used cars help to reduce the ecological footprint as they run much longer after changing the owner and of course during the Covid-19 crisis people prefer individual transport. Of course advertising budgets can fluctuate in times of a lockdown but personally I think used cars are a solid business in times of a crisis. The company is a carve-out from Scout24 AG after the acquisition by Hellman & Friedman ( and the price that has been paid makes me really feel good. It was a whopping 2.8 Euro. German Internet companies rarely get sold in that range.

Update: After 3 months in the new company I can only say this was one of my best decisions. Meanwhile MairDumont Netletix has been acquired by Ströer, a giant in the German Internet business but not all employees have been taken over.

New Opportunities

My involuntary break from work didn’t last for long. I had to get back into the Ad Tech world! Meanwhile it’s an area I’m very passionate about. So where did i find the new challenge? It’s a relatively small company compared to Oath (now Verizon Media) with overall 480 employees and only 15 in my location. A joint venture of an ad network called previously Netzathleten that has been founded in 2007 and that belonged to RTL with a traditional print publisher being Mairdumont that has been founded in 1948 and got into online publishing and advertising over the past years. Mairdumont Netletix (with Netletix being the ad network) I found a role that is both challenging and impactful. I already knew the company as a leader in ad fraud detection from the Admanagerforum summits and what I’ve seen in the first two weeks working there only confirms the picture I had. Highly impressive technology based on DFP that has been extended and enhanced in almost every area.

Mairdumont, the new majority ownership part of the company has a fascinating history. On the company website it’s available only in German so I’ve put it through Google Translate and posting it here. IMHO it’s worth reading. True passion for travel, travel guides and maps:

Pioneers of travel

“What counts is exploration alone.” The thirst for adventure and the urge to discover had lured Kurt Mair, the founder of MAIRDUMONT, into the world in the 1920s. He traveled throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, from the North Cape to the Sahara. He preferred to ride his motorcycle or the standard Vanguard. He documented, described and mapped everything.

After World War II – Germany was largely destroyed – he already had the vision: The Germans will travel. And even then he knew that nothing was as positive as traveling. In 1948 he founded the Cartographic Institute Kurt Mair (later Mairs Geographical Publishing and MAIRDUMONT) with his own exploration service. His goal was: being on the move for everyone, the democratized version of upper-class educational travel. In short: travel as we know it today.

Their own reconnaissance cars were constantly on the move, their drivers traveling hundreds of thousands of kilometers to map and pick up roads and destroyed bridges. There were no authorities at that time that were responsible for the destruction caused by the World War. A cooperation with all road authorities of the federal states quickly developed, which allowed the publishing house to also include the planning in the street atlases. Her own exploration, then a real pioneering achievement, turned the resulting cards into sought-after products: no one else was that accurate and reliable at the time. The first “Shell Autoatlas Deutschland” developed from 1950 to the most important companion of German motorists and was largely the model of whole Atlas generations. Your own exploration became the guideline of the publisher’s development, both for maps and later for travel guides.

Again and again Kurt Mair pursued his own passion, traveling. The whole family went to Africa, through Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and across the Sahara, through Europe and Turkey. The expeditions were great adventures and, above all, exploratory trips, because it was written down and mapped. For months the travelers were in the tent, setting up their tents in the most beautiful places and, if possible, even on Mount Vesuvius or Toubkal, the highest peak in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. Regulations, but also travel guides or a functioning infrastructure did not exist then.

His son Volkmar Mair took over after the sudden death of his father the publisher. He, too, has blood travel and crossed Russia in 1960, the first German car, from Berlin to Warsaw to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Kiev, Yalta and Odessa.

Since 01.01.2010 his daughter Stephanie Mair-Huydts is the spokeswoman of the management. His son Frank Mair is also in the management.

Pioneering spirit, thirst for adventure and the will to innovate were not only characteristic for the emergence of MAIRDUMONT. They can also be found in the history of publishers belonging to the publishing group MAIRDUMONT. Many of them were themselves far-sighted pioneers and pioneers in their field: the Baedeker publishing house. Karl Baedeker is considered the founder of the travel guide worldwide. In 1832 he created the world’s first travel guide with his title “Rheinreise”. Gerhard Falk invented the patented FALK city map folding and the hyperboloid projection. Hallwag and Kümmerly + Frey are deeply rooted in the history of travel with their roots, DuMont with its reputation for individuality, cosmopolitanism and intellectuality, as well as Lonely Planet, a synonym for individual tourism worldwide. All of our publishers and partners, pioneers of travel, are now united under one roof.

This spirit can be felt in the company today. Traveling is constantly changing. The media development provides new ways for information and inspiration for the traveler. MAIRDUMONT repeatedly creates innovations, whether in mobile or web-based media or in print.


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