BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

Kevin J. O'Connor


KEVIN J. O'CONNOR

DOUBLECLICK

Position: Co-founder and CEO

Contribution: Created the first Internet advertising network.

Ambition: To achieve the Holy Grail of advertising: delivering the right ad to the right consumer at the right time.

Four years ago, Kevin J. O'Connor helped revolutionize an industry he knew very little about when he started DoubleClick Inc., the first Internet advertising network. To his way of thinking, ignorance was an advantage. Being a tech guy who had already launched a communications software startup, he wasn't stuck in traditional ad-think. Instead, he and co-founder Dwight A. Merriman were able to spot something that the Web--unlike TV, radio, and print--was uniquely suited to do: instantly deliver ads to the right customers at just the right time.

O'Connor's creativity didn't stop there--and that's why he stands out as the leading architect for the burgeoning Web advertising business. Instead of starting a company that simply created ads or bought banner ad space for a handful of clients, the 38-year-old entrepreneur focused on bigger game: building a brand new kind of advertising company tailored to the Web. Today, DoubleClick represents a network of 490 Web sites, including AltaVista, and serves as a middleman between them and 3,100 advertising clients, such as General Motors Corp. and Visa International. On top of that, it provides powerful technology used within the network and by other sites to measure ad performance.

O'Connor's new ambition is to achieve the Holy Grail of advertising--true one-to-one marketing. He plans to match up the company's huge collection of consumer shopping data with the latest ad-targeting techniques. If O'Connor accomplishes that, advertising might finally live up to its promised potential on the Web.

By Heather Green

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[empire builders]
Jeffrey P. Bezos
AMAZON.COM INC.

Stephen M. Case
AMERICA ONLINE INC.

Timothy A. Koogle
YAHOO! INC.

[the innovators]
Louis H. Borders
WEBVAN GROUP INC.

Jay S. Walker
PRICELINE.COM

Margaret C. Whitman
EBAY INC.

Glen Meakem
FREE MARKETS ONLINE INC.

James H. Clark
MYCFO INC.

Christos M. Cotsakos
E*TRADE GROUP INC.

[bankrollers]
Masayoshi Son
SOFTBANK CORP., JAPAN

Robert C. Kagle
BENCHMARK CAPITAL

Lawton W. Fitt
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO.

L. John Doerr
KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS  

Bernard Arnault
LVMH MOET HENNESSY
LOUIS VUITTON  

[the visionaries]
Mary G. Meeker
MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER

John Hagel III
MCKINSEY & CO.

William Joy
SUN MICROSYSTEMS

[the architects]
Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
IBM CORP.

Pehong Chen
BROADVISION INC.

David C. Peterschmidt
INKTOMI INC.

Kevin J. O'Connor
DOUBLECLICK

Ellen M. Hancock
EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS

[the pace setters]
David S. Pottruck
CHARLES SCHWAB CORP.

John T. Chambers
CISCO SYSTEMS

Michael S. Dell
DELL COMPUTER



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