The New Normal

How Paul Porrini helps YuMe navigate the ever-changing advertising technology landscape

It’s no secret that mobile devices are changing the way we watch TV. Traditional cable is on the decline as viewers turn to tablets, laptops, and other gadgets in record numbers. In 2015, Flurry Analytics, a leading mobile analytics company, reported that the average US consumer spent 198 minutes per day on apps and just 168 minutes watching TV.

Enter YuMe, the global audience technology company powered by data-driven insights and multiscreen expertise. It was started in 2004 to help leading brands reach increasingly fractured audiences. YuMe works on both the supply and demand sides to provide turnkey ad-tech solutions. Simply put, national brand advertisers utilize YuMe to connect to the world’s most used apps and websites via digital video advertising.

Paul Porrini is YuMe’s executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary. He joined the company in 2012 to lead all legal aspects and help prepare YuMe for an IPO. Porrini says any lawyer involved in an IPO must be ready to tackle the unknown.

Porrini, who graduated from Georgetown and Widener University Law Schools, started his career at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After working at several law firms, he joined Bluestone Software just before the company’s 1999 IPO. Porrini moved to Hewlett-Packard when it acquired Bluestone in 2001, eventually becoming the company’s vice president, deputy general counsel, and assistant secretary.

Porrini’s experience at the SEC, in private practice, with high-tech companies, and with IPOs made him an ideal fit for YuMe. As YuMe moves forward, some of his most important tasks include reporting and advising the board, ensuring compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements, and creating internal synergies. Although order is key, YuMe still finds itself in the Wild West of the ad-tech industry, and Porrini says the pace of change is higher than the broader tech world.

“We’re constantly seeing and evaluating trends to figure out how we need to respond and gain a competitive edge,” he explains. Most recently, YuMe has seen a trend toward automated and programmatic advertising.

It’s in this environment that YuMe works to become the leading independent platform for digital advertising. Ad-tech as an industry is only about twenty years old, so executives at YuMe are still crafting new ways to follow ad dollars from old linear systems to the new digital space. Change is rapid, so Porrini and his legal team stay busy.

Porrini works across many departments at YuMe. He has oversight for human resources and is embedded in the C-suite, the board, with management, and with employees.

“Legal is one of the guardians of the corporation and the company is our ultimate client,” he says. “We’re here to let YuMe compete, to manage risk, and to make sure we can operate at the top of our game as the digital landscape continues to unfold.”

Throughout his career, Porrini says he’s come to better understand the virtues of loyalty and assertiveness.

“I know that I need to surround myself with people smarter than me, but be confident in my own ability. I manage by walking around and staying accessible. I mentor, but I also learn.”

When it comes to leading his team, Porrini believes mixing delegation and empowerment keeps his employees both motivated and accountable.

“Their work product is my work product,” he says. “If a client has an issue with the work we produce, it’s on me.”

YuMe’s success can be attributed to many different factors aligning: video is hitting new platforms (from game consoles to wearables), adults are streaming more content than ever before, brands are making video content a top priority, and advertisers are spending billions on video in the United States alone. As the digital evolution continues, Porrini and his dedicated legal team are positioned to help YuMe lead the way.