AdMob's Omar Hamoui: Putting ads into apps

omar_hamoui.top.jpg By Jessi Hempel, senior writer


FORTUNE -- In case you haven't noticed, the relationship between Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) and Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) is starting to get a little frosty. One person at the center: Omar Hamoui, the founder of mobile ad network AdMob, which places ads in apps. Both companies made aggressive bids for AdMob last fall, but Google won out, forking over $750 million in stock. That makes Hamoui a pioneer in an exploding new industry -- and a likely contender for Fortune's 2010 40 Under 40 list.

It's been quite a ride for the soft-spoken 33-year-old, who founded AdMob four years ago -- back when an app was still something you ordered before your entrée. Then a student at Wharton, Hamoui had built a mobile social-networking website but couldn't get it distributed. To win users, he had to advertise on the web and hope people found his site on their phones, but the conversion rate was dismal. Wouldn't it be more efficient, he thought, if there was a Google-like platform that let publishers and advertisers connect right on the phones? Six months after launching his marketplace in January 2006, he took an investment from VC firm Sequoia, dropped out of Wharton, and moved his family to Silicon Valley.

Now come the challenges. Apple recently changed its terms of service so that only independent ad networks can serve ads in iPhone apps, a rule all but designed to eliminate one-third of AdMob's traffic. Hamoui blasted Apple publicly. But there's more to the smartphone business than the iPhone. As he settles into his new office in Mountain View, Hamoui is already making plans to dominate the fast-growing Android market.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 8:02pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Spencer has been a supporting member of the "Good Morning America" cast for the past three years. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.