Change of Leadership at Opera Mediaworks, Settlement of 2016 AdColony Earn-Out

After serving as CEO of Opera Mediaworks since its inception in 2010, Mahi de Silva has decided to step down from his executive position and will assume a strategic advisor role. Effective December 7, 2015, Will Kassoy took over as CEO of Opera Mediaworks. Will previously served as CEO of AdColony, acquired by Opera Mediaworks in 2014. 

As our mobile advertising business enters a new phase of its growth and evolution, Opera is confident that Will Kassoy will ensure that Opera Mediaworks continues to be a highly valuable partner for global publishers and advertisers. Our priorities include a complete platform integration between AdColony and AdMarvel, and a unified, world leading offering to our customers across both video and display advertising.

Along with this change of leadership, Opera Software has agreed on a settlement of the 2016-based earn-out related to the AdColony acquisition. The 2015-based earn-out continues to depend on the actual performance of the Instant Play video advertising platform through 2015.

The original earn-out agreement lasted through August 2016, with a maximum 2016-based earn-out payment of USD 40 million. This obligation is settled at USD 18.3 million, payable per the original timeline. Per Opera Software’s Q3 2015 report, Opera had booked USD 30.9 million for the 2016-based AdColony earn-out. Opera and the AdColony shareholders have agreed on the importance of facilitating a faster and complete integration between AdColony and the rest of Opera Mediaworks, which is also a matter of high importance for the AdColony shareholders that are receiving Opera shares as part of the 2015 earn-out payable in Q1 2016.

The settlement does not in any way mean that Opera is reducing its expectations for Instant Play video advertising in 2016 and beyond.

To ensure alignment and retention, Opera has established a new incentive program that will replace the current program for Opera Mediaworks employees, and which stretches through December 2018. The new program will be based on cash bonuses or RSUs, which will be decided at the next General Meeting of Opera Software.