A Tanzanian American Is Now In Charge Of Selling Twitter Ads To Media Companies

By Dana Sanchez Published: September 20, 2017, 5:07 am
Kay Madati. Photo: BET - Media CompaniesKay Madati. Photo: BET

Kay Madati — a father, Facebook veteran and champion of charter schools — is headed to Twitter to try his hand at growing sales and marketing opportunities to media companies.

A Tanzania American, Madati has been named head of content partnerships. He is taking over from Ross Hoffman, who stepped down in May as Twitter’s vice president of global media after seven years.

Madati’s Twitter profile says: “Dad & Champion for great schools: Founded Brooklyn Excelsior & ATL Heights Charter Schools. Successes/failures: I’m just trying to matter.”

Twitter has seen considerable executive turnover in the past year “as it struggles to excite investors who have been souring on shaky user metrics in recent quarters,” Variety reported.

Madati comes to Twitter from BET, where he was executive vice president of digital media. He may have a few more responsibilities than Hoffman did at Twitter, according to Blavity.

“The ex-BET exec is being brought in during a hard time for Twitter. Less-than-stellar user numbers have made it difficult for the social media company to pull in new investors during recent quarters, and company leadership is looking for new ways to bridge that gap.”

One of the ways that Twitter hopes to generate more revenue is through its Amplify advertising product, an ad system comparable to Google’s YouTube ads. Madati will be in charge of Amplify.

Madati is no stranger to the entertainment side of social-media giants. Before BET, he was head of entertainment and media global marketing solutions at Facebook. There, he bundled ad-sales opportunities for networks and studios with marketing arrangements on the platform.

Prior to Facebook, Madati was vice president of audience experience at CNN Worldwide, where he helped integrate social media into CNN’s daily programming across multiple platforms. Madati was also in marketing and operations at Octagon Worldwide and BMW North America.

Twitter hopes that Madati’s vast industry experience will play a significant role in its plans for the future of content partnerships, according to Hill Country Times.

The social media company has been struggling to grow its user numbers. The new hire also comes at a time when the firm has been aggressively pushing its video content strategy to accommodate a wide variety of content such as live sports.

Madati was born in Norway and grew up in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. His parents divorced and he moved with his mother and brother to England where he attended a boarding school, “like many African kids in England,” he said in a 2011 Huffington Post report:

“My mother worked her tail off,” he said. “We were a poor, poor family. She put everything that she could toward making sure that we got a good education.”

When Madati was 12, his mother died. An American couple his parents befriended while working in Tanzania swooped in and moved the children to Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side.

“We (were) the ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ family: two teenage black kids who move in with a white couple and their baby,” he said.

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