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Ex-Twitter Ad Sales Chief Sarah Personette Joins Puck as CEO

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Sarah Personette, who quit as Twitter’s head of ad sales after Elon Musk bought the social network in the fall of 2022, has landed a new gig as CEO of digital-news startup Puck.

Personette will start at New York-based Puck on Jan. 7, assuming the role at the company that has been vacant since the exit of Puck co-founder Joe Purzycki in May 2023.

Personette will join Puck’s board alongside co-founder and editor-in-chief Jon Kelly. She most recently was chief customer officer at Twitter, which she had joined in 2018 before resigning a few days after Musk’s $44 billion takeover. Previously, she served briefly as COO of women-focused media company Refinery29, after a stint as Facebook’s VP of global business marketing from 2014 to 2017. Prior to that, she was U.S. president of Universal McCann Worldwide and senior VP at Starcom Mediavest Group.

At Puck, Personette will be tasked with expanding into new markets, including fashion and the business of sports, while growing its lineup of live events, editorial franchises and intellectual property, according to the company. Co-founder and COO Liz Gough will continue to lead Puck’s advertising business and will work with Personette in its planned expansion.

“Sarah is one of the smartest, and most inspiring media executives at work today — brilliant, creative, connected, passionate, and beloved. Her experience building brands at scale and reinventing business models make her the ideal CEO to take our company to the next level,” Kelly said in announcing Personette’s hire.

Puck has raised $20 million in funding to date from founding investors TPG and Standard Investments, along with J. Rothschild Capital Management, which led a $13 million Series B round last summer. The company in 2023 generated $10 million in revenue and counts approximately 40,000 newsletter subs. Puck’s journalist founding partners include Matthew Belloni, Julia Ioffe, Dylan Byers, William D. Cohan, and Baratunde Thurson.

“Puck has proven itself to be a force — uniting the corridors of power from Washington to Wall Street, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley and beyond,” Personette said in a statement provided by the company. “The possibilities for building out this business, expanding our footprint, and doing so with purpose, are within reach at an organization like Puck.”

Personette holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Northwestern U. A mother of two, she lives in Fair Haven, N.J.

Founded in 2021, Puck covers “the inside conversation at the nexus of Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the media and fashion.” The company touts its “innovative business model premised on treating journalists as influencers” by offering them equity and performance bonuses.

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