Wehrs steps down as global CEO, president of Mobile Marketing Association

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After a year in the position, Mike Wehrs, the Mobile Marketing Association's global CEO and president, will resign effective December 31.

Wehrs, who is leaving the MMA for a role in the for-profit sector, will help to transition the organization to new leadership. Wehrs will serve as special adviser to the MMA Global Executive Committee until June 30, 2010. Rio de Janiero-based Federico Pisani Massamormile, MMA global chairman, will serve as interim CEO. 

“What I came in to really do was to take that organization to another level, which is something that I accomplished, so I was looking at it and said, in 2010 is this the best thing for me to do?,” said Wehrs. “I thought it was the right time for me to move back into the commercial space, which is where I came from.”

Wehrs did not say what or where his new position is, but he did confirm that it is in mobile.

“Mike achieved a lot and he stepped up the organization to a good point. He feels it is a good moment to leave the association and go back to the private sector,” said Massamormile, who did not disclose where Wehrs was going.

“The good news is that he will be advising me to help ensure that everything will be handled properly,” added Massamormile.

Massamormile's main objective as interim CEO will be to lead the search for a new global executive to run the MMA. Under his guidance, the MMA's board will immediately begin an executive-level search for a new global executive, managed by a recruiting committee comprised of board members. 

This year, MMA overall paid membership increased and the association increased membership of regional chapters in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America and Latin America. Massamormile said that he plans to continue a global focus.

“For this initiative to work, we have to have local flavor, because there are different situations in each market in terms of regulatory issues, technology, advertising development and so on,” said Massamormile. “We are developing the organization globally but acting at the local level.”

Wehrs also spearheaded guidelines for the evolving industry to follow. Every six months, the MMA updates its mobile advertising guidelines and code of conduct. This year's updates included adopting “consumer best practices” and “mobile ad guidelines.”

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