AltaVista takes partner’s chief

The US-owned Internet search engine AltaVista is to hire’s founding chief to lead an assault on the UK market, despite a global “no poaching” agreement between the two companies.

Andy Mitchell, who was appointed by US-owned DoubleClick to launch its successful UK advertising sales service two and-a-half years ago, is to join AltaVista as UK managing director.

He joins four weeks after the service’s UK launch as part of AltaVista’s European assault, which includes the launch of dedicated sites in France, Germany and Sweden.

A DoubleClick spokeswoman says it has a replacement lined up and is agreeing terms. The company is poised to announce a number of senior management appointments.

The “no poaching” personnel agreement was struck when Alta-Vista signed a three-year deal for DoubleClick to represent its interests in ad sales negotiations on a global basis.

DoubleClick International president Barry Salzman says: “I had to create an exemption for Mitchell to speak to AltaVista, but his appointment is in his best interests, as well as AltaVista and DoubleClick’s UK interests.

Mitchell joined DoubleClick in 1997 as its first UK employee following a career in advertising, during which he helped to launch digital communications projects for Ogilvy & Mather.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here