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Cannes Lions 2013: YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar named Media Person of the Year

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MUMBAI: The previous three recipients of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Media Person of the Year award have all been from the digital space: Twitter creator, founder & executive chairman Jack Dorsey, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Hence, it is no surprise that the world?s premier ad fest has named YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar its Media Person of the Year.

Every year, the Festival organisers present The Media Person of the Year Award to a prominent personality who is an influential figure in the development of today?s media landscape, ultimately playing an integral part in shaping the future of the industry.

"YouTube has become a global phenomenon under Salar?s leadership. The statistics say it all: more than one billion unique users a month watch more than six billion hours of video. In 2011, YouTube had more than one trillion views - a simply staggering statistic," says Cannes Lions CEO Phillip Glass. "YouTube is enabling the next generation of great channels, similar to how cable systems enabled the emergence of modern TV programming and advertising. In the coming years, YouTube will surely become ever-more important to content-creators and advertisers the world over."

Kamangar, who also holds the title of senior vice president, video at Google, has been leading YouTube since 2009. Born in Tehran, Iran, he was Google?s ninth employee. His early roles at Google included drafting its first business plan, starting its early legal and finance functions, and helping to found Google?s product team. He helped create AdWords, which has turned over billions of dollars per year in ad revenue for Google. Kamangar also led product management teams for Google?s web applications, including Gmail and Docs.

An honours biological sciences bachelors graduate from Stanford University, he replaced YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley in 2009. Under his leadership, YouTube has launched TrueView, the advertising format whereby advertisers only pay for ads watched, and has doubled the number of advertisers using it in the past year.

"Content creators and advertisers alike are building successful YouTube channels that tap into a global community of fans, with more than one million of these channels now earning revenue," says a beaming Kamangar. "I?m delighted to accept this award not just on behalf of YouTube, but on behalf of the artists and producers across the world whose creativity has established YouTube as the global destination for video."

Salar Kamangar will be presented with the Media Person of the Year honour on Wednesday 19 June in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.

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