Summits Yellow

Movers & Shakers: Mediacom, News UK, Quantcast, Spark Foundry, MyFC and Spafax

David Murphy

The mobile marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our regular feature following the hottest hires in the industry, so you can keep track of who’s joined which company, and what they’re doing there.

(Top L-R): Ben Rickard, Dominic Carter, Carolyn Watt
(Bottom L-R): Chris Boothe, Sebastian Weber, Jean-Marc Thomas


Rickard takes up chief digital and data officer role at Mediacom

Ben Rickard has joined Mediacom as chief digital and data officer. The role will see Rickard lead MediaCom UK's digital and data transformation. His primary focus will be to build the digital and data community across the agency, driving the integration of these disciplines across all corners of MediaCom UK.

Joining MediaCom from Wavemaker, where he was senior partner, having initially joined the agency as head of mobile in 2014, Rickard’s ultimate goal will be to ensure all of MediaCom’s digital and data capabilities are world class.

This will involve ensuring that the basics of digital media planning and buying are delivered effortlessly to clients, while also leading the agency’s transition in to a fully digital and increasingly automated media world.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining MediaCom UK at such an exciting time. Digital and data is part of everyday life and plays a vital role in the work we do for clients. But we are now at a point where data and machine learning can be introduced into everything we do. It isn’t about art versus science, it’s about art perfected by science. MediaCom UK understands this and I’m proud to be taking the lead in delivering digital and data transformation across the agency and our clients.”

Prior to his role at MediaCom, Rickard spent the early part of his career building financial eCommerce solutions at HBOS (now Lloyds Banking Group). He later set up his own mobile agency that later moved into WPP, where he was pivotal in creating JWT Mobile. After just under three years on the creative side, Rickard made the move into media by joining MEC (Wavemaker) as head of mobile before.

“Ben brings with him a background of entrepreneurialism and innovation. He has a drive and hunger which matches our own and we’re excited to bring him to MediaCom UK to drive our digital and data business,” said MediaCom UK CEO, Josh Krichefski. “It’s no secret that digital has completely changed our industry and that evolution is still happening. The use of data to better understand audiences and the customer experience offers huge opportunity for us and for our clients. Data can unlock creativity and Ben is going to be vital in delivering this.”

Carter takes up new role as group CCO at News UK
News UK has appointed Dominic Carter as group chief commercial officer. It’s a new role that will oversee all national advertising revenue for News UK and Wireless Group operations in the UK and Ireland.

The company’s strategy in recent years, of offering cross-platform opportunities with engaged audiences, has seen significant success. By broadening its commercial appeal, News UK’s proposition has now moved beyond traditional advertising to a more bespoke partnership offering for clients.

In his role. Carter will oversee all commercial operations for the company’s cross-platform offering across print, digital, video and audio, with The Bridge and Wireless commercial teams reporting directly to him. Advertisers and agencies will have a single point of access to News UK’s highly audiences to foster more holistic partnerships.

He will work hand in hand Unruly’s new CEO, Norm Johnston, who takes up his position next week, and Storyful’s Sharb Farjami.

“News UK’s portfolio offers clients an exciting one-stop shop with brand-safe environments to get to Britain’s most desirable audiences,” said CEO Rebekah Brooks, “Our data-driven digital expertise enables us to target customer segments across our trusted brands. Dominic’s direct portfolio now includes everything from The Times, The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Sun on Sunday to Virgin Radio, talkSPORT and talkRADIO. Our focus is to continue investing in growing these audiences across the board to the benefit of all our customers."

Quantcast EMEA strategy role for Watt
AI-driven audience behaviour platform Quantcast has appointed Carolyn Watt as EMEA director of strategy and innovation. Serving as part of the UK leadership team, Watt will help Quantcast’s advertiser clients grow by leveraging Quantcast’s unique live insights - drawn from more than 100m online destinations - in order to reclaim control of their audience relationships. Based in the company’s London office, she will report to EMEA MD Matt White.

She joins Quantcast from Yabber Digital, a consulting business she founded in 2009. The company specialised in digital transformation, working with executive leadership teams of start-ups, enterprise, government and not-for-profit organisations to digitally transform customer experiences, operations and business models. Clients included Unilever, Visa, E.ON, Bank of Ireland, Burberry and HSBC.

Prior to this, she held leadership positions at Netrank, pre and post acquisition by LBi, US tech agency Atomic and WPP agency GroupM, where she developed data-driven propositions designed to help organisations transition to digital businesses as well as helping digital business scale globally.

She said: “It’s time to disrupt the old advertising model. For years, the industry has bombarded consumers with thousands of ads every day, to the point where all of us have become adept at zoning out the constant interruptions that clutter our daily lives. Access to quality, verifiable data from which meaningful, relevant and ethical consumer interactions and engagements can be created has been the Achilles’ heel of brands for too long. Quantcast has the people, processes, and technologies to power this revolution. It is my privilege to be a part of that movement for change.”

Boothe takes up global braand president role at Spark Foundry
Chris Boothe has joined Spark Foundry as global brand president. Boothe, who currently serves as CEO of Spark Foundry USA, will focus on further scaling Spark Foundry’s brand proposition across 60 global offices in 35 countries.

In his role, he will be responsible for driving growth for the network and empowering best work for clients around the world. Boothe will continue to serve as CEO of Spark Foundry USA in addition to his new role . He will report to Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media, and Tim Jones, CEO, Publicis Media Americas.

“Chris fully embodies the Spark Foundry spirit,” said King. “He has been central to Spark Foundry’s transformation and dynamic energy, resulting in exceptional new business momentum and client impact. I am confident under Chris’ leadership, creativity, and client acumen, Spark Foundry’s unique positioning of a startup spirit and powerhouse soul will be brought to life around the world.”

Under Boothe’s leadership, Spark Foundry USA welcomed numerous blue-chip clients to its roster including, Audible, KFC, USAA and Southwest Airlines. These initial US successes were followed with substantial regional and global wins for the network, such as Mondelez and Marriott International respectively.

A 30-year Publicis Groupe veteran, Boothe brings to the post leadership experience spanning a wide-expanse of marketing expertise throughout his career, including strategy, investment, international business, business development, global product and agency operations. Prior to serving as CEO of Spark Foundry USA, Boothe was president/COO of Starcom USA. He began his career at Leo Burnett, and was named Adweek Executive of the Year in 2016.

“I hold the Spark Foundry brand very close to my heart,” said Boothe. “When I first took the helm of Spark six years ago, we were a small agency of only 65 employees, but I believed we were embarking on something with immense potential. Today, Spark Foundry is a global agency of 3,500 people worldwide, built on the tenets of teamwork, innovation and grit. I look forward to working with our offices and clients around the world to deliver on our mission of bringing heat to brands.”

Weber takes up tech integration role at MyFC

Green Energy firm MyFC has hired Sebastian Weber as chief technology integration officer. Weber has extensive experience in the mobile industry, with Ericsson and most recently Fingerprint Cards. He was instrumental in Fingerprint Card’s integration into smartphones. At myFC, he will lead the work towards full integration of the company's hybrid platform, based on the LAMINA fuel cell, in smartphones.

"Sebastian will be instrumental when it comes to integrating our technology into smartphones,” said myFC CEO, Björn Westerholm. “I have immense respect for his knowledge and experience, and his track record is very impressive."

“MyFC offers an attractive mix of challenges: a cutting-edge technology that is truly unique, a green technology with great potential, and a focus on integration in the mobile industry,” said Weber. “The latter has become something of a specialist area for me, and it is an area where I can contribute effectively and efficiently."

Asian MD role for Thomas at Spafax
Spafax, which provides media, entertainment and content marketing solutions, has appointed Jean-Marc Thomas to the role of managing director, Asia. In this role, he will be responsible for driving Spafax’s digital media strategies and growing new business in the region. Thomas will be based in Spafax’s Singapore office where he will oversee the teams in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

He brings with him more than 18 years of experience in performance marketing, digital strategy and analytics across multiple markets, most recently as head of digital, APAC at Carat Singapore. During his time at iProspect, Thomas contributed to win multiple accounts across APAC and secured business for leading account, including L’Oréal, Starwood Hotels and American Express.

“We are excited to welcome Jean-Marc to lead the media solutions teams in Asia,” said Spafax COO Simon Ogden. “His international experience within the WPP network and deep understanding of the APAC market are a perfect fit for our ambitious growth plan within the region.”