Summits Yellow

Movers & Shakers: New York Times, Saatchi & Saatchi, Merkle, PushON and more

Tim Maytom

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.

New York Times publisher announces retirement, hands over company to son
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., who has served as the publisher of the New York Times Company since 1992, has revealed he will be retiring at the end of the year, and is passing the baton on to his son A.G. Sulzberger, who is currently deputy publisher at the firm. Sulzberger Jr. will continue to serve as chairman of the Company’s board of directors.

As publisher, A.G. Sulzberger will be the principal steward of the editorial independence and long-term prosperity of The New York Times, aiming to steer it towards continued excellence in a time of great disruption for the print news industry. During his tenure as publisher, Sulzberger Jr. helped transform The Times into an international media company and built one of the most successful digital pay models in news.

A.G. Sulzberger served as a report at The Providence Journal and The Oregonian before joining The Times’ metro desk in 2009. He later worked as a national correspondent, covering the Midwest as head of the Kansas City bureau, and has been one of the architects of The Times’ digital transformation. In 2014, he was the principal author of the Innovation Report, which focused on growing and engaging the paper’s digital audience.

“A.G. embodies the values and mission of The Times,” said Sulzberger Jr. “He has proven himself to be a powerful force for change, deeply dedicated to moving the company forward as the pace of transformation in our business continues to speed up. I am completely confident that he – and his cousins who are working alongside him – will dedicate themselves to preserving the excellence at The Times that my family has been committed to for over 120 years.”

Michelle Kunken joins Saatchi & Saatchi New York
Industry veteran Michelle Kunken has been named as the new executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, effective immediately. She most recently served in the same role at KBS, where she oversaw creative development and production for clients including the Advertising Council, Monster, Vanguard and Boar’s Head.

Prior to KBS, Kunken worked at Arnold New York and Interpublic-owned Tierney Philadelphia, working with a variety of brands including Hasbro, Hershey’s, Procter & Gamble and Pfizer. She will report directly to Saatchi & Saatchi’s chief creative officer Javier Campopiano, and will be based in the firm’s new Midtown headquarters which opened in September.

“We’re working on some game-changing projects right now, so we needed someone who has a knack for creating innovative work,” said Campopiano. “Michelle’s level of expertise and calibre of work made her the natural choice for our team, and we can’t wait to see all of the great things she’ll do here.”

Merkle accelerates expansion with new head of mergers and acquisitions
Data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle has appointed Julia Crawley-Boevey as head of mergers and acquisitions for EMEA as it plans an ambitious growth strategy for the region. The firm is expecting M&A activity to increase significantly next year, having made its first major company acquisitions in the region in 2015.

Prior to joining Merkle, Crawley-Boevey was head of global business strategy and M&A at iCrossing, where she oversaw the launch of new agency services and identified key investment priorities. She also led a team dedicated to the marketing services sector at Results International, a leading advisor on M&A and fundraising.

“Merkle is a company that has consistently been at the forefront of the digital marketing revolution and it’s an honour to be joining the leadership team at such a significant stage in its journey,” said Crawley-Boevey. “With the support of Dentsu Aegis Network, there is a huge opportunity to strengthen our capabilities in EMEA and continue to build out a global presence via M&A. I’m looking forward to working closely together to achieve our vision.”

PushON finds new managing director ready for 2018 and beyond
Sam Rutley has been promoted to head up PushON, the Manchester-based eCommerce agency, as the company prepares for an ambitious year of growth. Rutley joined the business back in 2008 as an account executive, and quickly worked his way up to the development team to become digital director in 2012.

“I’ve been working with PushON since the very early stages of my career and I’ve thoroughly loved every minute,” said Rutley. “The business prides itself on being at the forefront of technological development and strives to provide a comprehensive digital offering to eCommerce businesses. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into my new role and helping progress the business by expanding the services we offer – 2018 is going to be an exciting year for myself and for PushON.”

Rutley takes over from former managing director Simon Wharton, who is stepping down from the position at the end of the year after leading the company for the past 11 years. He will be taking up the position of business strategy director at the company, and will focus his time on developing the business’ long-term strategy to refine PushON’s service offering and expertise during 2018.

Preeti Patel becomes vice president of technology for Rauxa
Full-service independent agency Rauxa is strengthening its leadership team with 20-year industry veteran Preeti Patel, who will come on board as vice president of technology at the firm. Patel most recently worked as senior director of technology for IPG agency Huge, where she helped deliver campaigns for brands including Morgan Stanley, Thompson Reuters and Verizon.

Patel will lead long-term strategy and innovation opportunities at the company, working with clients including Vans and Frontpoint Security to drive advances. Prior to Huge, she has also held roles at 360i and the Marlin Company, and holds three patents for electronic media communication, creation and distribution systems.

“It’s an exciting time to join the Rauxa team,” said Patel. “I’ve been in this industry for more than 20 years, and it’s refreshing to join a female-led management team that’s looking to use data and creativity to answer clients’ business challenges.”

DNA elevates Chris Witherspoon and Scott Fero to new roles
Long-time agency executive Chris Witherspoon is being promoted to president and chief growth officer at DNA Seattle, a new position at the agency designed to accelerate the company’s growth. In addition, award-winning creative director Scott Fero is being promoted to executive creative director at the firm.

The moves complete the extended leadership and management team at the agency, with CEO and co-founder Alan Brown continuing to focus on guiding the agency’s leadership, offering and vision. Co-founder and creative leader Dan Gross will become chairman of the agency, and focus on long-term strategic initiatives including potential partnerships and acquisitions.

“As we enter our 20th year as an independent agency, we recognise that we have an opportunity and responsibility to ensure our agency’s evolution as our industry continues to change,” said Brown. “We’re fortunate to have a very deep pool of talent that represents our next-generation leadership. Chris and Scott have been integral to our growth, and to diversifying our offering to be ahead of industry trends. We’re excited to be able to promote them both to executive leadership roles at DNA.”