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Movers and Shakers: IAA, Redbox Mobile, LoopMe, Amplify.ai and more

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.

(Clockwise from top left) Kirsty Giordani, Seb Randle, Stefan Mayo, Joe Rohrlich, Brandon Atkinson, Toby Smith, Sepi Arani, Paul Sage

Giordani takes up executive director role at the IAA (UK)
The International Advertising Association (IAA) UK Chapter has announced the appointment of Kirsty Giordani as its executive director, following Angus Grieve’s decision to step down. She will work alongside Grieve for a handover period before taking over permanently later in the year.

In her new role, Giordani will oversee events, grow membership, develop partnerships and sponsorships, and work to encourage collaboration with other industry trade organisations. She previously spent 10 years at CNN, rising to the role of account director, leading a team dedicated to delivering creative, cross-platform, global solutions to clients and agencies, and driving revenue across the UK, Netherlands and Scandinavia.

During her career, she has previously volunteered for the IAA – alongside being a member of the Activities and Social Committees, she also held the role of VP of the Young Professionals Committee, assisting with the organisation of PAC, the IAA’s residential
training course, for eight years.

She said: “I have always been strongly committed to the IAA and its mission to promote the importance of advertising, and build and maintain a first-class, international network of advertisers, media owners, and agencies. I’m really looking forward to working with a passionate team of experts and making my own contribution to such a pivotal organisation in the international advertising industry.”

Salins handed EMEA brief at Redbox Mobile
App store search marketing agency Redbox Mobile has hired James Salins as CEO of its EMEA division. Based in the company’s new London office, Salins will oversee the continued growth of Redbox Mobile’s sales and account management teams, as well as developing new strategic partnerships in the EMEA region. Current CEO and founder Rory Mudie will focus his efforts on growing new opportunities in key territories including the USA, Latin America and Asia.

Salins joins the firm from app monetisation platform ironSource, where he was MD of its European teams in London and Berlin. As MD, Salins oversaw ironSource’s rapid growth, as advertisers served video and playable ads to over 1.7bn monthly users on the ironSource mediation platform. His appointment at Redbox Mobile comes at a time of explosive growth in the app store search marketing sector as more and more companies are capitalising on its proven ability to cost-effectively acquire mobile customers.

He said: “After seven years spent on the cutting edge of mobile advertising, I’m hugely impressed with the scope and rapid growth of mobile search marketing, specifically through Apple Search Ads and Google UAC. Redbox Mobile’s expertise and proven success in this space give the company a clear advantage, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to drive growth for the EMEA region.”

Randle joins LoopMe to head up Manchester operation
Ad platform LoopMe has opened a UK regional office in Manchester. It will be managed by Seb Randle, previously of Shortlist and Media-Link, who joins LoopMe as regional sales director.

“Seb’s experience across media, from publisher to agency, means he is well positioned to lead sales outside of London, said LoopMe commercial director, Simon Stone. “As digital brand spend grows in the North, so does a need for ROI. LoopMe’s new cross screen brand outcome products means that he’s joining at a really exciting time and I’m delighted that he’s joining the team.”


Amplify.ai hires two
Amplify.ai, the AI-driven engagement platform, has appointed John McCrea as its CMO, and Stefan Mayo as head of US sales and business development. In his role, McCrea will lead the company’s marketing team globally, while Mayo will build out and lead the sales and business development teams in the US.

McCrea was most recently CEO of Ethereal, a virtual reality software startup building an immersive music visualization platform. Prior to that, he served as CMO for MediaSpike, developer of an in-game virtual product placement platform. Prior to that, he was VP of Marketing for Plaxo, an early mover in the social web, which was acquired by Comcast.

Mayo has over 15 years’ sales leadership experience in the digital marketing and ad tech industry. Prior to his new role, he worked as an executive director of national sales at Valassis Digital, an advertising and marketing intelligence company that predicts consumer behaviour, where he focused on revenue growth, sales productivity and profitability across a suite of advertising technology products and solutions. Prior to that, he was director of enterprise sales at SocialChorus, VP sales at Martini Media and director of business development at Yahoo!

“These two key hires come at just the right time, as we approach 2bn AI-driven engagements with more than 150m consumers and have clearly established product/market fit,” said Amplify.ai chairman and CEO, Mahi de Silva.

Rohrlich takes up CRO role at Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice has appointed the GM and EVP of its European and Asia-Pacific business, Joe Rohrlich, to the role of chief revenue officer. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the company’s global sales, marketing and client success teams.

Rohrlich has been with Bazaarvoice since 2010. Under his leadership over the last two years, the company saw double-digit growth in its revenue and customer base in EMEA and APAC. Moving forward, he will continue this momentum and oversee the next chapter of growth and evolution for Bazaarvoice’s business, including strategy for product innovation, network syndication expansion, and strategic acquisitions. Rohrlich will be based out of Bazaarvoice’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.

He said: “Throughout my nine years at Bazaarvoice, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with many of our clients around the world, and I understand their challenges in this dynamic environment. I am excited to build on our position as the market leader in ratings and reviews software by expanding our global network of clients and continuing to drive value for brands, retailers, and consumers.”

Monetate hires Atkinson as its COO
Personalisation firm Monetate has appointed of Brandon Atkinson as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Atkinson will report directly to Monetate’s CEO Stephen Collins and will support the organisation’s commitment to help brands develop more of their best customers by applying personalisation across customer interactions.

Atkinson brings extensive experience in building successful high-growth technology businesses, most notably adtech start up AppNexus, where he served as SVP, global services and then chief people officer for almost a decade. While there, Atkinson was an essential component in scaling the organisation from 30 to over 1,000 employees worldwide. The company was acquired for $1.7bn (£1.3bn) acquisition by AT&T in 2018.

Prior to his time at AppNexus, Atkinson worked for Opsware, a data center automation software provider, where he held leadership roles in services and engineering. He later served as solution director, business service automation, EMEA for HP after it acquired Opsware in 2007, where he led go-to-market efforts in the region.

“Brandon is the ideal leader to ensure that we are delivering the highest possible value to our customers, through our strong combination of outstanding technology solutions and exceptional customer service,” said Monetate CEO, Stephen Collins. “He not only brings a track record of building and leading exceptional teams, but he also has a proven ability to provide uncompromising service levels to customers at scale.”

Smith joins JustWatch to head up London office
Toby Smith has joined data-driven movie marketing firm JustWatch as head of sales UK after working in the digital entertainment advertising space for more than 10 years. He comes to JustWatch from entertainment sales house, Venatus Media. The company has also opened its third office, in London. The UK is already one oft he most important markets for JustWatch, closely behind Germany and the US, thanks to local and international trailer campaigns that are run from London.

After managing the UK market from Berlin until now, the company now plans to set up a team closer to JustWatch’s clients and partners in London, led by Smith, who has already been working very closely with media agencies like GroupM or Omnicom and JustWatch clients such as Universal Pictures, Paramount or Sony Pictures for some time.

He said: “After a decade in the industry I’ve seen many companies come and go with so-called game-changing tech and innovation, but this is the first time I’ve truly believed it. JustWatch offers something completely original and fresh, I’m proud and excited to be able to bring it to market in the UK.“

Hiyacar looks to Arani for growth
London start-up, hiyacar has hired Sepi Arani as its head of growth, with a brief to drive further growth for the peer-to-peer car-sharing company. Arani’s appointment follows news of a multi-million pound investment into the company by Tokyo Investor ITOCHU Corporation.

Prior to joining hiyacar, Arani worked for Audi, Audi AG and Volkswagen group, both in the UK and internationally, with roles across sales operations, digital and strategy. Most recently, during his time at Audi, he delivered the brand’s first online vehicle deposit platform for e-tron, and launched Audi's future mobility brand, Audi on demand.

Arani will work closely with joint co-founders Graeme Risby and Rob Larmour. Co-founder and CEO, Risby said: “This is an extremely exciting time not only for hiyacar, but the wider mobility sector. We’re really looking forward to working with Sepi - his entrepreneurial spirit and passion will be invaluable to our growth.”

Hiyacar currently has 60,000 members in the UK, and used QuickStart keyless technology to remove the hassle of a key handover. The UK has approximately 32m cars, with 3m in London alone, yet 95 per cent of their time is idle. Hiyacar’s mission is to change the way people own and use cars. The online platform allows car owners to rent their cars to vetted drivers, saving time, money and hassle.

Sage takes up biz dev role at Audience Serv
Audience targeting firm Audience Serv has appointed Paul Sage as vice president of its global business development operations. In his new role, he will drive the global growth of the company, exploring new potential markets and partnerships.

Prior to Audience Serv, Sage was country manager for Australia at eGENTIC, a global performance marketing business. In this role he was responsible for the firm’s operations in Australia, the largest market for eGENTIC in the Asia-Pacific region, and also had regional responsibility as head of data partnerships for APAC.

“I have great pleasure in welcoming Paul into the Audience Serv family,” said Audience Serv CEO, David Pikart. “With his proven track of record working several years in the field of digital and business development, I am confident that he will excel his new role.”

Harrow joins SBDS to drive sales
Data-tech firm SBDS, has hired The Economist’s former advertising sales director, Rupert Harrow, as its vice president of sales. Harrow will play a central role in the company’s ambitious growth plans, liaising closely with the restof the sales team to strengthen direct brand client relationships, focusing primarily on the UK and Northern Europe. 

Prior to his role at SBDS, Harrow headed up the international business development team at Rezonence, where he was responsible for expanding the company’s portfolio with the likes of Omnicom, Media IQ and Mindshare. Before joining Rezonence, Harrow held directorial roles at AIM, NewBase (previously Publicitas) and The Economist, where he worked in a sales management capacity across the Asia region.

He said: “At a time when ownership of data is such a focus for all businesses, I’m excited to get involved with the work of the team here in London. Now, more than ever, there is huge demand for the unique service SBDS provides - helping companies get the most value out of their customer data assets to deliver on ROI and ultimately drive a better customer experience.”

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