Movers & Shakers: SpotX, Ooyala, [m]Platform, Google and Four

Tim Maytom

The mobile marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is a 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.

Movers and Shakers 22 June
(Left to right) Sebastien Robin, Mike Nikzad, Jenny Bullis, Matt Bush and Tim Reid

Sebastien Robin Joins SpotX as Managing Director for France
Video ad serving platform SpotX has brought on Sebastien Robin, co-founder of Affiperf, as its new managing director in France as it continues to grow its operations in Europe. Robin will report directly to Leon Siotis, managing director for SpotX in the UK and Southern Europe, and will recruit and manage a team focused on supporting media owners in France.

“I have always been interested in automation, harnessing technology to improve customer service and effectiveness from the early days of my career,” said Sebastien Robin. “Programmatic video is the most exciting part of the industry and this move is a logical next step for me.

“I’m pleased to be working with such a strong team of people, whom I have known for many years, and who are taking such a collaborative approach to working with the media industry in Europe. I am looking forward to combining the skills I have learned over the past 20 years in advertising to manage a P&L again and drive more success for French broadcasters, media owners and advertisers.”

Ooyala Names New Chief Operating Officer
Mike Nikzad has come onboard Ooyala, the streaming video management firm, to serve as its chief operating officer, leaving behind a similar position at SaaS company Syncplicity where he achieved substantial transformation across the business in under two years, driving significant growth in sales.

At Ooyala, Nikzad will be responsible for leading daily operations with an emphasis on the company’s product lifecycle, including inception, development, delivery, support and all customer deployments. The firm’s software and services focus on simplifying production, streaming and monetising video, and it counts Microsoft and Adobe as partners.

“Mike and I have worked together in numerous previous companies,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO of Ooyala. “As we have in the past and together with our teams, we will work to forge strong customer partnerships driven by leading edge solutions and a customer first ethos. I am excited Mike has decided to join us and look forward to working together again.”

New Global Chief Strategy Officer Announced at [m]Platform
Jenny Bullis has been promoted to global chief strategy officer for [m]Platform, GroupM’s proprietary audience intelligence and activation solution. Bullis will create the strategy for the global rollout of [m]Platform, ensuring that the data sets and technology suite are suitable for every market in which GroupM’s agencies deliver media services.

Most recently, Bullis led Essence’s London office as CEO for EMEA, and prior to that she was managing direct for Annalect in UK and EMEA. Her 20 years of experience also includes client-side leadership roles heading media for BT, Sainsbury’s and ITV, providing her with key insights into how to drive value from the real world application of data and insights for clients.

“I am really excited to join such a visionary team,” said Bullis. “I have seen what [m]Platform is capable of, and I genuinely believe we will change the way media is planned and executed, raising the bar for the industry, and driving successful business outcomes for all our clients.”

Matt Bush Takes Over Google’s UK Agency Sales
Google has reorganised its UK agency sales team, with Matt Bush now solely responsible for the department as co-director Pete Cory moves to a new client-facing role in charge of consumer goods brands.

Google is the biggest media owner in the UK, and agency ad sales are believed to generate over 20 per cent of its UK turnover, making the team an essential part of the company’s operations in the UK. Bush and Cory took on the joint role back in February 2016, replacing Mark Howe, who held the position for over a decade.

Bush already managed Google’s sales with Omnicom, Dentsu Aegis Network, the Publicis Group and independent agencys, and will now take on responsibility for Google’s UK relationships with WPP, Havas and Interpublic.

Four Communications Group Elevates Tim Reid to Operating Board
Tim Reid is set to join the operating board of independent integrated agency Four Communications, having also taken on the role of managing director for group client services. Reid joined Four from Good Relations Property in January 2016 as group client services director.

Reid’s role will encompass continuing work on new business development and client work with a focus on the property, financial services and travel sectors. In addition, he will take a lead role in Four’s own marketing and PR, working with group managing director Einir Williams.

“Tim’s promotion follows what was another record-breaking year for Four in 2016 and an exciting period as the business continues to grow,” said Nan Williams, group chief executive for Four Communications. “We like to recognise and reward excellent performance at Four, and we continue to try to retain and attract the best talent. Our ambitious growth plans will continue in 2017.”