Movers and Shakers: Biscuiteers, Xiaomi, GroupM, Adam&EveDDB and more

The mobile and digital marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our monthly round-up of the hottest hires in the industry…

Biscuiteers Omnichannel and Marketing Director, Fiona Geekie

Biscuiteers expands leadership team
Hand-iced biscuit company, Biscuiteers, has expanded its leadership team with the appointments of Fiona Geekie, who joins as Omnichannel and Marketing Director, and Abbie Barker, the company’s new Finance and Operations Director.

The senior appointments come as Biscuiteers scales its growth ambitions, following further expansion of its wholesale business, strong growth across corporate sales, and the expansion of its overseas offering, particularly in the US.

Geekie brings a wealth of experience in leading Marketing and eCommerce teams to drive growth and innovation. She joins from Mahabis, the premium global footwear company, where she led the marketing and eCommerce team as CMO, introducing new marketing channels, expanding internationally, and establishing strategic wholesale partnerships. Prior to that she was Marketing Director at My 1st Years, the personalised baby gift company, Commercial Director at Moonpig, and has also held senior marketing positions at brands including Virgin Money, Which?, NatWest, and BarclayCard.

New Finance and Operations Director, Barker, has extensive experience working with global high-growth companies. She joins from Flowerbx, the luxury flower-delivery company, where she led the finance team as Head of Finance for four years, and was instrumental in helping to secure £3m pre-seed and £8m Series A funding rounds, while playing a key role in growing the company turnover by 130 per cent, and in its international expansion into the US. 

“This year, Biscuiteers has seen strong growth across our corporate and wholesale business, as well as online and in the US,” said Biscuiteers Founder and MD, Harriet Hastings. “As we start to see consumer sentiment recovering, we have big ambitions for the next stage of our business journey and the appointments of Fiona and Abbie are a key part of that strategy as we look to scale the business over the coming years.”

Xiaomi appoints Wang as General Manager of Western Europe
Handset maker Xiaomi has appointed QX Wang as its new General Manager of Xiaomi Western Europe. With a strong track record of success, Wang brings a wealth of experience and leadership to his new position. As General Manager, he will report to Alex Xiang, Vice President of International Business Department, and oversee all aspects of Xiaomis operations in Western Europe.
He said: “I am honoured and excited to take on this role and lead Xiaomis efforts in Western Europe. Together with our talented team, well continue to bring innovation to the region, empowering everyone to enjoy a smarter and more connected future.”

Two senior hires for GroupM
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has appointed Ryan Storrar as EMEA and UK CEO, and Clare Chapman as CEO at EssenceMediacomX (EMX).

Storrar moves from his dual role as CEO (EMX) UK, and Global Chief Media Solutions Officer at EssenceMediacom, after more than seven years within the wider group, having joined Essence in 2016. Storrar will start the GroupM Nexus EMEA and UK CEO role in the coming months, following a transition from EMX and EssenceMediacom. In his new position, Ryan will be responsible for ensuring GroupM Nexus continues its strong growth and delivers the very best in performance activation for GroupMs clients across EMEA and the UK.

As EMX CEO, Chapman will be responsible for growing the EMX business through exceptional client service and delivery, combining creativity and data-driven excellence. Chapman returns to EMX after two years as CEO for Carat UK, having previously worked at Essence for four years as Head of Media.

Josh Krichefski, GroupM EMEA and UK CEO said: “Ryan’s appointment is testament to his outstanding work and leadership. He will lead GroupM Nexus across EMEA and the UK with the same effectiveness he’s demonstrated for EMX and EssenceMediacom, as we continue to deliver measurable client growth via GroupM Nexus, our performance marketing arm.

We’re also delighted to welcome Clare back into the group – a leader with a proven track record of driving business growth and creative innovation for world-leading brands.” 

Adam&EveDDB hires Cannes Lions winners
Cannes Lions Grand Prix-winning creatives, Charlotte Upton and Callum McDonald, have joined Adam&EveDDB in London.

The pair, who won the Grand Prix in Radio at Cannes Lions this year for their Skinny ‘Phone It In’ campaign, join Adam&EveDDB from Colenso BBDO, Auckland, where they worked on accounts including Mars, WWF, and Spark. They will report to Executive Creative Directors, Ant Nelson and Mike Sutherland.

In addition to winning the top prize at Cannes, the pair were named Emerging Talent of the Year at the New Zealand AXIS Awards, and picked up a further two D&AD Yellow Pencils and two Grands Prix at Spikes Asia in 2023. 

Separately, creative duo Zoe Nash and Sali Horsey, who were previously at Adam&EveDDB, have returned to the agency following three years at 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house agency.

They previously joined the agency in 2015 on a creative placement, having both studied at Watford College. During their time at the agency they were responsible for campaigns including Hey Girls’ ‘Pad Ad’, which highlighted the shocking reality of period poverty in the UK. They also worked across a number of brands, including Waitrose, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), Volkswagen, IAMS and Virgin Atlantic. In 2019, they were named British Arrows Best Emerging Team of the Year and won One Show’s Next Creative Leaders award. 

OMG names Clays as CEO of OMG EMEA
Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group, has named Dan Clays CEO of OMG EMEA. In his new role, Clays – who has been CEO of OMG UK for the past four years – will oversee strategy, operations and the development and adoption of transformative capabilities to support OMG agencies – a including OMD, PHD, Hearts & Science, and the Annalect data and analytics division – across EMEA. Clays succeeds Guy Marks, who was recently named CEO of PHD Worldwide

During his tenure as CEO of OMG UK, Clays has played a key role in advancing OMG’s Agency as a Platform approach that connects media, content, and commerce to drive sales and grow share for Omnicom clients. In that capacity, he led the expansion of Omnicom’s Transact connected commerce consultancy in the UK, paving the way for the retail media partnership between OMG and Tesco announced last month; and helped establish OMG’s TRKKN analytics and cloud consultancy in the market. Concurrently, he oversaw the development and launch of OMG Impact, a measurement tool built by OMG for the British government – and now available to the private sector – to score media owners on various environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

Under Clay’s leadership, OMG UK agencies earned $1.3bn over the past two years in total new business won (including British Airways, British Gas, Comparethemarket, Jaguar Land Rover, Peloton and Virgin Media 02) and retained (Channel 4, John Lewis Partnership, and UK Government), making it the fastest-growing media group in the UK.

“In leadership roles at both OMD and OMG UK over a decade that has seen seismic technological, economic and cultural shifts, Dan has consistently driven business growth for our clients and agencies by keeping our offer several cycles ahead of the next disruption,” said OMG CEO, Florian Adamski. “OMG has been the UK’s number one media group in new business for the past two years because of his commitment to making OMG the UK’s  number one media group in future-fit talent, tools, and technology for years to come. In his new role, that commitment – combined with his road-tested expertise and vision – will assure both market- and industry-leading capabilities and client service across all OMG EMEA agencies.”

Clay’s replacement is Laura Fenton CEO of OMG UK. In her new role, Fenton – who has been CEO of OMD UK since 2020 – will oversee strategy, operations and the development and adoption of transformative capabilities to support OMG UK agencies.

She said: “My experience at OMD – first as Managing Director and then as CEO –  has provided invaluable insight into what agencies need from the group, as well as the group’s primary mission in service to the agencies. Our agencies’ success is based on our ability to deliver on OMG’s Agency as a Platform offer – connecting media, content and commerce to create future forward solutions. My priority as the CEO of OMG UK will be ensuring that we continue to meet that mandate…to drive competitive advantage for our agencies, clients and people.”

Pineda to lead creative at TBWA\Helsinki
Multiple Cannes winner, Alex Pineda, has been appointed as Chief Creative Officer of TBWA\Helsinki. Pineda will act as part of the management team and report directly to TBWA Nordic President Sami Tikkanen.

With more than 240 creativity awards, Pineda has been recognized by all the major creative competitions, from Cannes Lions to Cresta. Selected as Associate Creative Director of the Year for the Middle East and North Africa by the Black & White Report in 2019. He was also the number 1 English copywriter in the United Arab Emirates by ‘Lürzers Archive’ Magazine for six consecutive years.

“With iconic campaigns for brands such as Nissan, KFC and Louvre the work of Alex and his team has made a strong mark not only in the United Arab Emirates but also in the entire MENA region,” said TBWA\Helsinki Nordic President, CEO, Sami Tikkanen. “This is the most interesting creative industry recruitment in 2023 that brings international perspective, cultural insights and creates pull to the Finnish market.”
Schobeiri takes CTO role at Ogury
Personified advertising firm, Ogury, has appointed Wilfried Schobeiri as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Schobeiri has extensive experience in the tech industry, where he has spent over 20 years leading the development of large scale, global distributed technologies and scaling high-performance product development teams. Before joining Ogury, he was most recently CTO at fintech and data infrastructure company, Banyan. Before that, he was SVP, Chief Product Officer at Revantage, where he led product development efforts for Blackstone’s real estate data platform. He has also worked at ad tech company, MediaMath, where he rose to become CTO and Chief Product Officer – spearheading the product development and technology strategy globally. 
At Ogury, Schobeiri will spearhead and execute the companys strategic vision for its technology, further developing its cookieless and ID-less solution. Based in Paris, he will report to Geoffroy Martin, CEO at Ogury, and be a member of the companys executive committee.

He said: “Im excited to join Ogury because we are one of the few ad tech companies that have fully embraced the technical shifts in the privacy landscape. A true precursor of change, Ogury anticipated market needs to provide advertisers with performance and relevance without collecting personal data, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Meirion-Williams handed growth brief at Hedgehog Lab
Richard Meirion-Williams has joined global tech consultancy, Hedgehog Lab, in the newly-created role of Chief Growth Officer, with a remit to build on the momentum generated by the recent acquisition of Netsells, a digital agency specialising in app development.

With 25 years’ experience in the business consulting, IT software and services market, Meirion-Williams joins from Emergn, where, as Chief Revenue Officer, he increased booked revenues to over $50m in 2022. In his previous role at Zuhlke, he delivered 30 per cent revenue growth within two years. His career also spans IBM, Intel, Hitachi Consulting, and a number of start-up companies in software and IT services.

Reporting to Hedgehog Lab CEO and founder, Sarat Pediredla, Meirion-Williams’ team will include Head of Growth, Rob Bellingham, and Head of Client Engagement, Clare Weightman, and their teams to bring the whole agency on board with its continued growth trajectory.

Meirion-Williams said: “I am very excited about joining hedgehog lab and growing sales in line with the expectations and alignment of the company strategy. I see a great opportunity for all those working in the organisation to have a vested interest in all sales activities and winning new business which is challenging and interesting in delivery, benefiting customers and our employees.”

Phillips to head up music at Publicis Sport & Entertainment
Publicis Sport & Entertainment has promoted Josh Phillips to the newly-created role of Head of Music. Phillips’ appointment will allow the business to deliver more specialism to clients. Part of his new role will be to drive additional focus on trends within the industry, building further confidence with brands to help deliver innovative and results-driven music partnerships.

Phillips has been promoted following a year as Account Director within Publicis Sport & Entertainment, and brings a wealth of experience to the role. He joined the agency from M&C Saatchi Merlin, where he was a talent agent across an eclectic roster focussing on commercial partnerships, radio, TV, publishing, podcasts and live. He has also held senior international positions at major record labels, Universal Music Group and Warner Music, where he managed and developed products, marketing and artist promotion strategies for some of the biggest names in music.

He said: “The constant evolution of the music industry makes it such an exciting and rewarding place for brands to operate, and there has never been a better time to take on this new role. I’m delighted to be able to use my industry experience and passion for music to help new and existing clients achieve their goals.”

Vargas to lead Wavemakers ops in Latam
Wavemaker has appointed Gabriela Vargas as CEO in Latin America (Latam). Based in Mexico City and reporting to Wavemaker Global CEO Toby Jenner and GroupM Latam CEO, Cesar Recalde, Vargas joins the media agency from Publicis’ Starcom.

As LATAM CEO, Vargas will drive the strategy and execution of how Wavemaker positively provokes growth for its clients and people around the region. She will join the Wavemaker Global Executive Team, as well as the GroupM LATAM Leadership Team ExCo, and collaborate closely with GroupM and WPP leaders across the region to connect the breadth and depth of the group’s capabilities to drive growth for Wavemaker’s clients. 

Vargas has 25 years’ experience in the industry. She has an extensive understanding of media and advertising after an integrated career on the client side (P&G), within agencies (Leo Burnett, Initiative, Carat and latest at Publicis’ Starcom) and has even done a stint at a media partner (Clear Channel).

Her first advertising role was with Leo Burnett. She’s since held various management positions in agencies, gaining experience in different sectors and categories, such as pharma, technology, entertainment, banking, automotive, drinks and food.

In 2020, Vargas was recognised as an Ad Age and Ad Latina Woman to Watch for her significant accomplishments in the ad and marketing industry and made the list of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico. She has participated in forums like UNWoman / Unstereotype Alliance, which works on gender equality to eradicate harmful stereotypes in media and advertising; an active advocate for female empowerment; and, with her team, has worked on a variety of projects to make a positive difference for troubled communities in Mexico City.

“I met Gabriela when I visited Mexico City in August and was immediately impressed by her pioneering spirit,” said Wavemaker Global CEO, Toby Jenner. “She’s a natural provocateur. Gabriela is smart and driven with huge integrity. She works with enthusiasm and passion with her management team to develop client brands. Gabriela will make a massive difference to our clients and our people across the region, making us incredibly well-positioned for continued success. Im so thrilled shes joining the team.”

Outbrain announces a raft of senior hires
Technology platform, Outbrain, has announced a suite of senior hires within the UK team, including the promotion of Richard Chambers to Managing Director, Business Development, Publishers NE. 

With a wealth of publisher experience, including previous roles at Sky and The Guardian, Chambers joined Outbrain seven years ago with a focus on bolstering premium publisher relationships across Northern Europe. He’ll now add DACH and Benelux publishers to his remit, helping them better engage their audiences and drive sustainable monetisation through advertising and other revenue streams, like e-commerce and subscriptions via the company’s Keystone by Outbrainplatform. Chambers will report to Stephanie Himoff, Executive Vice President, Global Publishers.

Industry veteran, Alex Cheeseman, has been appointed as Head of Enterprise in the UK and is tasked with driving sales in the resurgent UK market, while expanding Outbrain’s offerings for brands and advertisers. Cheeseman previously led UK sales for the company from 2011 to 2014 and has held roles at NewsCred, News Corp, and Industry Dive. He’s also a thought leader on the industry-wide push for attention metrics.

Additionally, Outbrain has hired Alexandre Simo as its Head of Account Management, NE. Previously, Simo spent six years at Amazon leading account management teams before which he spent five years working for agencies M/Six and Havas.

“As the UK continues to serve as both a growth market and test environment for brand advertisers and publishers, we’re delighted to have Richard, Alex, and Alexandre, in partnership with our global leadership team, accelerate customer success through creative thinking and innovative tech solutions,” said Managing Director, Northern Europe for Outbrain, James Milne. “Their collaboration will be pivotal in forging a path towards a more dynamic landscape for all our stakeholders.

AdInMo adds two
Mobile in-game advertising platform, AdInMo, has appointed Samuel Siqueira as Director of Data Science. 
He will be responsible for AdInMo’s player insights strategy and will be part of the team focused on data management and reporting, helping brands target the right audiences in a privacy-first way through in-game advertising. The company has also named Meraj Kunarajah as a Strategic Advisor.

“In-game advertising is the most innovative emerging ad format because it offers context, audience diversity and incremental reach,” said AdInMo COO, Joanne Lacey. “AdInMo already collects billions of contextual and behavioural first party data signals to better understand different player audiences that can be reached via mobile games. Sam and Meraj’s data and buy-side expertise will help us build out our measurement and addressability solutions that are so crucial for advertisers as the clock ticks on cookie deprecation.”

Independent Out of Home (OOH) media agency, Talon, has appointed Mike Saunter to the role of Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Henry Lucas to the newly-created role of Group Chief Commercial Officer and
Stewart Easterbrook has extended his remit to become Talon’s Executive Chairman. Additionally Barry Cupples has stepped down as Group CEO, with Eric Newnham, founder of Talon, stepping in with immediate effect.

Newnham founded Talon in 2013 alongside James Copley and Frank Bryant, and during his tenure as CEO – 2013 to 2019 – developed Talon into a leading global OOH independent agency.

Saunter has extensive experience in the advertising industry with time as International CFO at Clear Channel, and as Global CFO with advertising agencies Crispin, Porter + Bogusky in the US, and Bartle Bogle Hegarty in the UK. Most recently he has spent time in an advisory capacity to early-stage technology businesses in electric vehicle charging and blockchain infrastructure.

Lucas will be responsible for developing and diversifying Talon’s global commercial strategy. He joins Talon with a wealth of commercial expertise, having spent the last nine years at Dentsu, most recently as Commercial Operations Director at Amplifi Global. Prior to Dentsu, he held Group Account Director roles at WPP and IPG.

Newnham said: “I look forward to re-taking a hands on role leading Talon towards its global growth objectives and wish Barry well with his future endeavours. Looking ahead, Stewart’s wealth of experience in leading digital-first businesses including MiQ, will be instrumental in delivering our future growth. I’m excited to work more closely with him to deliver Talon’s commercial objectives.

“Additionally, Mike and Henry are extremely experienced business leaders in driving commercial growth and operational efficiency. They will be pivotal in helping us leverage our powerful and intelligent tech and media offering to further drive the business forward.”

Other Moves
Marine technology company, Savvy Navvy, has appointed Alex Ostler as its new Chief Marketing Officer, as the boating navigation app continues to scale up its growth. Based in Colorado, Ostler has spent more than two decades in marketing. Her career started in Google Maps engineering, innovating on mapping technologies followed by a track record of repeatedly scaling growth for tech startups. The Savvy Navvy has surpassed 1m downloads. Built from the ground up using official hydrographic data, the app solves many on-water navigation issues for boaters, kayakers, paddleboarders and jet-skiers, with a routing algorithm using wind, weather, tides, and boat settings to route users to their destination in the fastest, safest route available.

Contextual advertising firm, Seedtag, has announced two new hires, based in the UK office, to bolster its senior leadership team. Seraphina Davey has been hired as Global SVP of Publisher Partnerships to develop and deliver a global strategy to grow Seedtags premium inventory, while Jana Eisenstein, Senior Vice President of Sales EMEA, will be responsible for advertising strategy, partnerships and activities across the region. Davey joins with over 15 years of publishing and advertising expertise, most recently leading the EMEA publisher business at Taboola. Eisenstein also joins Seedtag with a wealth of experience, with over 20 years in digital advertising and marketing technology spanning media, content and creative. She has previously held leadership roles at Microsoft, Cap Gemini and ProSiebenSat1, as well as having scaled pioneering ad tech businesses. 

Independent programmatic platform, Onetag, has hired Filippo Graminga as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) to front the company’s international growth. As COO, Gramigna will use his expertise across development, partnerships and marketing to lead the company’s entire operations, encompassing demand and supply sales and customer success, as well as marketing and partnerships. He brings with him significant business acumen, a focus on value creation, and the methodological approach needed to support the business through its international expansion. Gramigna joins Onetag with more than 20 years’ global, multidisciplinary experience in digital media, programmatic advertising and data management. Lately, he held senior leadership positions at Audiencerate, Lenovo, Adform and Widespace.

Digital advertising and entertainment media platform, Azerion, has hired Bash Labbanas  Senior Trading Director to drive its agency relationships forward. In his role, Labban will spearhead new and develop existing trading partnerships across all UK agency holding companies and independent agencies. He will work closely with the leadership team to develop growth strategies that ensure agency partners effectively add value to their clients work. He joins from Engine Group, where he was EMEA Sales Director, launching the company’s programmatic exchange business into Europe for brands and agencies. Before that, he led the Agency Sales teams and managed all joint venture deals as Director of Strategic Partnerships at programmatic media business, Scoota. Additionally, Labban was Video Sales Specialist at AOL, responsible for launching ‘AOL On’ in the UK and driving the growth and adoption of video throughout AOL and its media agency partners.

Creative effectiveness platform, VidMob, has appointed Robert Wollner to the newly- created role of VP of Agency Partnerships. He joins VidMob after nearly six years at Google, leading Google Cloud and Google Business Data & Tech relationships, working with global agency partners such as WPP, IPG, and Havas. With 20 years in technology, data, and marketing, Wollner has extensive experience supporting the digital transformation of global brands and partners. Based in the UK, but with a global remit, Wollner will report to Chief Revenue Officer, Jean Phillipe Maheu, and will oversee the development of agency partnerships while establishing new ones. 

LDC (Lloyds Development Capital) and CTI Group have appointed Chris Woodward as CTI Group CEO. He joins from Oliver, where he most recently held the position of UK Group COO. Previously, he was the UK Group MD of Oliver and MD of Dare, the digital arm within the Oliver network. He takes on the position from Nick Rhind, who will focus on mentoring the board and driving the significant M&A activity planned for the group in 2024. The changes come as part of a strategy to bolster the CTI Group leadership team as the business gears up for growth. This follows a multi-million pound investment from private equity firm LDC.

Creative and innovation agency, Tactical, has hired Andrew French as its Managing Director. As Managing Director, French is tasked with heading up Tactical’s teams across all regions, bringing invaluable experience from working with major brands such as Uber, H&M, Airbnb, Heineken and Audi over the past 15 years. He brings with him a people-centred approach to ensure teams work collaboratively to support both the individual and company growth goals. Working closely with the dynamic international team and senior management, including the recently appointed Head of Creative, Jose M. Sanchez, his focus will be on accelerating Tactical’s evolving creative and innovation capabilities to ensure the agency is leading on creativity. 

Independent ad platform, Equativ, has hired Emir Taffaha as Executive Vice President for its European arm, and Marisa Nelson as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Teffaha’s previous experience includes heading Sublime’s operations in Northern Europe as Managing Director – covering the UK, Netherlands, and Germany – and transitioning to become Chief Commercial Officer, following the company’s acquisition by Azerion. Hired in 2022 as Vice President of Marketing Nelson’s promotion follows in the path of the considerable and successful tenure of Michael Nevins who served as CMO until April 2023. Helping to forge the shared identity of three companies: Smart AdServer, LiquidM and DynAdmic into what is now Equativ, Nelson’s organizational abilities and ad tech marketing expertise have proved essential in cultivating Equativ’s unified messaging and culture, as well as seamlessly forming a growing cross-functional marketing team based in Paris and New York. Prior to Equativ, Nelson efficiently steered complex marketing and communication programs during three major mergers and acquisitions over her seven-year tenure at Tremor International: including the acquisitions of YuMe, RhythmOne and Unruly.  

Media agency, Ocean Media, has hired Matthew Aronowitz as VP, Data Science and Marketing Technology. He was most recently a Senior Data Scientist at BSE Global, where he worked on applied machine learning, data science and strategy across the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, Barclays Center, and other Joe Tsai sports & entertainment properties. Before joining BSE Global in March 2020, Aronowitz spent 18 years as a Data Scientist and Portfolio Manager at NYAM. There, he developed data science and machine-learning algorithms for predictive trading and pricing strategies. Ocean Media’s clients include BetMGM, Etsy, and Priceline.

Creative agency, Media Zoo, has appointed Giles Smith to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He brings over 20 years’ business development experience gained across various roles, including Director of Solutions for Financial Services & Director of Enterprise Sales and Services, both at QA. After leaving QA Ltd he joined Media Zoo as Global Solutions Director, before becoming Managing Director. Following his appointment as CEO, he will join the board of Directors of Media Zoo.

Martech firm, RTB House, has appointed Michael Lamb to the role of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) to spearhead its international commercial growth, with an emphasis on the US market. Based in New York, Lamb will be responsible for expanding the company’s client and partner relationships and elevating its position in the marketplace. His key objective will be to establish RTB House as a global leader in open internet marketing as the industry navigates the cookieless future. He has more than 20 years’ global experience, having most recently been General Manager, Consumer and VP of Performance Marketing at PayPal. Prior to this, he was President at MediaMath, and co-founded X+1.