Movers and Shakers: MediaCom, eBay, Dugout, Merkle and more

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: Harmony Murphy, Jamie Wilson, Eu-Gene Sung, John Watton, Julio Taylor, Jake Third, Pontus Noren

MediaCom UK appoints Davies as chief digital Officer
MediaCom UK has appointed Richard Davies to the role of chief digital officer. He takes up the position, having joined MediaCom last year as head of conversion and digital as part of the Lloyds Banking Group account. He has extensive experience in driving digital excellence, having held multiple high-level digital positions across organisations such as Greenhouse, GroupM and MEC (now Wavemaker). He will take over from Bianca Best, who was acting as the interim Chi chief digital officer, as she returns to her full time role of global managing director of BLINK & strategic partnerships.

In his new role Davies will be charged with growing and extending the organisation’s digital specialisms, as well as establishing robust and compelling product propositions for an increasingly digital-first world. He will help clients to drive digital transformation across their own businesses, bringing in the latest techniques and technologies to better engage their target audiences.

He said: “With more digital clients and billings than any other agency in the UK, MediaCom is already a leader in this space. And as the wider industry continues its shift towards digital transformation, being able to lead and direct that momentum is an exciting prospect.”

Murphy to lead UK ad sales at eBay
eBay Advertising has appointed Harmony Murphy as its head of UK advertising sales. Murphy joins from The Telegraph, where she was global head of digital & programmatic. 

At eBay, Murphy will be responsible for managing and growing the company’s display advertising revenue from, collaborating with brand and agency partners to deliver innovative data-led media solutions, and demonstrating the value that eBay brings to brands. She will head up the in-house media sales teams based in London and Manchester and report into Mike Klinkhammer, director of advertising sales, EU.

Having joined The Telegraph in 2017, Murphy doubled international programmatic revenue over the course of two years, in part through upskilling the team. Previous to this, she worked at Groupon, IGP Media and Time Inc.

Outside work, she is a board member at Generation Success, a not-for-profit organisation that helps young, ambitious people from diverse backgrounds to realise their career aspirations through mentoring, coaching and access to industry experts and events.

She said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be working with a digital- and customer-first company that’s responsible for pioneering programmatic solutions, enviable audiences and rich insights – as well as a really talented team. I really admire eBay’s ethos of going ‘beyond the sale’ of advertising inventory, as well as its determination to break new ground, and I’m looking forward to building truly strategic, impactful and innovative partnerships with our clients.”

Dugout hands chief commercial adviser role to Wilson
Football digital media company, Dugout, has appointed sports and media consultancy The Value Xchange to oversee its global commercial strategy, with The Value Exchange director, Jamie Wilson, appointed chief commercial adviser for Dugout.

Wilson will oversee the commercial, advertising and publisher partnerships strategy, leading on growing Dugout’s global video views, with the platform currently sharing more than 2,500 videos a month directly to fans on and via Dugout’s Embed network of premium publishers.

Wilson has considerable experience in sport and media as a director of The Value Xchange, a consultancy specialising in sports, media and entertainment marketing, working with brands and rights holders to drive value through digital content, whilst ensuring value from sponsorships and partnerships is maximised.

He previously spent eight years as executive vice president of Media EMEA for digital sports content and media group Perform. Whilst there, his work included brokering global publisher partnerships and exclusive representation deals with rights holders.

He will use this experience to enhance the commercial performance of Dugout, which is owned by 10 of the world’s biggest football clubs: A.C. Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. Wilson will assist Dugout in its mission to help football clubs engage their audiences and expand their reach via a premium global network of more than 75 publishers.

He said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Dugout and lead the commercial strategy for a world-leading digital media company. It’s both a busy and exciting time as engagement levels are at a record-level and with the launch of the new Boost product around the corner

Dempster to take up the reins as global CEO at Merkle
Data-driven performance marketing agency, Merkle, has appointed Craig Dempster to the role of global CEO, effective 1 June, 2020. A Merkle veteran, Dempster has held the role of president of Merkle Americas since 2017, overseeing the organization’s many service lines, including customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise technology, data, analytics,
customer strategy consulting.

David Williams, chairman and CEO of Merkle for more than 32 years, will remain chairman of Merkle, while retaining his role as CEO, Global CRM Group for Dentsu Aegis Network and chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network Americas. Under Williams’s leadership, Merkle has grown from annual revenue of $2.5m to more than $1bn. He oversaw the company’s sale to Dentsu in 2016 and its integration over the past four years. Dentsu has focused on acquiring relevant, high-performance businesses globally in high-growth areas, including data, brand commerce, customer experience, performance marketing, social, and mobile.

Dempster’s appointment comes at a time of major disruption in marketing, with a changing regulatory environment and the decline of third-party cookies causing a heightened focus on first-party data. These pressures, coupled with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, have brands looking to experienced marketing services providers to help them navigate through the uncertainties they are facing and adjust their marketing strategies to deliver the total customer experience – from marketing to sales to service. Merkle said that Dempster’s deep leadership experience and tenure with the company equips him to take the helm to lead the company and its clients through this new normal.

As global CEO, Dempster will oversee more than 9,600 employees in 13 countries, including its most recent acquisitions, Media Storm, Digital Pi, and 4Cite. He will focus on enhancing Merkle’s already strong commitment to its technologies and client base, placing an emphasis on marketing excellence, ownership of identity, and the total customer experience. Additionally, he will assume responsibility for leading Dentsu Aegis Network brands within the CRM line of business (LOB), notably 360i, gyro, and Cardinal Path, to deliver world-class marketing and integrated solutions that are data driven, tech enabled, and ideas led.

“Craig has been a crucial leader in the success we’ve seen with Merkle over the past 14 years, and I’m confident in his ability to lead our employees and clients through this time of disruption and into the future,” said Williams. “I cannot think of a person more qualified and deserving of the position. Merkle has amplified its presence across the industry, becoming a leader in innovation, and Craig will continue to meet and surpass our business goals, as we set our sights on becoming a multi-billion-dollar global leader in data-driven, tech-enabled, people-based customer experiences.”

Sung to CFO at Integral Ad Science
Digital ad verification firm Integral Ad Science has appointed Eu-Gene Sung as its chief financial officer. In her new role, Sung will report directly to CEO, Lisa Utzschneider, and will lead the organisation in setting financial strategies to drive business outcomes and growth.

Sung joins IAS after spending three years as the chief financial officer of BSE Global where she was responsible for all aspects of finance, technology, and analytics. Prior to that role, she spent almost 11 years in various roles with Interpublic Group. She was also previously CFO of ad agency, McCann New York,, where she helped lead a team that grew revenue and profitability. In her new role at IAS, Sung will oversee finance and accounting and will work closely with leaders across the organisation to prioritise objectives and drive growth.

Sung was named one of the ‘Notable Women in the Business of Sports’ by Crain’s New York in 2019 and currently sits on the board of New York Road Runners. She has a BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from INSEAD.

She said: “As the leader in digital advertising verification, IAS is uniquely positioned to meet the growing global demand for trust and transparency in solutions that drive value for marketers. I’m looking forward to playing a role in driving the industry forward and taking the company to the next phase of growth.”

Watton to head up EMEA marketing at Yext
Yext, which describes itself as a search experience cloud company, has hired John Watton as EMEA VP of marketing. He will focus on building awareness of Yext as the “Answers Company” whilst strengthening relationships and partnerships with clients.

Watton will be charged with growing the EMEA business, working with clients to better understand how Yext can support their online presences. He is currently leading Yext in the communication of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in EMEA.

Watton has over 20 years in enterprise technology and eCommerce marketing, including successful stints at Adobe, Microsoft and SAP. He has served on the IDM B2B Marketing Council and Business Marketing Collective Executive Council.

“John has joined us at a pivotal moment,” said Wendi Sturgis, CEO of Yext EMEA. “With consumers demanding more information from businesses and brands in a timely and accurate manner, we need to be ready to help organisations across every industry to meet these demands. John has a superb track record and is well placed to help deliver the best possible results to our clients during these turbulent times and beyond.”

Taylor and Third step into founder’s shoes at Hallam
Susan Hallam MBE is stepping down from her role as CEO of digital marketing agency Hallam, and handing over the reins to Julio Taylor and Jake Third, who will take up CEO and managing director roles respectively. Susan Hallam will remain an integral figurehead within the company as an industry analyst, public speaker, thought-leader and advisor.

Taylor is currently creative director at the agency. His promotion will see him lead the company in a new strategic direction to focus on continuing to strengthen the teams and product development. With over 20 years’ experience in the sector, specialising in strategy and digital experience, Taylor has been a key member of Hallam’s leadership team since its merger with BigSpring in 2017. He has since played an instrumental role in the transformation of Hallam into a full-service agency.

He said: “I’m proud and excited to take up the challenge of leading Hallam into the future. As the world evolves, so has our agency. We’ve changed a lot over the last few years, adding new services and areas of expertise, to create a new, unified and powerful offer for our clients. Together with our talented team, we’re ready to tackle the future, and help our clients thrive in what’s going to be an uncertain but interesting time to do business.”

Third’s new role will see him step up from his current position as Hallam’s client services and sales director. He has worked at the company for six years, and has been integral part of many of the new business wins which have been crucial to its ongoing growth.

As managing director, he will focus on continuing to combine driving financial results along with maintaining the health and wellbeing of the agency’s employees. He has worked within business development and marketing strategy for 14 years. He is also director of outreach for Nottingham Samaritans.

He said: “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to step up and lead Hallam as managing director. I know how talented our great team is and it’s largely thanks to them and the opportunities they have afforded me that I feel prepared for this role. I’m lucky to work with such inspiring people day in, day out.”

Former AOL head of US sales Richards appointed CRO at Linqia
Influencer marketing firm Linqia has hired Tim Richards as its first chief revenue officer. Based in San Francisco, Richards will spearhead revenue-generation strategies and execution as Linqia enters its growth phase.

Richards joins Linqia from AOL/Verizon, where he served as head of US sales, overseeing the nationwide sales organization to drive profitable sales growth across the media companies’ platforms. While at AOL, he oversaw the rollout of new digital ad channels including online video and programmatic and grew them by partnering with the world’s largest brands and agencies.

“With extensive experience leading teams in hyper-competitive markets, we’re thrilled Tim is joining our executive team as we further expand our offerings to meet the needs of today’s digital marketplace. We’re bullish on this category and are confident influencer marketing will become an essential channel in all digital marketing programs,” said Linqia co-founder and CEO, Nader Alizadeh. “As an advertising innovator and successful team builder at AOL, Tim’s experience disrupting the market with new ad formats will be invaluable as influencer grows and we position it as a fundamental component to larger marketing strategies.”

Linqia recently expanded beyond micro-influencers to support campaigns with all size influencers from nano to mega or celebrities, as well as new platforms including TikTok and YouTube.

Element AI appoints CFO and CRO
Element AI, which develops artificial intelligence-powered (AI) solutions and services, has appointed Roger Blanchette as chief financial officer (CFO), and Stephane Rioux as chief revenue officer (CRO).

As CFO, Blanchette will oversee all of Element AI’s financial activities, including financial planning, forecasting, and reporting. Prior to joining Element AI, he was the CFO of Skyword, a private equity-backed software company that provides a marketing content management solution. He has a proven track record of providing strong financial leadership while significantly contributing to the definition and execution of corporate strategy.

In his role as CRO, Rioux will establish strategic alignment for all revenue-related functions, including marketing, sales, customer support, and revenue management. Prior to joining Element AI, Rioux was the global CRO for JW Player and spent 13 years at Adobe as vice president of North America strategic verticals, M&E, FSI and Retail. He is a global sales leader and has deep expertise with enterprise software, SaaS, security, data and AI.

“Element AI is in business for the long run,” said Element AI CEO and co-founder, Jean-François Gagné. “Roger Blanchette and Stephan Rioux are an essential part of our long-term strategy to continue developing and delivering impactful AI solutions and services that bridge human and machine collaboration. We are organizing our company to innovate and deliver AI solutions and services primed for rapid adoption.”

MetaCX appoints Sorofman as president
MetaCX, which has developed an outcomes-based approach for managing the customer lifecycle, has hired former Gartner chief of research, Jake Sorofman, as president. He joins MetaCX after a multi-year tenure as CMO of Pendo, where he helped lead the company from its startup roots to a global category leader with a $1bn valuation.

Founded in 2018, MetaCX is led by co-founder and CEO Scott McCorkle, who was previously the CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud following the companys $2.5bn acquisition of ExactTarget, where he served as president. As president of MetaCX, Sorofman will work closely with McCorkle to help advance the companys vision and aggressive operating plan, with specific responsibilities for all customer-facing and go-to-market functions.

MetaCX is building a platform that transforms how suppliers and buyers collaborate and win together. By creating shared spaces that allow suppliers and buyers to define and measure target outcomes together, MetaCX aims to help align sales, success and delivery teams around real value that customers can see. The result is better trust and transparency, which translates into higher win rates, larger deals, and longer, more profitable customer relationships.

“We couldnt be more excited to welcome Jake to the MetaCX team,” said McCorkle. “Jake is a true student of enterprise software who has grown SaaS startups into category leaders, and as an influential analyst at Gartner, he helped shape the entire digital marketing landscape. Jake brings this category-creating experience to MetaCX to help us redefine the way companies work together in the supplier-buyer relationship.”

In late 2018, MetaCX announced $14m in early funding led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from High Alpha. Since that time, the company has built and delivered a private beta and initial commercial release, which is now used by 18 early customers. In coming weeks and months, the company plans to launch new product capabilities and fully activate its go-to-market strategy.

Noren to chair the board at Tyk
API Gateway and management platform provider Tyk has appointed Pontus Noren, to its board of directors as chairman.

With a proven track record in transforming and scaling UK and global technology businesses, Noren’s experience also includes roles at several blue-chip companies, including Cisco, Ericsson and Nokia. In his role, he will focus on sharing his experience working with fast growing IT start-ups to aid Tyk’s further global growth and expansion.

As an early pioneer of the ‘cloud-native’ approach, Noren has been innovating and disrupting the IT space for over 25 years. He is currently vice chairman of cloud software, consulting and managed services firm Cloudreach, which he co-founded in 2009. Under his leadership, Cloudreach grew to over 700 people, was ranked in the top 25 in The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech 100 for two years running. It was also named by the FT as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies.

He said: “I’m excited to use my experience to help Tyk continue its incredible growth. The API space is changing rapidly, and I believe there is a great market opportunity for Tyk as the independent, open-source, fair-dealing option. I’ve been inspired by the way the team works and their passion for software, and I’m excited to be a part of a company with a remarkable culture that is truly breaking the mould.”

Tyk received its first round of funding, a £4m series A led by MMC Ventures, in July last year. Over 10,000 businesses, including Dominos, Sephora and eBay, use Tyk’s Open Source API Gateway and management platform.