Movers and Shakers: PwC, Canela Media, TMW Unlimited, OneFootball 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…

(Clockwise from top left): Russell Taylor, Oswald Méndez, Rob Watt, Gabriela Kusters, Angie Gola-Ebue, Raianne Reiss

Russell to head up telecoms sector practice at PwC
PwC UK has appointed Russell Taylor as its new telecoms sector leader. Taylor has worked at PwC for almost 30 years, with over 20 years’ experience in deals and the wider TMT sector, working with corporate and private equity clients, as well as family businesses. He also brings a wealth of global experience to the role, having worked for three years at PwC Japan and eight years with PwC in the Middle East.

He has worked across both telecoms and technology and, as sector leader for telecoms, will bring his experience with both fixed and mobile telecom clients, as well as his understanding of the wider technology implications for businesses in the sector.

He said: “I am excited to take on the role as telecoms leader at PwC and look forward to building on and expanding our presence in the market. With the expansion of fast gigabit broadband and 5G and 6G technology, the industry is evolving to create a high tech digital infrastructure for consumers and businesses and I look forward to helping our clients navigate this exciting opportunity.”

Méndez to CMO at Canela Media
Canela Media has appointed Oswald Méndez to the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In this role, he will lead all customer-centric strategies and programs to drive Canela Media’s growth through cross-cultural Latino audiences in US and Latin American markets. Méndez will be responsible for overseeing all marketing functions for the company, including all aspects of paid, earned, owned, and shared efforts across consumer and business-to-business marketing and publicity; ad sales marketing; community management; creative services; insights; and audience acquisition and retention strategies.

Canela Media’s founder and CEO Isabel Rafferty said: “I am very excited to have Oswald Méndez join Canela Media’s executive team. His experience in the entertainment and media industry are instrumental for the continued growth and success of the company. His creativity, passion and commitment for our community will ensure our marketing efforts thrive as we continue to evolve our offering. He is ‘¡Pura Canela!’”.

Méndez comes to Canela having driven growth and innovation in leadership roles at globally recognized media brands. At BBC America, he served as EVP of Marketing, where he elevated the company’s tentpole content through record-breaking audience growth to become pop culture phenomena in the face of systemic cord-cutting and linear audience erosion. Prior to that, he successfully launched media brands such as FOX Hispanic Media and MundoFox. Earlier in his career, Méndez spent over two decades working for global and domestic agencies such as McCann-Erickson Worldwide and was part of the team that launched Universal McCann globally. He was a Managing Partner at The Vidal Partnership and began his career in the multicultural space at Conill Advertising.

Méndez’s appointment comes as Canela Media has committed to expand its team across every discipline after its latest Series A funding round, creating more positions for diverse talent in the marketplace, positioning Canela Media as one of the largest funded, Latino and female-owned media company.

Watt to lead Performance Marketing at TMW Unlimited
creative agency, TMW Unlimited, has hired Rob Watt as Managing Partner – Performance Marketing. Watt joins from The Kite Factory, where he was Managing Partner & International Managing Director. Reporting to TMW Unlimited CEO, Chris Mellish, Watt will be responsible for all Performance Marketing efforts across its offices in London, Bristol and Reading.

With over 25 years’ experience, Watt has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Asda, Tourism New Zealand, Ralph Lauren, Weight Watchers, Standard Life, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and UNICEF.

Over the four years at The Kite Factory, Watt ran the UNICEF global account, leading both consulting and activation services. He also set up and managed The Kite Factory’s Creative Production and CRO practice and led the successful implementation of the agency-wide dashboarding project.

Watt also spent over a decade working at Razorfish, building the UK media department as Media Director before becoming UK Managing Partner and European Media Director.

He said: “It has been incredible to see TMW Unlimited evolve and grow over the years. What attracted me to this role is their integrated offering that ensures complex opportunities and challenges can be addressed at scale and at speed.”

Gaudechon named CEO of OneFootball Labs
Football media platform OneFootball has appointed gaming industry veteran, Jean-Charles Gaudechon, as CEO of OneFootball Labs, a joint venture between OneFootball, Web3 company Animoca Brands, and blockchain investment firm Liberty City Ventures – alongside strategic partner, Dapper Labs. It enables clubs, leagues, federations and players from across the world to release digital assets and fan-centric football experiences based on blockchain technology, built on the Flow blockchain via the Dapper wallet.

In his new role, Gaudechon will play a crucial role in growing the business and creating top quality Web3 products to deliver a new era of football fan consumption. Central to the OneFootball Labs offer is the ability for fans to access unique and affordable digital collectibles which allow them to own a real-life moment of incredible football, in perpetuity.

Gaudechon has over 20 years’ experience in the gaming industry. He joins OneFootball from gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA), where he most recently held the role of Vice President and Group GM, responsible for driving the development, growth and success of EA’s portfolio across Asia, which included the globally successful EA SPORTS FIFA franchise.

Earlier this year, following a $300m Series D funding round, OneFootball announced a global partnership with the Bundesliga to bring licensed digital collectibles from the Bundesliga’s top players and clubs to football fans around the world. More recently, it announced an exclusive rights deal for premium digital collectibles in a landmark first-to-market deal with the Italian Lega Serie A.

Gaudechon said: “OneFootball is the most exciting proposition in football media right now. It holds a unique place in the football ecosystem, sitting at the frontier of Web3.  I am passionate about creating products and experiences that have a genuine impact on people’s lives – either by entertaining them or by providing a useful service. At OneFootball Labs I will be able to do both, bringing fans closer to football and giving them a part of the game to own like never before.”

Kusters to head up Markerting at ESOMAR
ESOMAR, the data, research and insights trade body, has hired Gabriela Kusters as Head of Global Marketing. In this role, Kusters will be responsible for expanding the reach and performance of key marketing initiatives, boosting digital marketing effectiveness and growing organizational awareness around the world.

Kusters will conduct foundational work across all ESOMAR’s digital properties to ensure that outreach efforts are effective, optimized and aligned with organizational goals, values and culture. She will also be responsible for establishing best practices and meeting marketing goals; managing the day-to-day marketing work and staff; driving collaboration across the organization; and establishing the overall marketing plan, budget, and reporting metrics. 

Prior to joining ESOMAR, Kusters managed marketing for a  high-tech telco, and led EMEA marketing programs for the global Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). Before this, she was a marketing lecturer at United POP, the international education division of the music support group, and held several other roles in public relations and marketing.

“The global insights industry is fast-paced and exciting, and Gabriela is the right fit to drive ESOMAR’s extensive marketing program in this kind of environment,” said Pravin Shekar, Interim CEO of ESOMAR. “She has the perfect blend of experience in the digital marketing space, and she isn’t afraid to think outside the box – all while understanding the nuances of working in different regions around the world. We are thrilled to welcome her to the team.”

HER hires Gola-Ebue to run Advertising and Partnerships
LGBTQ+ dating & community app, HER, has hired Angie Gola-Ebue as Global Head of Advertising and Partnerships. She has over 20 years’ experience assisting organisations including Tinder, VICE Media and i-D achieve rapid growth.

HER currently provides a platform for over 10m queer women, lesbians, bisexuals, non-binary, transgender and gender nonconforming people to make new connections and develop long-lasting relationships and friendships. 

Gola-Ebue will head up HER’s global advertising and partnerships team. As part of her role, she will be working with brands that want to champion diversity and inclusion through supporting LGBTQ+ communities. This new role will be integral to HER’s global growth outside of the core subscription business. HER currently offers brands opportunities with in-app advertising, events, content creation and social media marketing. 

She said: “I’m excited to be joining HER and can see the sophisticated targeting potential and user engagement being key to ramping up the advertising and partnerships business. I can’t wait to get started. Not only am I passionate about seeing brands that support and drive diversity and inclusion, I can’t wait to make a difference”. 

Reiss takes up CMO role at Yext
Raianne Reiss, a veteran with more than 20 years of global technology marketing experience, has joined Yext as Chief Marketing Officer to spearhead the company’s ambitious growth objectives. She will report directly to Marc Ferrentino, President and Chief Operating Officer, and will serve on Yext’s leadership team.

With extensive marketing, product, and sales leadership experience from Elastic, Amazon Web Services, Juniper Networks, Tellabs, and 3Com, Reiss will be a strong asset to Yext in fueling the next phase of company growth. She will oversee Yext’s global marketing organization and be responsible for building and strengthening the Yext brand and increasing demand for Yext solutions globally. 

“Raianne is a seasoned marketing leader,” said Ferrentino. “She has deep expertise in our key audience segments, and the customer-centric approach that it takes to further enable our customers’ success and bring new users into the Yext community. Raianne brings a passion not only for marketing, but also a strong track record of building high-performing teams and cultures that attract, develop, and retain top talent. We are excited to welcome her to the team.”

Two senior hires for VCCP Group
VCCP Group has hired Brett Edgar as Chief Executive Officer, North America – the first North American CEO for VCCP in its 20-year history – and Caroline Grayson as Managing Director, New York. 

Edgar and Grayson join directly from 72andSunny New York where they served as President and Group Brand Director respectively. Alongside International Chief Strategy Officer, Jonny Shaw, Edgar will oversee the New York office and the network’s San Francisco office M/H, as well as continue to grow the business and further elevate VCCP’s position within the North American market.

Prior to 72andSunny, Edgar was at BBH New York as Managing Director and helped define roles for brands including Playstation and GrubHub. She has also held senior positions at Droga5 and TBWA Chiat Day. She has worked across a variety of brands such as the Mars business, including Skittles and Starburst alongside Samsung, Cover Girl, Pizza Hut and Honey Maid. 

At 72andSunny New York Grayson was Group Brand Director and led the Comcast, Etsy and Spotify businesses. Previously at Adam&Eve she led the John Lewis account as Business Director and within her 5-year tenure, was also named Campaign magazine’s ‘Face to Watch’ at age 26. A VCCP returner, Grayson started her career at VCCP’s headquarters in London on the Chime graduate training program, and then joined the brand team on the O2 account. 

“Attracting top talent like Brett and Caroline is a testimony to our challenger positioning and point of difference in the North American market and we’re committed to investing in the absolute best,” said Julian Douglas, International CEO at VCCP. “Challenging times require a challenger mindset, and we see that in both Brett and Caroline which is what we need to deliver to both our people and our clients. We look forward to welcoming them both on board.”

VCCP Group employs more than 1,350 people across its 11 offices in Auckland, London, New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, LA, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore, Madrid and Prague. 

Hawk continues UK expansion with more hires
Hawk Platform has expanded its UK team to deliver on the needs of the agencies and brands using its cross-channel advertising and insights technology with two new hires. Aminur Rahman joins the firm as Head of Advertising Operations, while new Account Director Josh Hitchcock will look after Hawk’s agency clients, including Dentsu and GroupM.

Rahman will oversee Hawk’s managed service clients, as well as those that use the self-service platform offering, working with them to enable them to maximise all the benefits of the technology. In his previous role, he built the programmatic offering and contributed to drive-to-store, footfall tracking and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) projects at online jewellery outlet, Vashi. Consultancy roles include working for agencies such as Total, Amnet and Trade Doubler.

Hitchcock will also focus on ensuring the platform is delivering full value to clients. Leading the Hawk teams for Dentsu and GroupM as well as other key agencies, he will collaborate with senior stakeholders to develop strategies that see brand advertisers exploit every element of Hawk’s media and insights technology. Hitchcock’s industry experience includes roles at Sky AdSmart and sports entertainment platform, DAZN.

“Hawk continues to grow as clients recognise the power of multi-channel advertising campaigns reinforced with insights that drive ongoing optimisation,” said Hawk UK Managing Director, Chris Childs. “The right people are critical for this expansion; Amin is a programmatic expert and Josh’s extensive experience adds strength across the whole team. Both new hires set us up to deliver the most effective and efficient campaigns possible.”

Liveramp promotes Clinger
Data enablement platform, LiveRamp, has promoted Travis Clinger to Senior Vice President, Activations and Addressability. While at LiveRamp, Clinger has led LiveRamp’s global Addressability efforts; in his expanded role, he will continue to lead the Addressability team, as well as Activations partnerships moving forward.

Over the course of Clinger’s six years at LiveRamp, he has built and led LiveRamp’s global Addressability efforts from the ground up, including assembling a global team across North America, Europe, Latin America and APAC and putting LiveRamp’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS) on track to be in 100 countries by the end of 2023. Additionally, Clinger has helped to lead LiveRamp’s strongest and most strategic relationships with partners,. In his new role, he will expand his remit to include all Activations partnerships, including emerging use cases in martech, eCommerce, customer service and other areas where data is playing a transformative role.

“The ecosystem is at a critical crossroads with cookieless on the verge of becoming the default, and LiveRamp is exceptionally well-situated, with more publisher domains than any other authenticated identifier,” said LiveRamp CEO, Scott Howe. Travis has been instrumental in this, and moving forward, will continue to be an excellent advocate for our clients, partners and the open internet. Travis has showcased exceptional strategic vision and continually pushed us to achieve our best results for our clients and for our company, and we’re confident that he will continue to lead his team to greater heights in service of our customers.”

Lent appointed CMO at Prezzee
International digital gifting company Prezzee has appointed Eric Lent as its Chief Marketing Officer. Based in the US, Lent has decades of experience building global brands and driving international growth at the likes of Intercontinental Hotels Group and The Hershey Company. As CMO, he will lead the brand’s vision of igniting human connection through remarkable digital gifting moments by driving growth both in Prezzee’s consumer and business-focused offerings. 

He said: “I have always been a firm believer that the combination of technology and emotion can be harnessed to deepen, strengthen and create truly meaningful human connections and that is what the Prezzee brand is all about. Prezzee is dedicated to strengthening how people connect in work and in life, and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to bring a new digital gifting experience to consumers and businesses all over the world.” 

Collister takes up Creative in Residence role at Given
Given, which describes itself as “the agency for purpose-driven brands” has made three new appointments. Ex-BMP DDB, BWBC, Ogilvy & Mather and Google creative Patrick Collister has joined the agency as its first ‘Creative in Residence’. The role has been devised to allow some of the best minds in advertising, brand and marketing to get a unique, ‘helicopter view’ of Given’s creative capabilities and devise ‘out of the box’ solutions for both the agency’s processes and specific client briefs.

He said: “I’m in my advancing 60s, so for any agency to take me on as a ‘Creative in Residence’ is a triumph of inclusivity. But Given isn’t just any agency. It’s the UK’s very first purpose agency and has been helping businesses transform themselves from the inside out for over 12 years. It’s a privilege to be here.”

The agency has also taken on Henry Hicks as Becks Williams’ maternity cover Creative Director. He is a multi-award winning Creative Director who has specialised in sustainability, purpose and social impact for the last 15 years. He brings purpose experience from across the Atlantic, having worked as a Senior Advisor at Carol Cone On Purpose, and as Executive Creative Director at Futerra for over 11 years.  

Finally, Susan Milanovic joins Given as a new Associate Creative Director from a Creative Development Manager role at Save the Children. She has worked at the intersection between purpose and creativity for over seven years.  

Of the two new appointments, co-founder and CEO Becky Willan said; “Delivering world-class creativity has always been at the very heart of our approach because, when it comes to delivering purpose, the scale and speed of change needed can be blocked if there isn’t an inspiring vision for change. Creativity can help bring purpose to life through brands’ products, services, innovation and marketing, giving it real-world meaning and demonstrating how an organisation is making a positive impact every day. It is critical for its success and is one of the reasons that I started Given in 2009. When we founded the business, it wasn’t just about helping businesses to be more sustainable or responsible, or to take a stand on big issues – it was about doing that in a way that was different, exciting, innovative and ultimately created a better brand for customers. It’s hugely exciting.”

Hague takes up senior SEO role at Mediaworks
Digital marketing agency, Mediaworks
, has appointed Alistair Hague as its group SEO Director. He comes to the agency with over 15 years’ experience leading senior marketing, global search engine optimisation programmes and large-scale web projects. His experience lies strongly within the global healthcare and finance markets, having previously worked with the likes of Aviva, Capita and Turner and Townsend, in both client and agency roles across locations in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

Mediaworks, which counts the likes of Puma, Cath Kidston and Metro Bank among its client base, delivers a range of strategic services across SEO, PPC, web dev, brand, content and digital PR. The rapidly growing agency currently has 190 staff across its six offices in Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh, Manchester, London and as MWi in Dublin.

Hague said: “Mediaworks is extremely well known for delivering commercially-driven digital campaigns in the healthcare and finance markets, to name but two. Their rapidly growing client base matches my ambition to continue to work with leading global brands and ambitious challengers looking to disrupt their respective industries. I’m thrilled to be onboard.”

Other moves:
Ad tech firm
Ogury has promoted Benjamin Lanfry to the position of Chief Supply Officer. In this new role, Lanfry will be in charge of defining Ogury’s global supply strategy and work closely with executive leadership to turn the company into an even more trusted monetization partner for in-app and web publishers. Lanfry initially joined Ogury in 2020 as Global VP Publisher Partnerships. In his former position, Lanfry’s mission was to define the company’s vision, go-to-market strategy and build the global teams to launch and grow Ogury’s mobile web offering. In the last two years, he has built a team of 25 talented individuals across 14 countries, responsible for launching and nurturing over 200 partnerships with leading publishers. He lso spent seven years at Adomik, and four years at Criteo.

DoubleVerify (DV), a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, has announced the appointment of Lawrence Horne as Regional Vice President for Northern Europe. Horne will be responsible for maintaining senior relationships with the company’s largest global customers and leading the regional sales teams to ensure the seamless delivery of DV’s solutions. Horne’s career has been anchored within the digital advertising ecosystem, with roles at various media publishing companies as well as ad tech businesses. Previously EMEA Managing Director of Time Out, Horne brings 20 years of commercial strategy and leadership experience to DV. 

Real-time TV measurement company, iSpot, has hired Will Waldron, a veteran US Census Bureau supervisory statistician, as Vice President of Research, to oversee the statistical quality standards and methodological practices of its television ratings and ad measurement products. In this role, Waldron will focus on data fidelity, measurement veracity and ratings reliability. He will have oversight of iSpot’s diverse, representative audience panel, which includes the largest pool of smart TV viewers for the purposes of measurement in the industry. Among his responsibilities will be oversight of iSpot’s Media Ratings Council (MRC) accreditation process, the first stage of which will be completed later this year. Most recently, Waldron was a lead scientist at the U.S. Census Bureau within the Demographic Statistical Methods Division. There, he led teams of mathematical statisticians in the sampling and production of national surveys for federal statistical agencies within the CDC and Department of Labor.  

Ad tech firm, Verve Group, has appointed Michael Brooks as its Chief Operating Officer. With more than 12 years’ experience overseeing many facets of mobile advertising, Brooks will be responsible for charting the strategic direction for Verve Group’s supply-side technology platforms and its Business Intelligence and Corporate Reporting operations. Prior to joining Verve Group,  Brooks served as Senior Vice President of Revenue and Marketing at WeatherBug, where he led commercial activities for award-winning direct sales, programmatic strategy, B2B marketing, and B2C marketing user acquisition teams. He has also served as Global Director of App Advertising at Oath, where he managed and  commercialized Verizon, AOL, and Microsoft assets for the app install ecosystem; and at AOL, where he developed the mobile performance business of within the AOL Networks umbrella. 

The League, a European industry network offering global insight, strategy and creative solutions to family brands, has announced the appointment of Davide Galante as International Business Development Director. The hire of the former RCS Mediagroup and Google executive comes on the back of a busy quarter for The League’s  five current agencies which include Kids Industries (UK); Com des Enfants (France); KB&B (Germany); Kulta (Italy); and The Modern Kids & Family (Spain). Prior to setting up his own business, World Funk Picture, where he provided clients such as UEFA, DHL and Volkswagen with a roadmap to grow their business via data, analytics, AI, content, martech and ad tech, Galante was a Director at RCS Mediagroup, where he was responsible for all of the children and family omnichannel marketing services. He also spent seven years at Google.

Integrated marketing agency, 
Fiora, based in Bristol and London, has announced the appointment of a new senior management team. Key changes include David Wenn, Founder, moving into a CEO role, where his main focus will be the strategic growth of Fiora and its partner companies, and Matt Rees being promoted from Planning Director to Managing Director. Completing the line-up are Mick Brigdale, who joins as Creative Director; Costas Michalia who becomes Strategy and Innovation Director; Client Services Manager, Leanne Buffery, promoted to Client Services Director; Co-founder, Angela Pace, moving to Client Relationships Director; and Joanne Ledwidge, moving from Financial Manager to Financial Director.

Digital performance marketing agency, Tug, has appointed Darra Naiman as Managing Director Toronto. Naiman joins the agency from OMD Canada, where she was an Associate Director in the Toronto office. Naiman is tasked with doubling the size of the business in Canada over the next two years. Key to this will be the expansion of the agency’s content marketing and data and analytics capabilities, as well as focusing on digital paid media, above the line planning, and buying with digital, traditional and partnership placements. Prior to OMD, Naiman was a Media Supervisor at digital transformation agency Neo@Ogilvy, and Bensimon Byrne, one of Cannes Lions’ top 15 independent agencies worldwide.

CitrusAd, which operates a Retail Media platform enabling retailers to monetise their on-site and off-site digital assets, has hired Alban Villani as its first Regional CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He joins CitrusAd from cloud customer data platform firm, Appier. Prior to this, Villani founded his own digital marketing and brand consultancy, and served as Regional MD for South Asia and Pacific at Criteo. CitrusAd is working with leading retailers across the world, and in EMEA, the company partners with Sainsbury’s, Argos, Kingfisher France, Tesco and Ocado, among others. The firm is partnering with Epsilon to develop the next generation of identity-led media solutions to retailers and brands, and at the beginning of the summer announced the launch of the industry’s first end-to-end Retail Media Platform.

Paid social performance and creative agency Nest Commerce has appointed Lucy Downing as the company’s first Client Director. Downings role will be focused on client retention and growth, working with the agency’s growing portfolio of clients, including Ted Baker, Decathlon and Crew Clothing, and 50 paid social marketers running campaigns on platforms including Meta and TikTok. She will report to Will Ashton, CEO of Nest Commerce. Downing’s most recent role was at product design agency Somo, where she was VP ,Client Engagement. She has 15 years of digital experience working across agency and in-house roles working with retail brands including The Body Shop, Mothercare, Tesco, Dr Martens and Burberry. 

Bazaarvoice has named Colin Bodell as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Bodell has more than 25 years’ experience in the technology industry, with a focus on growing tech organisations’ platforms at scale. As CTO, Bodell will be responsible for accelerating global technological innovation in support of Bazaarvoice’s ambitious growth objectives. Prior to joining Bazaarvoice, Bodell was a Vice President of Engineering at Shopify, working to scale its Shopify Plus platform, and delivering sophisticated solutions to Shopify’s largest merchants. Prior to that, he served as CTO at organisations, including Groupon, American Eagle Outfitters, and Time Inc. He also held several VP positions at Amazon over his eight year tenure. While there, he led the Amazon website platform to scale the business from $8bn in GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) to over $20bn.

Brand building, communications and analytics agency, Boldspace, has appointed Dan Pillay to lead the agency’s data & analytics platform, BoldLens. Pillay brings 12 years’ experience across data, analytics and scaling SaaS platforms to the business, joining from CampaignHero, the integrated advertising campaign platform, where he led all aspects of the product. BoldLens, which launched in September 2020, enables clients to monitor, track, predict, and react to developing trends around their business in real-time.