Movers and Shakers: Vodafone, The Home Depot, GroupM, Utiq 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…

Margherita Della Valle

Vodafone appoints Della Valle as Group Chief Executive
Vodafone Group Plc has appointed Margherita Della Valle to the role of Group Chief Executive. She will also continue as Group Chief Financial Officer until an external search for a new Group Chief Financial Officer is complete.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Vodafone Group Chairman said: “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Margherita as Group Chief Executive, following a rigorous internal and external search. She has a strong track record during her long career at Vodafone in marketing, operational, commercial and financial positions. Over the last few months as interim Group Chief Executive, the Board and I have been impressed with her pace and decisiveness to begin the necessary transformation of Vodafone. Margherita has the full support of myself and the Board for her plans for Vodafone to provide better customer experience, become a simpler business and accelerate growth.”

Babcock to head up Home Depot’s retail media business
The Home Depot, has appointed Melanie Babcock as Vice President of its Retail Media+ and Monetization business. In this new role, she will be responsible for providing improved supplier experiences while driving new sources of ad revenue, profitability and sales.

Babcock joined The Home Depot in 2013, most recently serving as the VP of Integrated Media, which included the launch, development and growth of Retail Media+, The Home Depot’s retail media network. She scaled personalized customer marketing and worked closely with cross-functional partners to lead the development of marketing experiences more tailored to customers’ projects and personal preferences. She launched a media measurement practice and changed the marketing team’s key metrics to deliver enterprise, department and incremental sales.

“Melanie is a true visionary in the retail media space and this new role is the latest commitment from The Home Depot that shows we are dedicated to this growing industry,” said Molly Battin, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for The Home Depot. “Her impressive track record of integrated media and marketing excellence, along with her strategic growth tactics, transformational leadership, and bold execution, have led us to be the largest home improvement retail media network in the US, and we are excited to see the new heights she will lead us to in this dedicated role.”

Launched in 2019, The Home Depot’s Retail Media+ retail media network offers suppliers managed service and self-service media buying opportunities on owned properties (HomeDepot.com, App, in-store and email) and offsite media channels (social, display, video). 

Bozeat to COO at GroupM U.K
GroupM U.K. has named Luke Bozeat as Chief Operating Officer. Joining from EssenceMediacom, in the newly-created role, Bozeat will be responsible for the daily operations and organisational structure of GroupM, as well as ensuring that all parts of group work together to deliver excellence for clients. 

Bozeat joined MediaCom in 2000 as a graduate, moving through the ranks to become COO in 2016. He has been fundamental in the growth of the agency, as well as leading key accounts such as Sky, TUI, Costa and Sony Playstation and most recently the creation of EssenceMediacom.   

Josh Krichefski, who joined GroupM as EMEA and UK CEO in February said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Luke again. He has a proven track record of driving success across our group, truly understands our clients’ challenges and I know will be a brilliant addition to the team in driving our vision of shaping the next era of media.’  

Utiq names German leadership team  
Utiq, the new ad tech business formed by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone, has named Norman Wagner as Managing Director of Utiq Germany, effective 1 June, and Jana Moran as COO Germany

Wagner joins from Deutsche Telekom, where he has been Head of Group Media since August 2018, leading the strategic direction of Deutsche Telekom AGs media investments.  

Moran was previously COO of TheAdex/Virtual Minds, the ad tech subsidiary of ProSiebenSat1 Media SE. With more than 15 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry, she will be responsible for setting up and developing the operational business of Utiq Germany.

Julia Gloning also joins the team as Head of Media Services, and will be responsible for publisher communications. She has more than 13 years’ experience in publisher management, and was most recently Head of Publisher Services Northern Europe at Yahoo.

Utiq was founded to enable responsible digital marketing for consumers, publishers and brands. To this end, the company will operate an authentic consent service for the digital ecosystem in Europe, with a focus on consumer privacy and data sovereignty.

As part of Utiq’s official launch in Germany, Adform has been announced as the network’s exclusive launch partner. It will provide the platform for Utiq’s service through its ID Fusion solution. Other partners at launch include iq digital media marketing and pilot Agenturgruppe.

Reddit appoints Squires and opens Amsterdam sales hub
Reddit has named Jim Squires as EVP of Business Marketing and Growth, reporting to COO, Jen Wong. He joins Reddit from Meta, where he was VP of Product Marketing, and has over 20 years of experience developing, launching and growing consumer products and businesses. 

In his newly-created role at Reddit, Squires will be integral to serving and expanding the company’s growing Ads Business, particularly as its international active advertiser footprint expands to over 40 countries and counting. Similarly, its 2023 Ads Product Roadmap is its most ambitious yet, both in terms of the depth and breadth of updates advertisers can look forward to this year as well as driving a best-in-class experience for a more diverse set of partners.

He said: “In my conversations with the team at Reddit, I have been so impressed with the future potential of our Ads Business, and I firmly believe our best days are ahead. While there are countless businesses already benefiting from Reddit’s highly differentiated value, there are still so many that have yet to discover the power of Reddit, which brings huge opportunity. What excites me about this role is creating and demonstrating this tremendous value for brands of all sizes, around the world, and helping them achieve their goals.”

Separately, Reddit has also opened an Amsterdam sales hub, to service its customers in continental Europe. It will be led by Reddit EMEA Head of Mid-Market and Small Business (SMB) Sales, Susanne Mostertman, who will consolidate Reddit’s scaled EMEA business into a central base and support a wide range of clients across Europe. The Hub will be home to over 50 employees,  hailing from over 10 countries with experience working in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish and other European languages. In addition to growing its sales presence in Amsterdam, the bub will also be home to Reddit’s growing EMEA Ads engineering team.

Immediate Media hires two
Immediate Media has named Jessica Norell Neeson as Managing Director of its Food Portfolio and David Reay as People Director. Norell Neeson will have responsibility for Immediate’s Food Group, the UK’s largest food media portfolio including BBC Good Food and olive, and Nutracheck, the UK’s leading subscription-based weight management and dietary improvement platform. She joins Immediate from Barclays UK, where she was Managing Director Customer Propositions, leading the development of new products, features and solutions across retail and digital to improve customer experience and engagement. She has also held senior commercial, customer and product-centric roles at Paddy Power, running large businesses focused on improving multi-channel customer engagement, loyalty and experience, as well as strategy roles at Vodafone and Bain and Company. 

Reay will take a strategic lead on people development, culture, ED&I and talent management. He joins from Condé Nast, where, as SVP for People, Editorial and Entertainment, he led the people function for the global editorial and entertainment divisions, across journalism, creative, digital, film and TV.

With a passion for driving diversity, talent development and creating environments where people flourish, Reay has over 15 years’ senior HR and People leadership experience. He has also previously held senior People leadership roles at TikTok, Sony Music, RSA and BAE Systems.

“We’ve got ambitious growth plans at Immediate, to further extend our reach, engagement and content offer over a range of platforms, products and services, whilst continuing to invest in creating a supportive and exciting working environment,” said Sean Cornwell, Immediate’s Platforms CEO. “The appointments of Jessica and David strengthen our leadership capabilities in key areas for us, as we look to develop our food and wellness portfolio and continue to attract and retain the best talent to Immediate.”

Génin to head up marketing at Uberall
Uberall, a digital marketing platform for multi-location brands, has hired Stéphanie Génin as Senior Vice President of Marketing. With more than two decades of experience in B2B technology, Génin will be responsible for leading all aspects of Uberall’s marketing strategy, helping businesses create seamless online and offline experiences for their customers. 

Génin has been building and leading marketing teams for more than two decades. She has extensive experience working for major brands, including Xerox, British Telecom, Siemens, Avid Technology, Hootsuite and most recently Lengow. She brings deep expertise in martech tools, and end-to-end lifecycle marketing and has led successful campaigns and growth initiatives across Americas, EMEA, LATAM and APAC regions. 

She said: “I am thrilled to join Uberall at such an exciting time in the martech industry with AI poised to disrupt how marketers engage with their customers. Uberall is at the forefront of defining this new frontier of consumer engagement and personalization, together with some of the most visible consumer brands in the world. It’s an exciting time to be in B2B technology and at Uberall.”

Teads hires Jeffery as UK Commercial Director
Media platform, Teads, has appointed Krane Jeffery to the role of UK Commercial Director. 
He brings to the role over 20 years’ experience at the intersection of media and technology and will oversee Teads’ commercial strategy as the company looks to continue its growth trajectory and deliver business outcomes for its customers. 

Jeffery joins Teads from Warner Bros Discovery, where he led WarnerOne, the global digital-first portfolio sales team for clients and agencies across news, sport and entertainment. Previously, he was Head of Digital Solutions at RTL Ad Connect, where he aligned its digital platforms and audiences into a new advertising opportunity for international brands and their agencies. Prior to this Jeffery held leadership positions at Yahoo and Dentsu.

He said: “As brands look to responsible digital partners to help drive growth, I’m thrilled to be joining the most innovative media platform out there. With the addition of CTV and more developments in the pipeline, taking the lead on commercial strategy at Teads offers an exciting opportunity to help marketers and agencies succeed in their business goals.”

Last week, Teads announced the addition of CTV inventory in the UK, which means that brands are now able to buy across TV, mobile and desktop through the platform, and leverage access to more than 20bn monthly unique ad opportunities.  

Teads operates a cloud-based, omnichannel platform that enables programmatic digital advertising across a global ecosystem of quality digital media. It partners with leading marketers, agencies and publishers through a team of over 1,200 people in 30 countries. 

Sheridan heads to LoopMe
Ad tech firm, LoopMe,
has announced the appointment of Nikki Sheridan as Client Director. Based in London, she will be responsible for cultivating strategic relationships with brands and advertisers, while working closely with the sales team and other key internal stakeholders to deliver new business opportunities and objectives.

She joins from Teads, where she specialised in global digital advertising solutions, selling large scale multi market media campaigns, original content solutions and partnerships, and working with the UK’s largest agency groups and global brands.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be appointed Client Director and be given the opportunity to scale LoopMe’s service to its strategic brand partners following a period of monumental growth. At a time where brands are demanding increased advertising value, LoopMe’s outcomes-based solutions are expertly placed to meet their business goals.” 

Outbrain makes several key hires
Recommendation platform, Outbrain, has announced a series of key appointments. Ayal Steiner has been named Executive Vice President, Brand Solutions, overseeing the development of innovative solutions for brands and agencies. Stephanie Himoff takes up the role of Executive Vice President, Global Publishers, leading Outbrain’s strategic publisher initiatives on a global scale. 

Sarah Baird becomes Senior Vice President, Revenue Operations, leading revenue operations and enablement functions to provide strategies designed to support clients at scale.

Craig Hughes is named Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy; General Manager, Video, driving Outbrains video strategy and business globally, and managing strategic initiatives and partnerships to deepen Outbrains industry presence. Klaus Ludemann has been appointed Senior Vice President, Programmatic and Partnerships, managing programmatic partnerships and adoption in service of advertisers and publishers.

And Guy Yagur becomes Senior Vice President, Global Performance and Growth Revenue, leading a newly centralized global hub focused on supporting and scaling performance-based and DIY customers.

Additionally, Outbrain has named Yonatan Maman as Chief Technology Officer and Andraz Tori as Chief Product Officer. Maman joined Outbrain in 2011 as a Senior Software Engineer and has served as Vice President of Engineering for the past five years. While leading Outbrain’s R&D team, he brought modern practices and new capabilities to the growing engineering organization. Tori has served as Head of Recommendations and Data Science at Outbrain for the past four years, following Outbrain’s acquisition of Zemanta, of which he was a founder.

“We are moving with full force and are taking important steps to align our business model to best fit the evolving needs of brands, advertisers, and publishers while seizing new opportunities for revenue and product growth,” said Outbrain Co-CEO, David Kostman Co-CEO. “These appointments are an essential part of our plan to scale our business effectively and efficiently and enable Outbrain to integrate emerging technologies aimed at advancing the industry and driving value for our customers.”   

Hancock-Rushton to Client Director at Ozone
UK digital advertising platform, Ozone, has appointed Jhan Hancock-Rushton to the position of Client Director. Reporting directly to Craig Tuck, Chief Revenue Officer, Hancock-Rushton replaces outgoing client lead Sophie Raptis, who is relocating to Australia. He will be responsible for building and nurturing Ozone’s direct relationships with advertiser clients.

He joins Ozone with a wealth of experience gained across two decades working in premium publishing, most recently as publisher at The Stylist Group. Prior to that, he held numerous senior advertising director roles at influential media brands including British Vogue, Hearst and Time Inc.

As Client Director, he will be responsible for driving revenue from direct advertiser partnerships, leading strategic conversations with key advertisers – and their agencies, where applicable – to maximise the revenue opportunity on offer via Ozone’s premium publisher portfolio. These will range from bespoke campaign activations to more in-depth data and strategic media integrations. He takes up the role on 15 May.

He said: “I am beyond thrilled to be joining the incredible, award-winning team at Ozone. I can’t wait to both build on the superb relationships my predecessor Sophie has made with our advertiser partners and establish new ones with more clients who see the value they can create by accessing the premium web through Ozone.”

Jain takes up Chief Product Officer role at Optimizely
Digital experience platform (DXP) provider, Optimizely, has named seasoned product leader, Rupali, Jain, as its Chief Product Officer. Prior to joining Optimizely, Jain held product leadership roles at a number of SaaS software companies, including PowerBI at Microsoft and Qualtrics. Throughout her two-decade career, she has echoed Optimizely’s vision of placing a premium on the end user’s daily needs. She looks forward to advancing pragmatic, growth-driving applications of AI and machine learning to help marketers take control of their workflows, experiment at scale, and deliver digital experiences that meet and exceed customer expectations.

Jain’s arrival follows a strong first quarter for the global DXP provider. Optimizely was recognised as a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms for the fourth consecutive year. Gartner also positioned Optimizely in the Leaders Quadrant for the sixth year in a row in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms for its Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. Jain joins recent hires, Shafqat Islam and Sebastiaan de Jong, who were named Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sales Officer, respectively.

She said: “Marketers are contending with a very fragmented software landscape today, as the margin of error continues to narrow. What drew me to Optimizely was the depth of its insight into how marketers work and the solutions they need to radically improve their day-to-day. I couldn’t be more excited to join a team that understands these unique challenges and is dedicated to keeping customers’ needs as the primary motivation for all we do.”

Other moves:
Strategic and creative agency, ScienceMagic has appointed Sophia Reynoso as Managing Partner of its New York office. Reynoso was formerly Director of Advertising at Louis Vuitton Americas, and prior to that, held senior roles at leading media agencies including Mediacom and Havas. She has produced data-driven, award-winning work for a variety of clients, managing diverse brands including Duracell, Ally Financial, Revlon, Swarovski, Net-A-Porter, Louis Vuitton, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Celine, Kenzo, Harry Winston and Hugo Boss.

Mobile advertising firm, Adludio, has appointed Benjamin Arnold as President, North America. The former US CEO of socially-led creative agency We Are Social will be responsible for leading all US operations across creative, media, marketing and revenue. Over the past decade, Arnold helped to build We Are Social into one of the world’s largest and most awarded agencies of its kind. Prior to that, he spent 10+ years at integrated agencies in New York, London and Sydney including Wunderman Thompson, Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB Group. In his new position, Arnold will build on the firm’s strong business momentum and seek to further establish Adludio as a pioneer in AI-led premium and automated advertising solutions.

In-game advertising firm, Anzu, has appointed Nerissa MacDonald as EVP Global Sales. MacDonald, has worked in regional and international roles for over 20 years and has experience leading global teams, strategy, consultation, and partnerships with brands, agencies, and tech partners. She brings  a wealth of knowledge to the role, having worked in leadership positions at Adform, Sizmek, and most recently, Meta, where she built and led diverse revenue-driving teams, managed complex re-orgs, new product launches, and global go-to-market programs internationally.

Programmatic media platform for mobile marketers, Dataseat, has hired Dr. Matina Thomaidou as VP, Head of Data Science. Dr. Thomaidou joins Dataseat after serving as Senior Director, Head of Customer Success at Wappier, a software company focused on mobile gaming revenue optimisation. She had also served as Lead Data Scientist (Ad Auction, Marketing Science, Gaming) at Facebook in Ireland, where she led several strategic initiatives in order to scale ad auction insights and recommendations to clients globally. Dataseat relies on machine learning and contextual signals to give advertisers full control, transparency, and adaptability over their campaigns.

DoubleVerify (DV), a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, has appointed Daniel Slotwiner to the role ofSenior Vice President of Attention. In this role, Slotwiner will oversee all attention initiatives at DV, including product innovation, go-to-market strategy and commercialization activities, as well as the development of attention-based industry research and campaign performance insights and recommendations. As the Director of Advertising Research at Facebook for 10 years, Slotwiner led a team in evaluating ad effectiveness and improving performance for advertisers. Previously, at Google, he focused on competitive research and panel-based measurement solutions. Most recently, Slotwiner served as VP of Measurement, Insights, and Product Marketing Manager at GoPuff, helping the company activate its data for its retail media business.

Media research firm, Kantar Media, has appointed Patrick Béhar as Global CEO, effective September 2023. He will lead an organisation with the world’s largest audience measurement and media research footprint. Béhar brings more than 25 years of international experience in the media industry to the role. He currently serves as Chief Business Officer for Sky Group. In that role, he has been managing and expanding all of Sky’s relationships with content and distribution partners, as well as driving Sky Media’s advertising revenues.

Partnership agency, Acceleration Partners (AP), has appointed Florian Jetzlsperger as Market Lead, Germany, marking the companys continued growth in Europe. AP established its German division in 2021 to meet the fast-growing demand for integrated partnership marketing and currently manages more than 20 clients, including some of the companys most well-known and established brands. Jetzlsperger has an extensive background in the German market. He previously served as the Head of Sales and Account Team at Mybestbrands, working with  leading premium and luxury fashion brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Burberry and Mytheresa.

Contextual advertising firm, Seedtag, has named Emilia Kirk as its UK Commercial Director. Reporting to Paul Thompson, UK Country Manager, she will be responsible for the company’s commercial strategy for the market and for leading its sales team. With over 15 years’ experience in digital media across a range of growth and development leadership roles, including positions at Dentsu’s London and New York offices, Kirk brings in deep knowledge of contextual and programmatic advertising coupled with how it can achieve commercial outcomes. Previously she was Global Head of Growth for Seedtag, based out of its Madrid office.  

Mobile marketing agency, ConsultMyApp has appointed Gordon Bowman as Sales Director. He will lead the agency’s business development strategy, expanding ConsultMyApp’s existing client roster, which includes O2 Priority, General Motors and Channel 4. He will also work closely with the senior management team to expand the business into new markets. He has over 10 years’ experience in mobile app sales, most recently as the Sales Manager and International Client Partner at Liftoff, where he was involved in spearheading expansion in EMEA and building out commercial operations for its global teams. Prior to that, he spent two years at Twitter in its app and mobile sales team in San Francisco.

Digital marketing group, Incubeta, has appointed Andrew Watson as Marketplaces Director, UK. With more than seven years of experience at Amazon Ads, Watson is tasked with driving strong growth via Incubeta’s eCommerce marketplaces. Watson joins from Amazon Ads’ Global Growth Sales division where he was Advertising Sales Manager. His responsibilities included managing sales teams of early and mid-career stage talent to launch and grow Amazon Ads investment for businesses of all sizes. During his seven years at Amazon, he worked across a number of categories supporting the launch of Ad products such as Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display, and the integration of interactive livestreaming service, Twitch.

Impact+, which works to reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions of digital advertising, has appointed Sarah Monfiort as Head of Brand & Agency Partnerships in the UK. Having worked over 10 years in the ad tech industry, she will act as a trusted expert and reference person when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of digital advertising in the UK. The company works with global brands including L’Oréal, Heineken, Nestlé and BMW, and also partners with agencies and ad networks to measure and reduce the environmental impact of campaigns on their platforms.

Strategic digital marketing agency, Hallam, has appointed Carmen Dominguez as Head of Organic. In the role, Dominguez will oversee the SEO, content marketing and social media marketing functions, as well as being the lead organic consultant for Hallam’s biggest clients. She has over seven years’ experience in digital marketing with a content, translations and digital PR background, before she found her calling in SEO.  

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