Preference Choice Publication

Movers and Shakers: Adform, Badi, Anzu, Rufus Leonard and Iotics

Mobile Marketing

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: Troels Philip Jensen, Nadine Piecha, Jeremy Taylor, Kate Taylor

Jensen takes up CEO role at Adform
Ad tech firm Adform has appointed Troels Philip Jensen as its new CEO. He joins the company from Swedish software firm Itiviti, where he was COO.

Jensen replaces Adform’s co-founder and CEO, Gustav Mellentin, who will stay with the company in an active role focused on continuing to shape the company's strategic work. Jensen, in his role as CEO, will lead Adform’s employees across 29 offices in 26 countries. He joins the company to strengthen Adform's international position as a leading independent supplier of advertising software technology, while driving the company’s commercial development. 

He said: “I have been looking forward to starting as Adform’s CEO. I plan to spend the first few weeks getting to know my new colleagues, the organisation and our customers. There is an exciting global strategy on the table, which I look forward to executing with the support of Adform’s extremely talented employees.

“Adform is a company that serves some of the largest advertisers, agencies and media around the world. Gustav Mellentin and his amazing team have achieved an impressive amount over the last 18 years. There are not many independent software companies on the market that have Adform’s scale, global presence and also have great potential for future growth. That's why I quickly and proudly accepted this job."

Jensen has worked with enterprise platforms for the past 25 years, building extensive international experience at an executive level. Prior to his seven-year stint at Itiviti, he spent 17 years at Danish IT firm, SimCorp.

Piecha to head up UX at Badi
Room rental marketplace Badi has hired Nadine Piecha as head of UX research. The move comes as Badi looks to invest in a UX Lab with the ambition of better understanding its users' needs following drastic market changes during the global pandemic.

Focussed on making the Badi product better for its community, the team of UX researchers led by Piecha will work to ensure the room rental platform is leading the industry when it comes to understanding the changing needs and challenges of its users.

In response to initial research, rentals can be booked now, with an agreed later move-in date in the future. These are secured through the Badi platform so that new homes will be ready post COVID-19. If intended move-in days need to be rescheduled or postponed beyond the anticipated date, Badi has updated its cancellation policy in line with the current crisis to help users handle any possible modifications.

Piecha brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in developing and implementing UX strategies, including product testing to improve customer retention, loyalty and revenue. During her time at eDreams, she built and led a team of researchers and analysts who conducted quantitative and qualitative research to support product development.

Prior to eDreams, she worked at eBay, where she was tasked with managing large-scale, international online surveys to monitor customer satisfaction and help the company focus on product areas that needed investment to enhance customer loyalty and improved customer retention.

She said: “We are aware that our users currently have other concerns over and above looking to move home. But we are also convinced that new opportunities will open up for us in the period after COVID-19. We want to be prepared for that.

"My job is to understand exactly why users behave in a certain way and to draw conclusions for different processes. I’ve always been fascinated by what motivates and drives behaviour. It’s my job to learn why users act the way they do, and what they need to have a better life. There has never been a more important time to apply this thinking and my experience at Badi as we enter a period of huge change for the rental market.”

Badi, which launched in 2015, achieved an average year-on-year growth of 450 per cent between 2015 and 2019. To support its continued growth, the company had added 135 new employees to its team over the last two years.

Anzu hands EMEA leadershop role to Taylor
In-game advertising platform Anzu has appointed former managing partner Jeremy Taylor as VP EMEA. Taylor brings a wealth of expertise in digital and digital out of home (DOOH) advertising, having held senior planning and strategic roles at Kinetic Worldwide, Mindshare, Stink Studios, and His deep knowledge of innovative approaches to working with advertisers and agencies, and media planning will help Anzu drive growth across EMEA.

Despite the global economic upheaval brought on by COVID-19, gaming is on the upswing, and Anzu said it is prepared to meet the needs of advertisers and game developers with a growing suite of tech partners and integrations. The company recently announced a fraud-detection collaboration with cybersecurity firm Forensiq, and in the past year, game studios such as Vivid Games and Toplitz Productions have joined the Anzu network as exclusive partners, with many more game studios in integration.

“Jeremy’s appointment as VP EMEA comes at a crucial moment as our company pivots to meet the challenges and opportunities of this sensitive time, one in which more and more advertisers are looking to reach their audiences, who are increasingly present inside video games,” said Anzu co-founder and CEO, Itamar Benedy. “The EMEA region is extremely important for us, and we’re looking forward to leveraging Jeremy’s extensive experience in solidifying relationships and driving innovative growth in this diverse region.”

Taylor to managing partner at Rufus Leonard
Digital agency Rufus Leonard, has hired Kate Taylor as managing partner. Formerly client services director at Zone, she will reports into Ale Cabra, board client services director. Taylor will be tasked with building out the strong client platform and agency capabilities, following a period of tremendous growth for the agency, including recent new business wins from The Student Hotel, WWF, and further wins yet to be announced.

She will be responsible for a significant client portfolio, with a focus across organic business development and overarching client growth strategies, bringing a deep-rooted understanding of customer experience and driving excellence in creativity through innovation.
At Zone, Taylor led the agency’s client teams to develop solutions across content, campaigns, technology and strategy for clients including Adidas, Coca Cola, Barratt Homes, BMW, and Aviva.

Client services director Ale Cabra said: “We're very pleased and excited to welcome Kate to our leadership team. Not only is she a great cultural fit, her experience at Zone, combined with her unique set of skills, brings a customer and client centricity, and an incredible platform towards our future ambitions."

Four senior hires for Iotics
Iotics, the digital twin technology company has expanded its global leadership team with four new executive hires, who will drive the continued momentum from the launch of the Iotic Labs Innovation Centre website at Iotics’ patented and disruptive digital data twin technology, operating environment and event analytics are already in use with companies including Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

The company has appointed John Lusty as VP engineering; Shadi Mahassel as VP product; Dave Arkell as CFO, and Michael Harverson as VP sales. With experience of leading technical teams spanning EMEA, the US and Canada at Facebook, Lusty founded the first Oculus engineering office outside of the US in London and led the team that built React 360, the core technology that powers Oculus’s first party apps and much of Oculus’s web VR content. He joined FiveAI in 2019 to set up its London Office, where he oversaw all aspects of the autonomous vehicle technology stack and tooling.

Based in Portugal, Mahassel is a serial founder, advisor and investor and was co-founder of SURFnCODE, a successful product studio for early-stage tech companies. Prior to this, he was a VP of product at Veniam, building solutions for the future of mobility and smart cities. He was also principal group program manager at Microsoft, leading the development of Microsoft Connectivity applications for consumers and the enterprise.

Prior to joining Iotics, Arkell was VP finance at Elastic, created in 2012 by the team behind the Elasticsearch and Apache Lucene open source projects. Arkell has previous experience at Talend, Incomm and SpringSource, having worked extensively in the enterprise software sector in California.

Harverson is an experienced global business development and sales strategy leader for ISVs, OEMs and SaaS businesses, combining strong business acumen with an in-depth understanding of technology and how to position it. He joins Iotics as a successful start-up advisor focusing on the B2B enterprise market. Prior to this, he led the OEM (embedded) and IoT sales team for EMEA at VMWare.

“With the world facing a state of crisis, these new appointments and the launch of the new go-to-market make a strong statement about the future of the digital twins market and our positive vision of a post-COVID-19 landscape for these technologies,” said Iotics CEO, Robin Brattel. “This team is well positioned to deliver transformative change, and our recent hires are already contributing to Iotics’ commitment in these difficult times to work with governments, hospitals and other health service providers in the provision of digital data twins that can play an important role in supporting front line staff and practitioners in the fight against COVID-19."