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Movers and Shakers: Adjust, Journey Further, Talon, CleverTap and more

David Murphy

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: Silvia Buermann, Paul Frampton, Jim Wilson, Keith Curtin, Nancy Roberts, Michael Holmberg Andersen, Christina McKinney, Jerry Buhlmann

Adjust boosts sales team with two senior hires
Mobile measurement, fraud prevention and cybersecurity firm Adjust has bolstered its sales teams with two senior appointments. Bill Kiriakis joins as SVP global sales, based in San Francisco, and Silvia Buermann as VP global sales operations, based in Berlin. They each bring over 20 years of sales experience in digital marketing analytics from leadership positions at several large tech firms, including Adobe, Coremetrics, Omniture, Oracle and Salesforce.

An enterprise sales management veteran, Kiriakis will oversee Adjust’s global go-to-market (GTM) sales strategies for scaling the company’s growth in new and existing regions. Previously, he has held leadership GTM roles at Net Perceptions, Coremetrics (acquired by IBM), Omniture (IPOed and acquired by Adobe Systems), and AgilOne (acquired by Acquia). In his most recent role, Kiriakis served as chief revenue officer at social media analytics firm, Zignal Labs.

He said: “Mobile advertising spending will only accelerate as virtually every brand has an app. I am excited to help build on all of the amazing success the Adjust team has accomplished over the past eight years in onboarding such great clients and helping them achieve their marketing goals.”

Buermann, an industry veteran and former entrepreneur, will be responsible for managing Adjust’s global sales operations, working closely with sales, marketing and finance to boost efficiencies. She joins Adjust from mobile data and analytics platform App Annie, where she was territory director for Central & Eastern Europe, Nordics, Russia & CIS. Prior to that role, Buermann held leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Salesforce, Scopevisio and Adobe.

“Mobile phones touch every part of our lives and are where change is going to happen,” she said. “I look forward to helping further Adjust’s success in the dynamic mobile marketing space by enabling our sales teams around the world to do their jobs more efficiently.”

Adjust currently works with over 32,000 apps, including leading global brands such as Monzo, Takeaway.com, Careem, Jam City, Klarna, N26, Zalando and Depop. The company now counts over 400 employees across 16 locations worldwide.

Journey Further appoints two big-hitters to its advisory board
Paul Frampton, president of CvE and formerly CEO of Havas Group; and Peter Dolukhanov, CEO of Decoded Consulting and former Group CTO of Karmarama, have joined the advisory board of performance marketing agency Journey Further to help strategically grow the business.

Frampton and Dolukhanov will be working closely with co-founders Robin Skidmore, Matt Kwiecinski and Chris Rowett and the senior team to drive the agency’s continued success. Frampton will predominantly be advising on culture, diversity and growth strategy, while Dolukhanov’s focus will be on the technology required to support the agency’s existing clients and future growth.

Since launching in January 2017, the agency has grown from 3 to 60 people, working with the likes of Sky, PrettyLittleThing, Evans Cycles and Villa Plus. In 2019, the agency saw revenue, excluding media spend, increase 78% year-on-year to £3.25m. Total turnover, including media spend, was up 55% to £5.5m.

“Credit goes to the growing team at Journey Further for making 2019 another incredibly successful year,” said CEO and founder, Robin Skidmore. “As we look to the future, I’m delighted to welcome Paul and Peter to the board. Their track record working in the world’s biggest media and technology companies will provide invaluable insight as we strive forward with our mission of delivering clarity at speed for the world’s leading brands.”

Frampton, said: “Journey Further has proven the power of redefining the agency model, putting culture first and recruiting senior in-house talent who can truly empathise with client challenges. It’s a pleasure to join Robin and the team at this exciting point in their journey.”

Dolukhanov, commented: “When it comes to performance marketing, the challenges faced by both brands and agencies are complex and wide-ranging. There is a rapid pace of innovation within this sector and I am looking forward to bringing my technology and agency experience to such an open-minded and fast-growing company; helping them utilise technology to solve problems internally and to deliver excellence for their clients.”

Wilson to head up Talon’s US operations
Out of Home (OOH) media and technology agency Talon has hired Jim Wilson as its US CEO. Wilson will join Talon from TEGNA’s Premion, the first-in-market over-the-top (OTT) advertising and technology platform, which he has led since its inception and accelerated to become a market leader.

He brings to the role more than 20 years’ experience in executive management, and a track record of success in launching, scaling and transforming businesses in the media, content and technology sectors. He will be based in Talon’s New York office, charged with propelling the company’s US growth, working closely with Group CEO, Barry Cupples who is based in London.

Prior to Premion, Wilson was COO of TouchTunes, an Out of Home media and digital music company. There, he grew and transformed the business, which led to its successful sale in 2015. Previously, he served as Global CEO of Paris-based Atari (formerly Infogrames), where he spearheaded the company’s successful turnaround that led to its sale in 2013. Before Atari, Wilson held leadership roles at both Sony and Universal.

Wilson’s arrival comes as Talon continues to grow and deepen its footprint in the US through its OOH AdTech solutions, organic revenue growth and recent acquisitions of Grand Design, QDOT and Grand Visual. The agency now has offices in New York, San Diego, Denver and Atlanta.

"We are excited to bring Jim on board to lead Talon’s US business into the next era of growth as we continue to deploy our ‘Smarter as Standard’ philosophy across the US OOH market,” said Cupples. “Jim’s success in scaling market leading businesses in advertising and technology coupled with his Out of Home experience gives him the unique ability to build and champion innovative new business models to further advance Talon’s business across the US.

Parashar to head up HR at CleverTap
Customer lifecycle and user retention platform CleverTap has appointed Prashant Parashar as chief human resources officer (CHRO).
Parashar brings many years of global HR experience to CleverTap’s leadership team. As CHRO, he will lead all aspects of human resources, and be responsible for the strategic direction of people management, including talent acquisition, training and development, performance management, organizational effectiveness, diversity and inclusion, and succession planning.

“We are well aware of the importance of talent, and Prashant has proven himself to be a leader dedicated to a culture of performance and continuous improvement,” said Sunil Thomas, co-founder and CEO, CleverTap. “Prashant’s strong record in creating and implementing collaborative processes to improve both employee experiences and business outcomes will be key to driving our continued growth as well as maintaining CleverTap’s goal of staying an employer of choice.”

CleverTap helps consumer brands maximize the value of their mobile apps by personalizing customer experiences using real-time behavioural data and predictive modelling. Over 8,000 mobile apps, from companies including Vodafone, Star, Sony, Discovery Kids, ESPN, Fandango, Cleartrip, and Disney Hotstar are currently optimized using CleverTap. The platform reaches more than 1bn mobile devices.

Curtin returns to Blippar in US commercial role
Augmented reality (AR) firm Blippar has named Keith Curtin as chief commercial officer for the US.

Curtin began his AR career at Blippar in 2013 and then led the US commercial business for Zappar in N. America before founding his own consultancy firm, See Digital. He has consulted with hundreds of Fortune 1000 global brands to help them develop and execute their first augmented reality and mixed reality campaigns. These include P&G, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Nestle, Disney, LVMH, Diageo and Kellogg’s.

He will now be responsible for driving commercial growth in the US for Blippar’s AR creation and publishing platform, Blippbuilder; which enables brands, educators and individuals globally to create and publish their own AR experiences easily and efficiently.

He said: “Blippar has become a global leader and pioneer in AR that spans across advertising, retail, FMCG, healthcare, education and content creation tools for the next generation of digital engagement. As we gear up for our next phase of growth, I’m thrilled to be returning to the company and look forward to moving our business and the AR ecosystem to the next level.”

Three senior hires in the US and Korea for YouAppi
YouAppi, a performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform, has announced three new senior hires. Nancy Roberts has joined the company as CMO, where she will lead its global marketing efforts. She brings extensive mobile marketing experience to the role, most recently as the general manager of mobile ad tech company Glispa, where she led marketing, sales, product, and partnerships in N. America.

Joining Roberts on the San Francisco-based global marketing team as senior marketing manager is Ashley Schmitt. She spent the last five years at Applift, a mobile ad tech company, where she first led marketing events and later, was responsible for strategizing and executing a complete marketing mix for N. and S. America. She translated a global rebrand to fit both the US and Latin America markets, led a global client advocacy program, and assisted in rolling out an ad tech industry standards initiative. In her last six months at the company, her role expanded to further include global marketing tasks, supporting the regional teams in APAC and Europe.

With Korea a strategic market for YouAppi as the home country for leading device manufacturers Samsung and LG, the company has appointed Youngho Hahm as VP and GM, Korea. He joins from Unity Technologies, where he served as managing director, Unity Ads, leading the company’s ad business development in Korea. Prior to joining Unity, he led the developer relations team in Korea for app monetization provider Tapjoy. He came to mobile early, having planned WAP content at the beginning of his career and later developed his own mobile reference app.

A major focus for YouAppi’s marketing and business development teams globally in 2020 is ReAppi, a fully managed programmatic app retargeting solution which enables marketers, app developers, and agencies to benefit from full-funnel app retention.

“I’m thrilled that Nancy, Ashley and Youngho are joining YouAppi at this pivotal point as we experience serious traction and extensive industry recognition for our ReAppi App Retargeting technology solution,” said YouAppi CEO and co-founder, Moshe Vaknin.

Adverty opens up in the UK, hires two
In-game display advertising platform Adverty has opened a UK office, bringing the Adverty platform to the UK. The expansion includes two strategic hires in the UK with ex-Bidstack senior commercial development manager, Alex Ginn, joining the team as head of sales UK, and Julia Smith taking up the role of PR director, EMEA.

Alex Ginn has more than a decade’s experience in senior sales roles within companies including Metro/Evening Standard, Immediate Media, Sublime Skinz and most recently, Bidstack. He will be responsible for building up an extensive sales and ad operations team in the UK for Adverty whilst working with agencies and brands to enable them to advertise in-game at scale.

With 25 years’ experience, Smith has been engaged by Adverty as PR director. Working with the Adverty team, Smith will implement a high visibility communications strategy to increase the brand awareness of the business. Smith has held major commercial roles at Associated Newspapers, The Mirror Group Newspapers, Dennis Publishing and IAB.

Adverty works with agencies such as GroupM and Dentsu Aegis and the expansion of the business across EMEA follows on from a significant increase in demand from advertisers looking for in-app advertising at scale and for publishers who want to monetise their gaming inventory.

“2019 was a year of exceptional development and milestones for our business and we are pleased to start 2020 by continuing this expansion into such an important market,” said Adverty CEO and founder, Niklas Bakos. “We will be building up a team and business here in the UK and we are pleased to welcome Alex and Julia to help drive this growth.”

Andersen takes up development role at Adform
Integrated advertising platform Adform has appointed Michael Holmberg Andersen as chief development officer, based in Copenhagen. He joins Adform from business intelligence company Targit, where he was chief technology officer. Prior to that, he spent three years with KMD, and before that he was with Danish IT company SimCorp for more than 20 years.
At Adform, Andersen will lead Adform's global team of IT and engineering specialists, with a focus on innovation as the firm continues to scale its platform.

Zahtila to head up revenue at Realeyes
Computer vision and emotion AI company Realeyes has named Joe Zahtila as its chief revenue officer. In his new role, Zahtila will be responsible for the go-to-market strategy for Realeyes’ new emotion AI products, as well as overseeing global growth initiatives.

Zahtila joins Realeyes as the company prepares to launch several new products that apply computer vision and emotion AI to optimize customer experiences across digital channels, including video, streaming, gaming and mobile applications.

“It seems like every day there’s new evidence showing the direct link between emotion and human behavior, and Realeyes is the first company that’s leveraging that connection combined with cutting-edge computer analytics to drive results,” Zahtila said. “With disruptive new products and applications coming to market in 2020, this is an exciting time to be joining Realeyes.”

Zahtila is a MarTech veteran, having served roles in media, technology and advertising measurement over the past 20 years. As part of the founding team at Dynamic Logic, he oversaw sales and marketing, research and product development, eventually transitioning the company into MillwardBrown Digital after its successful acquisition by Kantar, WPP’s data and insights consultancy. Most recently, he served as SVP, audience and advertising at Lucid, managing the company’s marketplace diversification.

Winkles to CFO, Walpert Levy to the board, at Braze
Customer engagement platform Braze has appointed Isabelle Winkles as its chief financial officer (CFO) and added Tara Walpert Levy to its board of directors.

Winkles has almost 20 years’ experience in finance leadership roles. She joins Braze after serving as the chief of staff to the CFO at professional services company Cognizant. Prior to Cognizant, she spent 18 years at Morgan Stanley, where she worked across investment banking and equity research, and, following the financial crisis, established and led new finance teams to support strategic business decisions in the context of evolving global regulatory landscapes.

New board member Tara Walpert Levy brings nearly three decades of relevant marketing and technology experience to the board of directors. She currently leads agency and brand solutions for Google and YouTube. She is responsible for Google's multi-billion dollar advertising and tech business with third-party agencies and marketing partners. Prior to her current role, Levy led Ads Product Marketing for Google, YouTube, and Doubleclick.

"After recently crossing the $100M ARR (annual run rate) milestone, with our eyes firmly on the future, we are excited to welcome these two fantastic leaders to our team," said Bill Magnuson, Braze CEO and co-founder. "Both Isabelle and Tara will be instrumental in guiding Braze through our next stage of growth, and beyond."

Loomis hires four
The Loomis Agency, a full-service advertising agency in Dallas that works with national and regional challenger brands, has announced four new hires.

Christina McKinney joins the firm as an account director. She has almost two decades of advertising experience, from national to local clients and experience with healthcare organizations to retail brands, and will head up the agency’s newly-acquired Texas Oncology account.

Jenna Oliver joins the agency as brand manager at LOOMIS. She has six years’ experience working for a full-service advertising agency, where she planned and managed integrated campaigns for a variety of clients, including consumer packaged goods brands and regional dairy council organizations. The company has also recruited Choong Lee as a senior art director and Lauren Jilek as a brand coordinator.

Digital Remedy appoints two to the board
Digital media execution and optimization firm Digital Remedy has appointed two new board members.

Alex Chatfield, VP of sales and account management for Xandr’s strategic buying platform, Xandr Invest, is a programmatic industry veteran, having joined AppNexus a decade ago as employee No. 35. Today he manages a distributed team that supports Xandr’s North American agency customers both pre- and post-sales. Chatfield brings global business experience to the team, having served as a senior consultant for IBM Global Business Services, supporting several multiyear, multimillion-dollar projects for Fortune 500 companies.

Quique Nagle, CEO and co-founder of Advisr, a SaaS-based sales acceleration platform, has more than 15 years’ experience as a founder, operator, and investor in several emerging technology businesses, as well as enterprise software and service organizations. Prior to Advisr, Nagle led Customer Success at Collective/Visto, and held leadership positions at Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG) and Operative, in both New York and London.

Digital Remedy provides omni-channel, multi-DSP media execution with a proprietary platform backed by industry experts, knowledge, and insights.

Bulhmann takes non-exec role at Croud
Global digital marketing agency Croud has appointed Jerry Buhlmann, former CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, as non-executive chairman, in the wake of record growth and a recent multi-million pound investment for the independent business. Buhlmann’s focus will be to support the management and Board of Croud and accelerate the agency’s global growth, taking Croud’s model into the next decade.

Founded in 2011, Croud provides marketing strategy and consultancy alongside SEO, PPC, content, programmatic, paid social, creative, and analytics services to brands including Vans, AMC Networks, The North Face and Hiscox. Croud also launched its global marketing platform for in-house teams, Serpico, in 2019.

Buhlmann invested in the business as part of the recent £30m minority stake investment from LDC, the private-equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group. Croud’s co-founders Luke Smith and Ben Knight will be working alongside Buhlmann to further accelerate the agency’s global growth, which last year reached over 40 per cent year-on-year growth and an annual revenue of over £15m.

Buhlmann has over 30 years’ experience in the media and advertising industries, most recently as chief executive of Aegis Group plc and then of Dentsu Aegis Network from 2010 to 2018, where he was a key driver of growth and led a number of high profile acquisitions, including the sale of Aegis Group PLC to Dentsu and the acquisition of Merkle. He is currently senior independent director at Inchcape PLC, a director of Madison Sports Group and a senior advisor to management consultancy, OC&C.

“It’s an absolute honour to welcome Jerry Buhlmann to Croud’s board,” said Croud CEO and co-founder, Luke Smith. “He is A-league when it comes to our industry, and brings a wealth of experience to our business. This is a huge validation of both the business the Croud team has built over the past eight years, but also our decision to remain independent and partner with LDC. With Jerry’s support and guidance we can continue on our mission to become the world’s finest technology and communications group over the next decade. “

Two senior hires for Mediafly
Mediafly, which provides sales enablement technology, content management and advisory services, has appointed Keith Parrish as chief financial officer and Regis Moore as vice president of sales enablement.

As CFO, Parrish will report directly to COO, John Evarts, handling Mediafly’s financial strategy and operations. Parrish is replacing Evarts, who previously held both CFO and COO roles. The transition will allow Evarts to work more closely with Mediafly CEO Carson Conant, to continue Mediafly’s growth

Prior to Mediafly, Parrish was the CEO of iPresent, a UK-based sales enablement platform. Following Mediafly’s acquisition of iPresent in August 2019, Parrish joined the team as EVP of European operations. With more than 30 years’ experience, Parrish began his career working with KPMG. The experience led him to the role of CFO at Peoples Phone, where he helped guide the company through a $100m sale to Vodafone in November 1996.

As vice president of sales enablement, Moore will be responsible for taking Mediafly’s sales enablement and solution engineering capabilities to the next level, providing teams with the necessary tools and resources to impact revenue. Prior to Mediafly, Moore was on the Enterprise Solution Engineering team and lead partner enablement at Showpad. Over the past 30 years, Moore has worked at a variety of enterprise organizations, including Adobe and IBM, where he served as a technical lead, transforming the way customers leverage products for efficiency and success.

Petterle takes up AI Council co- chair role at BIMA
Digital and tech community BIMA has announced its new generation of BIMA Council Chairs. Sandro Petterle, technology director at Rufus Leonard, has been appointed as new co-chair of the BIMA AI Council, alongside Simone Babb, AI lead at Digital Catapult. In total, BIMA has 18 councils and think tanks which explore the latest thinking, ensure representation and inclusiveness, and prepare the industry for the future.

As co-chair of the AI Council, Petterle will bring an experienced ‘agency implementor’ perspective, continuing to drive innovation and excellence across the industry, sharpening focus in the key area of AI.

He said: “I’m excited to co-chair the council, sharing best practices and knowledge, to help agencies navigate the complex and evolving AI opportunity; from recognising where they are in their AI maturity ladder, to what offers, strategies and knowledge they need to get to the next step. My experience in bringing together highly skilled people towards a common goal should help make this council a productive one.”

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