Movers and Shakers: Curve, Social Chain Media, Stickyeyes 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.

(Left - right) Paul Harrald,  Tom Whitlow, Richard White

Harrald takes the reins at Curve Credit
Curve, the Over-The-Top banking platform that consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, has appointed Paul Harrald, a founding member of SAV Credit, now New Day, to lead the company’s new Curve Credit Business.

He joins Curve from Chinese Venture Capital firm CreditEase, where he ran UK and European private equity investments and where he first developed a keen interest in Curve. Before that, he was CIO and Director of Analytics at SAV Credit, now the £1bn alternative credit business New Day, occupies a seat on RBS retail banking boards, and worked as a credit and risk advisor at Google. He was also one of the youngest academics to achieve tenure at Manchester University and has been a visiting Professor in Computer Science at UCL.

Curve Credit will enable Curve customers to pay off their credit card debt and to split transactions into instalments, flexibly and simply managed within Curve’s app.

Curve Credit will be an alternative to revolving credit and will feature the ability to make full, ad hoc, partial, and regular repayments from a variety of sources. Customers will have complete visibility of payment schedules and amounts outstanding. Although Curve Credit is still in its very early stages, Harrald has big plans for the new product and is preparing to apply for FCA approval.

"Paul’s credit industry expertise is second to none,” said Shachar Bialick, founder and CEO of Curve. “He has a remarkable track record for building and growing hugely successful credit products and it is a massive coup for Curve to have secured such a talent and be able to draw on his expertise as we look to enter the highly competitive credit market later this year.”

Cooke and Preston take up Stickyeyes roles
Digital marketing agency Stickyeyes has appointed Claire Cooke as associate content director, and Mark Preston as client strategy manager to bolster Stickyeyes Solutions team, which is responsible for the strategic development and critical analysis of all client campaigns.

Cooke was previously at Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi and has also held marketing and product management roles at Johnson & Johnson and L’Oréal. Preston joins from Epiphany Search.

Cooke said: “I was an in-house digital content lead when I listened to a ground-breaking presentation from the Stickyeyes team. Having worked with many agencies throughout my career, I was impressed by the calibre of data-driven and creative thought leadership that informs their approach to content and digital strategy.

“They continue to deliver incredible results with their campaigns because they underpin their approach with sound SEO expertise and have some of the brightest minds in the industry. I’m excited about the number of large global brands and home-grown SMEs who have recognised this talent and chosen to work with Stickyeyes, year after year.”

Preston said that after having worked in search and digital marketing for almost 10 years, he was looking for an agency that recognised the ever-present nature of digital and its interconnectedness with wider marketing and business strategy.

“With Stickyeyes’ impressive track record, insights-led approach and commitment to investing in exceptional talent, I’ve found exactly that,” he said. “Add to this the supportive framework of the wider IPG network ,which offers access to data, tools and people who would simply be out of reach for most other businesses and it became a pretty irresistible proposition”.

Three senior hires for Social Chain Media
Social Chain Media, part of Social Chain, has hired Adam Middleton as a strategy director, Tom Whitlow as head of podcasting, and Richard White as head of gaming.

Middleton has previously worked in partnerships, insights and strategy roles at LADbible Group and Zenith Media. He has developed strategy and creative concepts for numerous big-budget, social-first brands including PokerStars, Samsung and KFC.

In his role at Social Chain Media, he will be working closely with commercial, creative, data and publishing teams to create efficiencies internally and accelerate development of owned communities, channels and partnerships with global brands.

Whitlow joins Social Chain Media from Global Radio, and will be responsible for the creation, curation, and monetisation of best-in-class podcast content. He spent 10 years at Global Radio as part of a multi-award winning creative team, most recently as a senior creative account manager. There he was responsible for writing and directing podcast and smart speaker ads, and educating clients on the power of creative audio opportunities.

Richard White joins Social Chain Media as head of gaming, where he will be responsible for strategic, commercial and operational management across the portfolio of social-first gaming networks. Social Chain Media operate one of the largest social-first gaming networks in the world, including brands such as GameByte and FragHero.

White joins from Hill+Knowlton Strategies, where he led a team across the group’s sport and gaming businesses serving major blue-chip clients. White led the agency’s international Call of Duty team through two launches of the global franchise, as well as the launch of Call of Duty Mobile, contributing to a record 35m downloads in the first three days.

Costa takes up Italian job
Ad server has appointed Giorgia Costa as client services director, Italy. Based in Milan, she will support Flashtalking’s clients in the region to ensure smooth integration with its technology.

Costa brings several years of ad tech industry expertise, combined with strong leadership, business development and operations skills to the role. Prior to Flashtalking, she was at Sizmek Italy for over a decade, holding the role of team leader on the Customer Success Team. Her passion for delivering exceptional support to her clients began when she launched her career at Eyeblaster as a media and creative account manager.

“We’re delighted to welcome Giorgia to the Flashtalking team as we build out our client support services across the world,” said Flashtalking CEO John Nardone. “As we continue our ambitious global expansion, we are focused on ensuring customer success in all regions, through innovative technology and client strategy. This support system is integral to Flashtalking’s services and Giorgia brings a specialised skillset that is invaluable to our front-line client service operating out of Milan.”

Costa’s appointment is the latest in a series of key hires which expand and strengthen the company’s EMEA presence, including Juan Garriga, country manager, Spain, and Eric-Alexis Fortier, country manager, France.
Costa said: “As a media-independent partner, Flashtalking is unique in its ability to offer marketers accurate measurement and independent insights they can trust. I’m thrilled to be joining, to help drive the company’s global expansion by contributing to the on-going success of client integrations in the region.”

Cheetah Digital hires three to spearhead its efforts in Japan
Cross-channel customer engagement firm Cheetah Digital has appointed three executives to the company’s Japan office, including Takahiro Koke to the role of country manager, Takaaki Shirai, who joins as vice president and COO, and Mikoto Kato, who takes up the role of CMO. The three will lead efforts to introduce the Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite to brands in Japan, enabling them to deliver personalized experiences, cross-channel messaging, and loyalty strategies.

Koke has 25 years’ experience working with a wide range of technology businesses and will lead and generate new lines of revenue and partnerships at Cheetah Digital. Prior to joining the firm, he was the country manager for Github Japan, where he increased profits and reformed the organization.
Shirai will lead sales and service development in the Japan market. Most recently, he led sales teams at Adobe and Salesforce, where he helped create their digital marketing business in Japan.

Kato will oversee all marketing activities for Cheetah Digital in Japan. Kato joins the team with more than 20 years’ experience working for both B2B and B2C companies, including Salesforce and WPP Marketing Communications. Before joining Cheetah Digital, he oversaw all marketing activities around emerging marketing technology at Salesforce.

“As we see tremendous demand for our customer engagement solutions from brands across the globe, Japan continues to be one of our most strategic markets to invest in for growth,” said Cheetah Digital CEO, Sameer Kazi. “Takahiro, Takaaki and Mikoto bring a wealth of sales experience, corporate strategy expertise and proven track records of results to help drive our growth and client success in the Japan market. We’re thrilled to have them on the Cheetah Digital team as we introduce our Customer Engagement Suite to the region.