Movers and Shakers: Essence, Thinking of You, Pixability and JCDecaux

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 to right) Tim Irwin, Matt Jerwood, Matt Duffy, Chris Collins, Dallas Wiles

Irwin moves up from COO to CEO, EMEA at Essence
Essence, a data-driven global media agency, part of GroupM, has appointed Tim Irwin to the role of CEO, EMEA.
Irwin has more than 20 years’ experience in executive roles at media agencies, and joined Essence at the beginning of 2018 as COO for EMEA. Prior to Essence, he served as COO at Maxus and managing director at Maxus predecessor, BJK&E.

Since joining Essence, Irwin has played a crucial role in creating the operational infrastructure that has allowed the company to scale rapidly, fully integrating the agency’s service offering, growing annual billings by nearly 35 per cent, and increasing headcount by 25 per centto more than 500 employees throughout Europe.

“Essence has exactly the right mix of talent, business model, service offering, and client partnerships necessary to fundamentally move the industry forward in the months and years ahead,” said Irwin. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible team to help bring these elements together in ways that will change the way people think about what a data science-led agency can do to deliver value to consumers and drive growth for businesses.”

Jerwood takes up ops role at Charity disruptor
Mobile donation brand Thinking of You which launched in beta in November, has hired Matt Jerwood as its operations director. He brings 18 years’ experience across digital and fundraising to the role.

Jerwood spent the last seven years at Oxfam GB as head of engagement and head of digital fundraising. Prior to this, he spent time at Global, and Dennis Publishing. In his time at Oxfam, he led the development and launch of the multi-award winning ‘My Oxfam’, flexible-giving app, which aimed to rebuild trust and increase transparency. He also oversaw programmes that pioneered innovative approaches to income-driving supporter engagement through digital, such as the use of data visualisation, virtual reality, mobile payments and contactless.

His role at Thinking of You will involve bringing together all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations, plus spearheading product, experience, partnership and marketing acquisition. He will report to Thinking of You founder, Johnny Pitt.

Backed by a range of the UK’s leading charities including Shelter, Stroke Association, Rethink Mental Illness, Children with Cancer UK and Make-A-Wish, and supported by The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Thinking of You lets people donate easily from their mobile in four ways. They can send a thought and optionally donate in the moment to someone, or to their charity of choice. They can create fundraising events, supported by a live fundraising feed that keeps mobile contacts in the loop about their efforts. They can set up ‘In Memory’ and ‘Legacy Fundraising’ campaigns. Or donate directly to charities from their phone.

Pitt said: “This started as a seed of an idea five years ago, and Matt’s arrival, along with significant investor, partner, charity and customer engagement, is further validation of what we’re doing. We’re really excited by Matt, and for the opportunity that’s there.”

Two senior hires for Pixability
Pixability, which provides insights and optimisations for video advertising across YouTube, Facebook, and Connected TV, has announced a pair of strategic new hires to strengthen its executive team. Matt Duffy joins as the firm’s CMO, while Lata Ahuja has been hired as its VP of engineering.

Duffy brings more than 18 years of digital marketing leadership experience to the executive team. Most recently, he served as CMO of ClimaCell, a weather tech start-up. Previously he also served as VP marketing at LogMeIn and led the marketing organisation at Jumptap, a mobile ad tech company that was acquired by Millennial Media.

Ahuja brings more than 10 years of experience building and leading large technical and operations teams. Prior to joining Pixability, she built and scaled engineering teams at Carbon Black, Constant Contact, Cartera Commerce, and other high-growth companies.

“We’ve had a tremendous year of growth and innovation this past year positioning 2019 to be a year of scale for us, so adding team members that have led organisations through high growth is critical to our success,” said CEO David George. “I’m confident that with Matt and Lata joining in their new positions, Pixability will continue to be a first mover and innovator in the burgeoning video advertising ecosystem and their additions will only increase the tremendous momentum we have in the marketplace.”

Collins and Wiles appointed co-CEOs at JCDecaux
Out of Home and Digital Out of Home ad firm JCDecaux UK has appointed Chris Collins, the MD of its Rail and Retail Divisions and Dallas Wiles, its chief commercial officer, as the firm’s new co-CEOs. They replace Spencer Berwin and Philip Thomas, who will move to new positions as non-executive directors, reporting directly to Jean-François Decaux.

He said: “I have worked with Spencer and Philip for many years and they have been instrumental in developing and delivering our market-leading digital transformation. They have secured a fantastic platform for the future including the contract wins of Network Rail, Heathrow Airport, TfL bus shelters and more recently Westfield shopping malls. They will continue to work with the business to develop channels and partnerships as new opportunities open up in the digital and technology space.

“True to our tradition of promoting internal candidates, I am delighted to appoint Chris and Dallas to the roles of Co-CEOs, promoting senior talent from within our company as we look to a new digital trading future and the build-out of our contract wins. These appointments underline the importance of both sides of our business – concession contracts and advertising sales.”