Movers and Shakers: GroupM, Pinterest, Mediacom, GumGum, and more

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 left to right) Jennifer Remling, Carin Lee-Skelton, Adam Potashnick, Patrick Gildea, Brian Walker, Mike LaPeters, Mark McLaughlin, Kyoko Matsushita 

GroupM picks Remling to take charge of people
Jennifer Remling has been named global chief people officer at WPP’s media investment group, GroupM. She replaces long-time talent chief Tim Cecere as he moves into the role of global head of people transformation at WPP.

Remling brings experience from roles at R/GA, AKQA, 360i and, most recently, Essence. She joined Essence as chief talent officer after its 2015 acquisition by GroupM and WPP. Here, she led people solutions through critical phases of international expansion, growing the workforce by 40 per cent as the company opened 18 offices worldwide.

“People are what make GroupM great – their creativity, drive for innovation, entrepreneurialism and passion for helping our clients grow. Jennifer really understands this and has spent the better part of the last four years working tirelessly alongside myself and our leadership team to build Essence into an agency where people truly are our biggest differentiator,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s incoming CEO. “I look forward to what she’ll achieve together with the incredible talent leaders across GroupM.”

Cecere has been with WPP in one way or another since 1989 when he joined Ogilvy as human resources manager. In his new role, he will focus on the architecture of an enterprise-wide people function that will enhance the capabilities of an integrated team for the benefit of WPP’s more than 130,000 people worldwide. As part of this, he will help re-think the ways in which to leverage enterprise technologies to support the career advancement and working lives of WPP’s people.

Lee-Skelton chosen to lead Pinterest’s Australia Business
Pinterest has appointed Carin Lee-Skelton as its Australia and New Zealand country manager following the opening of an office in Sydney.

Lee-Skelton, who has managed sales organisations at Pinterest for the past four years in the UK, will be focused on growing Pinterest’s work with brands in Australia and New Zealand to help businesses to succeed on the platform and ensure users are able to discover the most relevant content.

“I’m excited to work closely with businesses of all sizes in Australia and New Zealand to help them reach their audiences on Pinterest,” said Lee-Skelton. “People go on Pinterest to try new things like outfit ideas, recipes, beauty looks, dream trips and even home remodels. As people come to Pinterest full of intent, businesses have a unique opportunity to inspire them to bring their ideas to life.”

Pinterest’s office in Australia is its third office in the Asia-Pacific region, joining its offices in Singapore and Japan. The company launched advertising in Australia and New Zealand in 2017.

MediaCom names Potashnick as COO
Adam Potashnick has been promoted to the role of US chief operating officer at GroupM subsidiary MediaCom. He will lead the strategic execution of driving excellence and efficiency across all operations of the business.

Prior to this appointment, Potashnick was chief growth officer at MediaCom from 2015. In that role, he led multiple successful new business pitches, including Uber, Bose, Ally bank, Adidas, Reebok, Hilton, Amtrak, Signet Jewelers, Indeed, PhRMA, Richemont, MetLife, Walgreens, Sony PlayStation, eBay, and more.

As COO, he will retain his leadership responsibility for business development while taking on additional responsibilities for the business and financial operations of new clients to the agency, product development and the speciality services divisions which includes content, social, sports and sponsorships.

“My motivation has always been to create real, long term business growth for MediaCom and for our clients and now I can ensure we’re bringing them all the very best of MediaCom, GroupM and WPP every single day. I can’t wait to get started,” said Potashnick.

Gildea joins GumGum to head up finance
Artificial intelligence firm GumGum has hired Patrick Gildea as chief financial officer as part of the company’s wider organisational and leadership changes.

Gildea joins with experience leading finance and strategy departments at businesses including Incentium, M-GO/Technicolor, Gracenote and, most recently, Joybird, which he led to a successful exit as acting CFO.

“A few months ago, we resolved to refocus our corporate strategy on the lines of business on which we were built––serving the advertising ecosystem,” said GumGum CEO Phil Schraeder. “Today’s announcements – Patrick Gildea’s addition to our executive team in particular – mark our commitment to that strategy. Patrick is a widely respected, high calibre executive, who knows what it takes to get the build on the success of global, tech-enabled businesses like GumGum. We’re all extremely pleased to have him on board.”

Elsewhere, Ben Plomion has been named chief growth officer, a newly created executive role responsible for creating value for clients, ensuring product-market fit, developing go-to-market strategy, and elevating customer experience. He will now lead the planning and sales team alongside the marketing team that he leads as chief marketing officer.

Adam Schenkel has been promoted to senior vice president of commercial development, another new role. Schenkel, who previously served as vice president of programmatic, will be responsible for maintaining and growing global advertising partnerships and integrations.

Travis O’Neil has been promoted to senior vice president of operations, where he will continue to lead GumGum’s account management, AdOps, design, and business intelligence team as he did during tenure as vice president of operations.

Finally, Ken Weiner, GumGum’s chief technology officer, will now oversee publisher development in addition to his engineering and product team leadership functions.

Essence gets new global CEO, experience lead
Kyoko Matsushita has been promoted to global chief executive officer at GroupM subsidiary Essence. Meanwhile, Claire Grinton has been moved up the ladder into the role of senior vice president, head of experience, EMEA.

Matsushita will replace current global CEO Christian Juhl, who will become global CEO of GroupM on 1 October. She will work closely with the agency’s global management team to continue driving its client-centric innovation in data, analytics, and technology, business growth, and employee culture.

Most recently, Matsushita served as Essence’s global chief client officer and CEO in APAC, having joined the agency in 2014. In her more than two decades’ experience, she has also worked at companies including Electronic Arts (EA) and Sony.

“I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to lead this truly exceptional agency at a time when data and technology give us so much potential to unlock value for our clients,” said Matsushita. “Essence was founded to lead the industry in creating trustworthy, relevant, and valuable advertising. I couldn’t be more excited to see what we can accomplish when we combine this mission with our clients’ ambition and the power of data science and big ideas.”

Reporting to executive vice president, global director of experience design Garrick Schmitt, Grinton will be responsible for unifying Essence’s media, creative, content, and partnerships teams in EMEA with strategy to help clients scale creative innovation programmes.

She first joined Essence in 2014, working out of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco before moving to London in 2016. Since joining the agency, she has been a key member of Essence’s experience team, most recently as vice president, global head of experience strategy, and has worked with clients including Google, Universal Pictures, and HP. Before Essence, Grinton worked at agencies including Mekanism, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and FCB.

“Whether it’s brand strategy, creative, or media, my experience has taught me the best solutions come when teams can draw from creative ideas across practices,” Grinton said. “Bringing these practices together will unify great creative thinking with great strategic thinking and transform the way we work, helping us unlock better creative solutions for our clients, faster than ever before.”

McLaughlin becomes chair of board at Qualcomm
Qualcomm has appointed Mark McLaughlin, former chairman and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks, as its chairman of the board, replacing Jeff Henderson, who has served in the position since March 2018.

Henderson, former chief financial officer of Cardinal Health, will remain on the board and continue to chair its audit committee.

“Jeff assumed leadership of the board during a period of unparalleled challenges, becoming our first independent chairman and guiding the board through the companys efforts to resolve significant business issues,” said McLaughlin. “The board is deeply appreciative of all that Jeff has done during this period of transition.”

Acoustic looks to Shea to manage transformation
Tim Shea has been hired as the first-ever chief transformation management officer at Acoustic, an independent marketing cloud. He is tasked with enhancing operational performance across Acoustic’s workstreams and transforming the way the company conducts business.

Shea is bringing more than 20 years of experience in the technology and service sectors into the role. He was most recently chief of staff & global head of corporate development and cost management at Getronics BV and senior vice president & chief administrative officer at CompuCom Systems.

“There are an overwhelming number of complex marketing tools available today, and Acoustic is filling a void in the industry by offering a simple, streamlined solution that focuses entirely on solving the challenges marketers face using open platform thinking,” said Shea. “I’m looking forward to overseeing Acoustic’s transformation as a standalone company with the market position, customer scale and proven technology to help marketers do their best work.”

LaPeters picked as VP of MSP at Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes, an advanced endpoint protection and remediation solution, has named Mike LaPeters as its vice president of worldwide MSP and channel operations. He will be focused on accelerating the company’s growth across the world, implementing new strategic initiatives to support the its continued expansion.

LaPeters joins Malwarebytes from AlienVault, where he served as vice president of global channels. In his 20 years of experience building and leading channel organisations in security, infrastructure, and storage software products, he represented the sales and channel efforts from inception through acquisition at four separate startups, acquired by the likes of Microsoft, Hitachi, SolarWinds, and Nimboxx.

“My passion is helping growth-stage companies achieve their full potential by tapping into key opportunities in MSP and channel sales,” said LaPeters. “I’m excited to work with Malwarebytes in part due to the company’s dedication to bring world class technology to the MSP and channel community, but also to extend its protection to new markets and customers in need of cutting-edge endpoint security solutions.”

Bloomreach hands strategy chief gig to Walker
Brian Walker has taken on the role of chief strategy officer at headless digital experience cloud provider Bloomreach. He will lead the company’s marketing team and play a role in driving its go to market and product strategies.

In his over 20 years in the digital commerce space, Walker has served in a range of roles including chief strategy officer at SAP Hybris, where he led marketing, product strategy, and channel both before and after SAP’s acquisition of Hybris software. Prior to that Brian was vice president and principal analyst focused on commerce technology at Forrester Research, managing director for global commerce strategy at Accenture Interactive and, most recently, chief strategy officer at Amplience.

“Bloomreach is a company Ive been watching for a while and Im thrilled to join their executive team at this point in their strategic evolution,” Walker said. “Bloomreach now offers the markets leading, API-first headless customer engagement and content solution. It has sophisticated AI built into its search, merchandising, and relevance services, and its APIs are the most robust and mature in the market. Also, the front-end frameworks and platforms they support and partner with are the most diverse. Todays customers, no matter if they are consumers or B2B users, expect simple, fast, contextual, and relevant experiences wherever they engage and Bloomreach is the supplier of choice for any business that aims to be at the forefront of delivering those.”

Vidal arrives as VibePay’s head of marketing
VibePay, a mobile peer-to-peer payments app, has added Nicola Vidal to its ranks as its chief marketing officer. She will be launching VibePay alongside young entrepreneur Luke Massie in September.

Vidal joins with over 19 years of experience from growing challenger brands including GiffGaff, ClearScore, and Wonga.

“This is a very exciting time to join VibePay and an amazing opportunity to work with an innovative challenger brand who puts their consumers at the forefront of their product,” said Vidal. “I can’t wait to launch later this year.”

VibePay, which was granted authorisation from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last month, was founded in early 2018 when changes to the Open Banking legislation enabled regulated businesses to access UK banks’ payments infrastructure. The app enables users to send and receive money by linking their bank account securely via open banking technology.

Prebid chooses Dove to take seat on its board
J. Allen Dove has been selected to join the board of, an independent organisation designed to ensure and promote fair, transparent, and efficient header bidding across the industry, joining existing members from OpenX, PubMatic, Rubicon Project, and Xandr.

Dove, chief technology officer at video advertising platform SpotX, joins the Prebid board as SpotX announces the availability of its latest Prebid adapter video header bidding solution.

“We are thrilled to welcome SpotX to the board as the first pure-play video platform and look forward to working together to make header bidding a first-class option for video publishers,” said Tom Kershaw, chairman of and chief technology officer at Rubicon Project. “As an independent organisation, Prebid.Org believes that working together with programmatic leaders like SpotX is the key to ensuring that fair, transparent, and efficient tools are adopted across the industry.”

De los Reyes to lead design at Varo
Mobile banking firm Varo Money has hired August de los Reyes as its chief design officer. He will lead the product design, brand design, and research teams.

Previously, De los Reyes led design for Microsoft Xbox, where he helped the company radically shift its design view to one that put inclusion and empathy at the centre of a product experience. Most recently, De los Reyes was a director at Google for the Search, Assistant, and News ecosystem and, before that, he led product design and research at Pinterest. He also spent more than a decade at Microsoft and helped design the internationalisation of Kodak’s web presence.

“Varos mission resonates with me because it fosters financial inclusion,” De los Reyes said. “It is the perfect problem space to apply inclusive design principles beyond physical or cognitive differences. Socio-economic exclusion affects millions of Americans. Varos potential impact could improve financial well-being at a national scale.”

Alteryx adds Heidersbach as marketing head
Amy Heidersbach has joined data science and analytics business Alteryx as chief marketing officer. She will be responsible for evolving the global go-to-market strategy and delivering data-driven programs that help businesses of all sizes leverage analytics to accelerate their own digital transformation and performance.

In her over 20 years of experience, Heidersbach has launched and grown marketplace businesses at Capital One and PayPal, and built purpose-driven brands at CareerBuilder, Magento, PayPal, and Visa.

“Alteryx is a dynamic brand and clear leader in the analytics space, evidenced by the companys continuous innovation, fast growth and customer passion,” said Heidersbach. “Enabling millions of citizen data scientists around the globe to learn faster, make better business decisions and have a positive impact on their customers is an important and audacious vision. Im thrilled to join the talented, passionate team that created the company we know today, and am ready to help Alteryx fully realise our vision by transforming how we use analytics to deliver more targeted, effective marketing programs and unleashing the thrill of solving for businesses and communities around the globe.”

Pair join Appen’s leadership team
Appen, which provides training data to improve machine learning, has hired Jon Kondo as senior vice president of sales and marketing and Roc Tian as senior vice president of China.

Kondo will be responsible for leading Appen’s global sales and marketing teams and ensuring strong alignment to deliver continued customer value and revenue performance.

Before Appen, he was co-founder and CEO of OpsPanda, which was acquired by Xactly. He also previously served as chief revenue officer at Replicon, chief executive officer of Host Analytics, group vice president at Oracle, and senior vice president & general manager of the Americas at Hyperion.

“AI and machine learning are transforming the way organisations deliver value to their constituents, and Appen’s quality offerings combining market-leading technology and crowd are unmatched in the industry,” said Kondo. “It’s such an exciting time to join Appen – the organisation has proven its leadership position in a hyper-dynamic market while maintaining the core values that make it a great company. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help lead the company to the next level of success.”

Tian is responsible for Appen’s business strategy, sales, marketing, delivery, operations and government relationships in the China region to ensure continued growth and high client satisfaction.

Most recently, he was senior partner of IBM, where he led the client services, public sector, and enterprise application service lines across the mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan markets. Before IBM, Roc was a business quality director for HP’s global delivery centre in China. He was also founder and chief technology officer of a startup prior to joining HP.

“Artificial intelligence is booming in China and is one of the most critical country-level strategic plans (called Next Generation AI development plan) announced by the State council. There is no doubt that China will be more open and proactive in accelerating digital transformation for the enterprise across all industries,” said Tian. “It’s extremely exciting to join Appen to support these initiatives for clients across China.”

GeekHive welcomes De Libero as a director
Gene De Libero has arrived at martech consultancy GeekHive as director of digital strategy and marketing technology. He will oversee the digital strategy and marketing technology branch of the company to bolster its selection of service capabilities that promote lifetime customer value.

De Libero hosts the ‘How Digital Marketing Works’ podcast and teaches digital marketing courses at the NYU School of Professional Studies, division of programs in business, and USFs Muma College of Business. He joins GeekHive after several years at Sitecore, where he served as digital marketing evangelist and as a director in the global strategy and industries group.

“Businesses need to ride the crest of change to stay relevant in todays marketplace, yet typically do not have the people to do so. Thats where GeekHive can help,” De Libero said. “Our team brings the experience, expertise, and skills to our clients that help them build solid digital strategies and unlock the power of their marketing technologies.”

Burger digs in to digital at MBT
MBT Marketing, a full-service marketing and advertising agency, has named Tim Burger as its director of digital.

In his more than 20 years of experience creating and leading digital marketing and social media campaigns, he was worked with account teams at both Amazon and Alibaba’s Tmall. He has developed and executed omnichannel marketing strategies for companies including Alaska Airlines, Hyatt Hotels and United Airlines, where he served as a global digital marketing and performance media leader. He was also previously digital marketing and eCommerce director at Delsey Luggage Paris, overseeing US eCommerce and digital marketing.

“I’m excited to join the MBT team. MBT excels at rapidly testing, analysing and producing effective creative across digital media platforms,” said Burger. “I look forward to bringing my experience in marketing technology, new media platforms and AI to further accelerate our client success in the future.”

R2i opts for Waite as media services VP
Andréa Waite has been appointed as vice president of media services at digital marketing agency R2i. She will lead the R2i team and services across a roster of existing and net new clients.

Waite has held managerial and/or leadership positions in her over 15-year career at places including Mindshare, Carat, and Starcom MediaVest. Most recently, she was with Verizon Media, where she was responsible for the strategic and commercial partnerships, including all C-suite/executive relationships.

“After a thorough search, we are thrilled to have found just the right leader in Andréa Waite,” said Jennifer Quinlan, R2i CEO. “Andréas extensive experience and accomplishments are a major asset as R2i continues to execute high-performing campaigns for our clients. And shes a great cultural fit – highly adaptable, curious by nature and a creative problem-solver with a global mindset.”