Movers and Shakers: GroupM, The Evening Standard, Mubaloo, Mapp 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: Demet Ikiler, Karl Loudon, Barbara Agus, Lee Lythe, Fabrice Lévy, Gérald Sauvageon

Ikiler named EMEA CEO at GroupM
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has named Demet Ikiler as EMEA CEO, effective immediately. Ikiler, who will serve on GroupM’s Global Executive Committee, will lead GroupM’s operations in the region, while remaining WPP Country Manager in Turkey, a role she took on in 2013. Her role was most recently held by Dominic Grainger, who transitioned to WPP as CEO of specialist communications as of September 2019.

Ikiler is now responsible for strategy and operations in one of the world’s largest regions across GroupM’s agencies, including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence, m/Six and Xaxis. GroupM EMEA operates in 27 markets and manages $18bn (£13.8bn) in media investment billings, with 32 per cent market share and approximately 16,000 colleagues (source: COMvergence, 2019). She will also continue to oversee the success of all WPP business in Turkey. In addition to being the WPP country manager, she has also been the GroupM CEO in Turkey since 2011. She joined the group in 2000 as CEO of Mindshare.

“Demet has been an incredible asset to both GroupM and WPP for 20 years, helping to rapidly grow GroupM in the Turkish market during her time as CEO,” said GroupM global CEO, Christian Juhl. “Her openness to the pace of change and understanding the benefits of an emerging global technology and services capability makes her the type of leader we look for at GroupM. She has a tremendous passion for our clients, our people and the advertising industry, with the goal of making advertising work better for all people. I see her as a leader that understands both our clients’ need for growth and our agencies’ ability to thrive and differentiate.”

Ikiler said: “After spending 20 years building GroupM and WPP’s presence in Turkey, I’m excited and honoured to lead the EMEA region. I look forward to working closely with our exceptional senior leadership team and partners across our agencies to capture a new era of growth for our clients.”

Ikiler, who is extremely passionate about sustainability, gender equality and diversity & inclusion, was recognized for her contributions in 2019, being one of only two Turkish women named to the list of Global HERoes Top 100. She is also VP at the United Nation Global Compact, leading the diversity and inclusion chapter. She will split her time between Istanbul, where her family and dog live, and London.

White takes up commercial director role at The Evening Standard
The Evening Standard has appointed James White to the newly-created role of commercial director.
White will be responsible for all revenue lines across the multi-platform news brand, read by 2.5m adults daily. He will report directly into Mike Soutar, who was appointed chief executive in September.

White joined The Evening Standard in 2006 as an agency sales executive and was promoted most recently to chief trading officer. Prior to this, he worked at both The Scotsman and The Independent. He said: “I am delighted and very proud to be the new commercial director of the Evening Standard. The Standard is a genuinely iconic brand that offers best in class content across print, digital and events. We serve advertisers with a unique audience that offers scale and incredible ROI in London and internationally. I’m looking forward to working with the brilliant team here to ensure we continue to innovate, challenge and thrive in a dynamic media marketplace.”

Mubaloo promotes Loudon to newly-created role
Mubaloo has announced the promotion of Karl Loudon to the newly-created role of managing partner, enterprise & Mubaloo. Karl will report into Craig Lister, CEO of Mubaloo’s parent company, Reprise Network UK.

In his new role, Loudon will be tasked with heading up the Mubaloo agency and creating a world-class digital and eCommerce offering for clients. He will be also be responsible for further integrating the Mubaloo proposition into the IPG network, working closely with Mediabrands’ sister agencies, UM and Initiative, and continuing to lead on commercial growth.

Loudon joined joined Mubaloo in 2013 and has 16 years’ experience in the industry, working across brand and digital transformation for clients such as Hermes, RAC, Shred-It and PwC. In his most recent role within the network, he worked as head of client service for Reprise.

Based in London and Bristol, Mubaloo is a specialist team of Strategy, UX and Technical Consultants with experience across mobile, web, voice, AR, AI & location technologies. Clients including Natwest, RAC, TFL, JD Sports and the London Air Ambulance.

“This is a truly amazing opportunity for me and I'm excited about my new role within the Reprise network.” Loudon said. “My mission for Mubaloo is to build brilliant, user-centric, digital experiences on mobile and beyond. We will be broadening our impact on these experiences by supercharging them with performance media, ultimately delivering experiences that delight, and business change that innovates.”

Mapp hands partnership role to Liverani
Mapp, which operates the Mapp Cloud insight-based customer engagement platform, has appointed Nicola Liverani as senior director, partner global. The newly-created position is part of Mapp's strategy to expand its partnership management globally. Mapp has created a dedicated unit to manage relationships with agencies, resellers and technology companies.

Liverani has many years of experience in business development, sales and project management and an extensive international network. Most recently, he was country manager at customer intelligence provider, Webtrekk, which merged with Mapp in 2019. He was responsible for managing the Italian market. His other roles have been with Nielsen, the measurement and data analysis provider, and market research firm, Red Sheriff.

In his new role, Liverani will lead the new partner team from Italy. His key responsibilities include maintaining existing partner relationships and developing new ones. At the same time, cooperation with management consulting, technology and outsourcing service providers and technical partners will be expanded. He will also be responsible for defining and improving Mapp’s global approach to partnerships, ensuring consistency in messaging, pricing, recruitment, documentation and partner certification.

"Nicola is the perfect choice for the position of senior director, partner global, said Maurizio Mapp VP, global sales, Maurizio Alberti. “His extensive experience in the marketing and digital industry and his excellent network will be instrumental in raising awareness of Mapp products among our partners around the world.”

Agus to head up programmatic at Venatus Media
Global advertising technology platform, Venatus Media, has appointed Barbara Agus as head of programmatic, working out of the firm’s London HQ. Tasked with managing all programmatic revenues, Agus will work alongside the Venatus operational and sales teams to manage relationships with SSPs and DSPs.

She joins Venatus from Time Magazine, where she was director of digital monetization. She has over a decade’s experience in programmatic advertising, having held previous roles at The Weather Channel and Rubicon Project, before her stint at Time Inc.

Venatus recently announced the opening of its second office in the US after the success of its New York operation. The new west coast office is based in L.A. and will be headed up by gaming veteran, Kevin Wilen. Venatus is also bolstering its international offices with a slew of new hires to spur on its global growth plans.

Spark Foundry invests in Lythe
Spark Foundry UK has promoted Lee Lythe to the position of chief investment officer. In this role, she will lead the agency’s 100 strong investment team in the UK, overseeing all of Spark Foundry's media investments, trading activities and commercial partnerships.

Reporting to CEO Lindsay Turner, Lythe will be responsible for continuing to drive the innovation and integration of the Investment team into the business, leveraging the scale and clout of Publicis Media’s global investment practice, PMX.
Lythe, who is returning to the agency from maternity leave at the start of next month, was previously joint head of investment at Spark Foundry UK, working across clients including Asda, GSK, KAYAK and Dixons Carphone.

Turner said: “Lee is a passionate trader who always goes that extra mile to deliver outstanding results to clients. She has a brilliant proven track record, alongside excellent relationships with valued media partners. We are really excited to see her 'bring the heat' to our investment team.”

Uberall recruits 20-year veteran Lévy
Uberall, which describes itself as the ‘Near Me Brand Experience expert’ has hired Fabrice Lévy as its chief financial officer and EVP operations.

In the role, Lévy will be responsible for all aspects of finance, operations, and delivering on Uberall’s customer success strategy. In order to better understand and fulfil customer needs, Lévy will lead with a proactive, data-driven approach while also working on the tools and systems that will push scalability forward at the company.

Lévy has over 20 years in leading financial- and client-based roles within the fintech and SaaS industries, and joins Uberall from US-headquartered cloud treasury and finance solution company Kyriba, where he was CFO and EVP operations. He was previously chief client officer and CFO at the company and throughout his 12 years there, spearheaded Kyriba’s business transformation and growth, and was a crucial contributor to the company’s unicorn-status achievement in 2019.

“Lévy’s track record as a leader in the financial and client management space makes him the ideal person to join the team at Uberall as we continue to scale and expand our customer base,” said Florian Huebner, Uberall’s CEO and co-founder. “His understanding of what makes a business run smoothly and what makes customers tick will be a true asset to our company and his addition to Uberall’s executive team will ensure our continued growth.”

Iponweb appoints Zeltser as VP, client services for BidSwitch
Iponweb subsidiary BidSwitch, a global provider of programmatic infrastructure, has appointed Valerie Zeltser to the role of VP, client services. Zeltser will oversee BidSwitch’s client relations teams and strengthen the company’s strategic accounts to increase market growth through deeper engagement with buy and sell-side partners. Located in the company’s New York office, and reporting to BidSwitch general manager, Barry Adams, she will also work with other senior management team members on developing the strategic direction for products, services and future client engagement models.

Zeltser joins BidSwitch from Xandr (formerly AppNexus), AT&T’s advertising company, where she led customer-facing teams across strategic enterprise accounts, and helped build and grow the AppNexus publisher business. She has also held a number of management roles in digital media and the advertising technology sector.

Of the announcement, Adams said: “As the digital ad tech ecosystem continues to evolve, grow, and shift, having Valerie, an industry veteran, join BidSwitch to lead our client services team is a huge boost to our business. Valerie’s strong background in strategic account management will ensure BidSwitch is equipped to navigate the shifting environment and increase our ability to deliver top notch services and address the challenges our partners face.”

Ex-Googler Sauvageon takes up sales leadership role at Smart Adserver
Smart Adserver, an ad monetization platform built for premium publishers, has appointed Gérald Sauvageon – previously head of broadcast/entertainment at Google – as senior VP sales, video/addressable TV.

With 20 years’ experience in the ad tech and digital advertising industry, including 15 years at Google and DoubleClick, Sauvageon is charged with developing Smart AdServer’s business in the international video and addressable TV markets. The objective for Smart, which recently announced the development of its proprietary solution for management of TV ad campaigns (from activation of audience data to delivery of targeted ads on all channels), is to build strong relationships with service providers, operators, and broadcasters.

“The convergence of TV and digital is having a considerable impact on the digital advertising value chain,” Sauvageon said. “All parties have to reinvent themselves, and we can expect new business models to emerge. Smart's unique status as an independent and trusted third party puts us in the unique position to support broadcasters and telecom operators in this transformation. It is this value proposition, based on a shared interest approach between all the players in the value chain, that made me want to join Smart today.”

TVSquared promotes Kinsella to president
TV attribution firm TVSquared has appointed its former chief revenue officer and executive vice president, Jo Kinsella, as President. In this role, she will lead TVSquared’s global commercial portfolio, including client relations and strategic partnerships, across the advertising ecosystem.

Kinsella is a 20-year software veteran, with a proven track record of bringing innovative products and services to market. Prior to TVSquared, she held various executive positions at Lucera, Sumerian and British Telecom, among others, where she focused on leading go-to-market strategies and revenue growth in support of industry and client needs. Throughout her career, Kinsella has been an outspoken champion of diversity and is widely recognized as a passionate thought leader.

She has been instrumental in TVSquared’s rapid expansion in North America, the company’s largest and fastest-growing market. During the past six years, she has led strategic partnerships, including Effectv and NBCU, and empowered thousands of advertisers to leverage TVSquared’s cross-screen, multi-touch attribution platform. Kinsella is also a prominent voice in the TV advertising industry, bringing the need for transparency and proof of performance to the forefront.

“Jo has been instrumental in transforming the way brands, agencies and media owners think about TV, driving industry-wide change by bringing platform-based attribution to advertisers across the world,” said TVSquared founder and CEO, Calum Smeaton. “She continues to act as an industry advocate, helping to preserve and grow TV investments as media dollars consolidate.”

Dooley to MD at Brandshapers
Sales, marketing and distribution firm, Brandshapers, has promoted Liam Dooley to managing director. Brandshapers works with brands across food & drink, baby, healthcare, wellness and beauty, including Ella’s Kitchen, Bacofoil, Real Techniques and Seven Seas.
Dooley brings 15 years’ sector expertise to the role. Before joining Brandshapers, he spent a decade at McCauley Pharmacy Group, where he held buying responsibilities for multiple categories and also led the company’s online business. Previously at Brandshapers, he held the posts of business unit manager and commercial manager.

He said: “Brandshapers has an unbeatable reputation for growing brands and our current client portfolio includes a fantastic mix of market leading brands across many categories. The team here is committed and highly dynamic with a superb approach to client service along with detailed channel expertise. This role is a wonderful opportunity to lead the company into the next stage of its journey.”

George P. Johnson hires one, promotes two
Global experience marketing agency, George P. Johnson (GPJ), has appointed Lucie Fox to the role of executive producer. The agency’s Integrated Production team, established last year to bring together expert teams under a unified banner, has been further bolstered by the promotions of Alexandra Keech and Chris Heyland to executive producers.
Fox, previously operations director at Produce UK, will report to Fran Elliott, head of integrated production, and will lead on large scale projects for Workday Rising Europe and NetApp. She has previously held roles with LeFox, FIRST and Imagination, working with brands including Westfield, Oracle and The Carlyle Group.

Keech and Heyland, previously senior event director and senior producer respectively, have been promoted as a result of exceptional client service performance, particularly when pushing creative boundaries and retaining trust. In their new roles, they will have overall accountability for the quality of projects delivered, providing best-in-class industry expertise for the Integrated Production offering at GPJ.

“Lucie’s appointment demonstrates our commitment to bringing the best and brightest to our ever-expanding talent pool,” said head of integrated production, Fran Elliott. “Alex and Chris are both committed to supporting their direct reports and broader team in their professional development, as well as supporting the ambition of the Integrated Production team to create solid succession plans across some of our flagship projects.”