Movers and Shakers: Independent Digital News and Media, Adjust, Social Chain 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 top left: John Paton, Moshi Blum, Rosie Potter, Cat Wildman, Wendy Mazzoni, James Scott, Jonathan Kendall, David Adams

Paton takes the chair at Independent Digital News and Media
Independent Digital News and Media Limited has appointed John Paton as chairman. He joins from The Guardian Media Group PLC, where he served as director for the past six years, as well as two years as chairman of – the US-based charity which raises funds for independent and investigative journalism for The Guardian and its editorial partners.

In addition to The Guardian, Paton has significant experience as a media executive and investor and is co-founder of media advisory and tech investment firm IVA Ventures. Starting his career as a journalist, he has led media companies in the US, Canada and Europe, ranging from less than $20m (£16.3m) in revenues to more than $1.2bn, and from 100 employees to 10,000 employees.

He is the founder and former CEO of Digital First Media, the then number two newspaper company in the US, and co-founder and ex-CEO of impreMedia, the then largest Hispanic news company in the US. He has served as a director of public and private media companies across the world.
He said: “I am honoured to join The Independent with its commitment to best-in-class journalism. I share that commitment. I am very excited to work with the team to rapidly expand the first truly independent, digital pure-play quality journalism company in the world.”

Adjust recruits Blum from Rakuten Viber to head up Israel operation
Mobile measurement, fraud prevention and cybersecurity firm Adjust has hired Moshi Blum as general manager Israel. In his role, Blum will be responsible for accelerating growth in the market and building out the Adjust team in Tel Aviv.

Dubbed the “Startup Nation,” Israel is home to more than 6,000 startups, and hosts R&D bases to more than 300 global technology companies.” Currently, 9 per cent of Israelis work in the tech industry, but the Aaron Institute for Economic Policy predicts that this will rise to 15 per cent by 2030.

Blum joins the company from Rakuten Viber, where, as head of user acquisition and growth, he utilized both organic and paid strategies to drive app growth, while also overseeing the retention of more than 900m users worldwide. He has nearly a decade’s experience in business development, marketing and sales in Israel, with a specialization in mobile growth. Prior to Viber, Blum was head of social at Moburst, an Israeli-based company helping brands and startups grow their mobile business.

“As a major tech hub where we already have our Unbotify company, Israel is a great place for us to expand our presence,” said Christian Henschel, co-founder and CEO of Adjust. “With his vast experience in mobile marketing Moshi will help Adjust leverage its culture of innovation and establish a strong foothold in the Israeli market.”

Blum’s appointment comes during a busy and successful year for the company. Adjust acquired two companies at the beginning of the year, and in June, secured one of Europe’s largest funding rounds to date this year, raising $227m. It will use the capital to invest in the product, bolster talent acquisition, and strengthen mrket share in new and existing regions, including Israel.

Adjust opened its Tel Aviv office earlier this year after acquiring Israel-based company Unbotify, and launched a bespoke, individually-tailored solution harnessing AI and machine learning to end in-app bot fraud. The acquisition forms part of Adjust’s broader commitment to fight fraud on a global level and extends Adjust’s vision to make marketing simpler, smarter and more secure, and offer actionable data insights to help customers scale their business.

Social Chain hires three
Social first agency, Social Chain, has announced three new hires. Neil Jones joins the firm as account director, Rosie Potter as UK talent director, and Ben Harris as sports account director.

Jones will be working largely on strategic partnership with the company’s clients to help them achieve their targets. Prior to joining Social Chain, he had been in the industry for six years, previously working as a senior account manager at MediaCom North, working across clients including Hillarys Group, National Tyres, CarFinance247 and Allianz.

Potter will be helping to create and define the talent strategy across the UK. She will be communicating the variety of opportunities to join, grow and be part of a global family.  She previously worked at MediaCom North for two and a half years across a variety of industries including healthcare, oil and gas and IT. She also established the MediaCom North Recruitment function and developed its future talent strands. She has been involved in a number of diversity and inclusion projects, an interest which she takes with her to the Social Chain Group.

Harris will lead the sports team in innovation and delivering best-in-class social campaigns, working with new and existing clients in the world of sports and sports activation. He previously worked at PHD Manchester Media for eight years, for clients including Manchester City FC, IRN-BRU, Rubicon, British Cycling and New Balance.

Wildman to head up product delivery at Potato
Digital product development studio, Potato, has hired ex-Telegraph director of product, Cat Wildman to lead product delivery across its studios in London, Bristol and San Francisco. At the Telegraph, Wildman built and led the publisher’s digital product team, instilling agile and lean methodologies.

She is also co-founder of Gender Equality Collective, a platform and community of change aimed at redressing gender equality in homes, schools and businesses. She will provide invaluable leadership in driving Potato’s role in improving diversity and inclusion within the sector.

She said: “Potato is at a very exciting point in the growth of its product leadership capabilities and I’m excited to start working with the team to define that experience for our clients and ventures.”

Her appointment is part of a wider hiring drive across Potato, with leadership teams taking responsibility for each studio. Potato’s Bristol studio has recently appointed Ollie James as commercial director while Fredrik Delin and Charlie Harding have been promoted to product delivery director and product design director respectively.

Brandt and Mazzoni join Teespring
Social commerce platform Teespring has appointed Conrad Brandt as VP, finance and Wendy Mazzoni as chief of staff.

Brandt brings over 15 years of experience at both private and public companies, where he has developed and led finance teams from early-stage through to IPO. He previously worked at Access Information Management, overseeing the completion of 21 acquisitions. He led the company through growth which resulted in the business’ annual revenues doubling in less than two years.

In her role, Mazzoni will oversee employee operations. She is an experienced executive who has worked primarily in technology, media, and ad-tech focused organizations.

She said: “I’m thrilled to join Teespring during such exciting developments in the company and the social commerce industry as a whole. The staff are integral to Teespring’s success and I look forward to continuing to strengthen the team.”

Scott takes up commercial role at GlobalWebIndex
GlobalWebIndex, which supplies audience insights to the global marketing industry, has appointed James Scott to the newly-created position of chief commercial officer, where he will champion the growth and scalability of the business.

Scott will be responsible for the commercial strategy and development of sales, account growth and customer service activities to drive market share. He will oversee inside sales and existing and new mid-market customers, making sure that all functions of the organisation are aligned to meet its strategic commercial objectives. Sebastian Hedencrona, chief revenue officer, will continue to drive the enterprise division of the company, working closely alongside Scott.

Scott began his career with a seven-year stint at UBS, before migrating to the start-up world, initially working with start-ups in Dubai and later building his own businesses in the US.

He joined Groupon in 2011, and was soon promoted to head of sales and later managing director, running a team of 450 and transforming the UK into the fastest-growing country across Groupon’s 42 markets. For the past two years, he has been scaling the commercial function at Fospha, a marketing technology business which delivers digital attribution.

He said: “Businesses that not only have the potential to scale, but also the mindset for fast growth are places I’ve always been drawn to. My greatest successes have stemmed from working with groups like this and that’s precisely what makes this move to GlobalWebIndex so exciting.”

SMS disruptor Augnet hires Kendall
London-based tech startup Augnet has Jonathan Kendall as its commercial director. Augnet plans to address what it describes as “the current global lack of governance and traceability in SMS messaging”.

Kendall has headed up teams at Juniper Networks, Vodafone, Telstra, Motorola and Cap Gemini. Over the past five years, he was retained by top tier venture capital firms to work within disruptors in their portfolios including Comverse, Skipjaq and Zalaris, to deliver fast growth and help initiate and accelerate product-market fit to scale-up challenges and support exit and disposal scenarios.

“We are excited to welcome Jonathan Kendall to the Augnet team,” said Augnet founder and CEO, Daniel Gill. “Jonathan’s calibre of experience, network and respect within the industry will be of huge value to us as we continue to transform the SMS and messaging space. He will play a large part in taking Augnet to the next level.”

In the last two months, Augnet has secured a £1.3m investment from industry experts and investors led by the VC Triple Point, in addition to receiving sought-after funding from the European Innovation Council. Augnet is on track to show substantial growth over the next two years.

Adams takes up CTO reins at Atheneum
Global insights firm, Atheneum, has appointed David Adams as chief technology officer. Bringing over 30 years of experience to the role, his appointment will complement Atheneum’s technology-enabled Research-as-a-Service (RaaS) model to provide faster insights and better data to its clients.

Based in the company’s London office, Adams will play a key role in developing Atheneum’s Global Insights Platform, utilising machine learning that will underpin the system to support the organisation’s plan to grow in excess of 50 per cent year-on-year to 2025.
Atheneum provides a gateway to reliable industry knowledge, sought after by investment firms, global corporations and professional service firms. The platform currently features a network of over 450,000 experts, spanning a wide range of industries including healthcare and life sciences, consumer goods and services and technology.

Adams was previously the founder and managing director at DSC, a software development company with a diverse portfolio of clients, including JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Virgin Atlantic Airways. He also co-founded Chime Advisors, an expert network where he built a machine learning-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform. Atheneum said it will integrate its existing technology with Chime Adviser’s machine learning model to deliver the next-generation expert network.

Adams said: “Atheneum has the fantastic combination of having a large client base, a global presence and the personnel and infrastructure to deliver a system that will enable us to provide reliable insights to a huge audience. I’m delighted to be part of this exciting phase of the company’s growth and leading the development of our Global Insights Platform.”

Experience marketing agency goes for experience
Experience marketing agency George P. Johnson (GPJ) has hired Kerstin Twachtmann as director of strategy & planning and Matthew Rickard as executive producer.

Twachtmann joins GPJ’s strategy and planning team, having previously worked as Lead Strategist at AmazeRealise, where she was directly responsible for overseeing global brands, including Lexus, Pret A Manger and Nickelodeon. With a wealth of experience as a digital strategist, Twachtmann will add value in response to changing client demands and help expand GPJ’s strategic planning consultancy. In particular, Twachtmann will help spearhead how IBM selects and invests in experience marketing, while pushing the boundaries on existing client projects.

Rickard steps into his role on GPJ’s new integrated production team following more than a decade of industry experience, including time as operations director at Wonder London and production director at Cake Havas. He has worked on several global brands throughout his career, including EE, Google, YouTube, HSBC, Aston Martin and BBC3.

As an Executive Producer at GPJ, Rickard will be reporting into Fran Elliott, head of integrated production, with responsibility for leading Cisco Live EMEAR, next taking place at The Fira in Barcelona in January 2020.

“Kerstin and Matt joining the senior team, the latest in a long line of moves to bring in the industry’s best and brightest, demonstrates our commitment to continually improve both our talent pool and offering to clients,” said Jason Megson, GPJ VP, managing director, UK & Nordics.