Movers and Shakers: Merkle, Swrve, Optimizely, Teespring and Forcepoint

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) Toby Benjamin, Tara Ryan,  Jo Ann Sanders, Eric Anderson, Chris Lamontagne, Matt Preschern

Benjamin to head up ad tech consultancy practice in new role at Merkle
Performance marketing agency Merkle has appointed Toby Benjamin to the newly-created role of consultancy commercial director. In this new position, Benjamin will head up a new EMEA ad tech consultancy practice launched by Merkle.

The consultancy gives clients the ability to access Merkle’s full range of services and talent across its addressable media, customer strategy, technology, CRM and customer experience offering, appropriate to the client’s level of maturity on their people-based marketing journey.

This approach, Merkle said, will allow clients to find the right blend between an in-housed and outsourced model. By combining Merkle’s agency expertise with that of a formal consultancy model, clients will be able to take more ownership of their media data and strategy to ensure total transparency.

This investment into in-housing responds to two key trends in the market: the growing demand for personalisation from consumers, and the increasing need to make the media and technology supply chain more transparent. These twin trends have led many brands to begin exploring in-housing as a solution.

Sitting within Merkle Periscopix (MPX), Merkle’s performance media agency, the new technology and in-housing consultancy practice will operate out of Merkle’s EMEA headquarters in London and be available to all clients across the region.

Benjamin said: “We are seeing a marked shift from clients towards total transparency, which Merkle has embedded into its DNA from the outset. In bringing our agency expertise directly to clients’ in-house teams, we can drive better marketing outcomes for businesses and consumers alike, in a way which is both sustainable and effective.”

Ryan takes up CMO role at Swrve
Swrve has appointed Tara Ryan as its CMO. In the role, she will drive the growth of the company’s intelligent customer engagement platform, which is built to enable global brands to optimize their digital presence across channels, devices, and time zones. Swrve has also announced Barry Nolan as the company’s new chief strategy officer.

Prior to joining Swrve, Ryan was the CMO for Skuid, a no-code cloud platform for rapid digital innovation; and CMO for Coupa Software, a leading provider of cloud-based financial applications. At Coupa, Ryan developed the company’s branding, marketing, and communications strategies for a successful initial public offering (IPO). She has overseen marketing, communications, and growth roles at global companies, and SaaS Reports recently named her as one of the Top Women Leaders in SaaS.

Swrve experienced significant market momentum in 2018, with expansion into APAC, and the launch of the Swrve 3.0 platform, which helps companies process real-time behavioural data from multiple sources, builds audiences, and triggers messaging based on user behaviour. In addition, Swrve was named a “leader” in the Mobile Marketing Platforms Gartner Magic Quadrant. The company’s clients include Ryanair and Travelex.

Optimizely hires two
Optimizely has hired Eric Anderson as its chief revenue officer and Jo Ann Sanders as vice president of product marketing.

Anderson will lead Optimizely’s sales team and drive the company’s global growth strategy. He brings more than two decades of experience leading and mentoring high-performing sales teams across both SaaS and enterprise companies. Previously, he served as chief revenue officer at Spredfast.

Sanders will take a leading role in defining and executing product marketing strategy and increased market awareness, including a strategic focus on Optimizely’s Full Stack product.

She brings more than two decades of experience leading developer-focused marketing organizations in rapidly growing their technology businesses. Most recently, she served as vice president of marketing at Xamarin, a Microsoft company, where she built the marketing team from the ground up and drove millions of developer downloads, using Optimizely to optimize the acquisition flow.

Lamontagne steps up to CEO role at Teespring
Teespring, an eCommerce platform which empowers creators to design, promote and sell their own products, has appointed Chris Lamontagne, former VP Commercial, as CEO of the company.

Lamontagne joined Teespring in 2016, working initially in the London office, where he helped with the integration of Teespring’s acquisition of European competitor, Fabrily. Prior to Teespring, he held various growth and strategy roles, including head of growth at on-demand ride-sharing app, Gett and latterly leading the growth team at private investment fund Hambro Perks.

Since relocating to Teespring’s Silicon Valley HQ in San Francisco, Lamontagne has been responsible for the commercial growth strategy and repositioning of the business, which has seen the business partner with YouTube, Amazon, and eBay. In 2018, Teespring announced its partnership with YouTube for a ‘merch shelf’ purchasing feature in the US, Europe and the UK. The feature is an example of Teespring’s mission to change the way consumers are targeted and ultimately, how they purchase.

Teespring has shipped over 25m products and paid out over $300m to its sellers, making more than 30 of them millionaires. Lamontage believes that any industry is capable of disruption if creativity and technology are amalgamated the right way.

He said: “I am thrilled to be able to lead Teespring through this exciting next phase of our businesses evolution. The last two years have been challenging, but incredibly rewarding. None of this would have been possible without the outstanding group of people we have across the business. 2019 is going to be an incredibly exciting year for all of the Teespring Community.”

Preschern takes CMO role at human-centric cybersecurity firm, Forcepoint
Veteran technology marketer Matt Preschern has joined cybersecurity firm Forcepoint at its CMO. Preschern will be based in Forcepoint’s Austin, Texas headquarters, reporting to CEO Matt Moynahan.

As CMO, Preschern will lead all aspects of global marketing including driving brand awareness, revenue generation, and sales enablement for the company. He brings more than 25 years of experience in brand, digital marketing, demand generation and revenue management, customer experience and corporate communications.

He will focus on extending Forcepoint’s leadership in human-centric cybersecurity, an approach that understands digital identities and their cyber behaviours to protect people and critical data everywhere.

“Forcepoint has established human-centric cybersecurity as the new paradigm for modern enterprises and global governmental organizations,” said CEO Matt Moynahan. “It is critical that executives truly understand the importance of having users and data at the centre of their design thinking in the digital transformation era. Matt is a proven and innovative marketing executive with diverse industry and international expertise and is the right leader to accelerate Forcepoint’s growth and category-disruptive brand position in the cybersecurity market.”

Preschern was most recently senior vice president of marketing at CA Technologies, where he was responsible for the development and execution of global, regional and partner marketing programs across all businesses. During his 25-year career, he has also served as the CMO of HCL Technologies and Windstream Communications.

“The cybersecurity market is growing at an unprecedented rate, and Forcepoint is in a unique position to disrupt the industry,” said Preschern. “By taking a human-centric approach, Forcepoint will challenge business leaders to think differently about security. I am keen to be part of Forcepoint’s compelling future of rapid growth and industry transformation.”