Movers and Shakers: RhythmOne, MediaMath, Syzygy, Uberall 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: Kumaran Sambandam, Matt Cox, Greg Sterling, Raul Martinez, Imran Elahi, Oliver Wood, Janice Radomsky,  John McGarry

Sambandam takes up partnership role at RhythmOne
RhythmOne has hired Kumaran Sambandam as vice president of international demand partnerships. In his new role, Sambandam will oversee the programmatic growth of the RhythmOne Supply Side Platform (SSP), leading the programmatic demand team for the international side of the business and focusing primarily on expanding the international market.

Sambandam has spent more than 12 years working in the advertising technology and media industry. Most recently, he held the position of senior vice president of global revenue at Matomy Media Group, in which he led the development of an in-app only ad exchange, grew global revenue for the business and spearheaded its UK operations.

Sambandam has also held positions at MobFox, InMobi and AOL, and started his career as a data scientist working in analytics, before making the move into advertising and technology.

“It’s important for us to provide innovative solutions to connect brands with consumers, and Kumaran’s appointment will enable us to achieve this on a global scale,” said Gal Topaz, SVP exchange operations and sales at RhythmOne. “We were very impressed with Kumaran’s track record, working within ad tech, and have every confidence in his ability to align our strategy with our demand partners.”

MediaMath appoints Alberti-Perez to CFO role
Ad tech firm MediaMath has appointed Milena Alberti-Perez as its chief financial officer. Based in New York, she will report to MediaMath president, Konrad Gerszke.

Alberti-Perez is a seasoned finance and media executive, with 20 years’ experience. She started her career in banking and most recently served as CFO of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher with more than $3bn in revenues. As CFO, she directly oversaw an organization of more than 100 people, spanning reporting, M&A, royalties, real estate, cybersecurity, audit, and financial planning. She notably advised Random House in the merger of Penguin and Random House, the largest transaction in book publishing history.

A native Spanish speaker and international executive, she has significant board experience and enjoys volunteering with non-profits that focus on literacy, news, education, and wildlife. She lives in NYC with her husband and three children.

The leadership news comes just months after the company’s announcement of SOURCE by MediaMath. This is an industry-wide effort to create an accountable and addressable supply chain, through an alliance of agencies, brands, tech companies, and content owners, designed to provide improved marketing performance and long-term sustainable solutions for a clean digital media supply chain with brand-safe, fraud-free, and viewable inventory.

“We are delighted to welcome Milena to the MediaMath team,” said Gerszke. “Her deep finance expertise and experience leading large teams in a mature, global organization, coupled with a strong media background, is a strong addition to our leadership team. Milena’s track record in successfully navigating transformations and executing on long-term business plans will be a key asset as we enter our next phase of growth and continue to drive adoption of SOURCE to achieve a fully accountable and addressable digital ecosystem.”

One new hire, two promotions at Syzygy
Digital agency Syzygy has appointed Matthew Cox as a strategist, and promoted Matt Brown and Matt Wills to director of media and director of design and build respectively.

Cox brings extensive experience in data strategy, arriving at SYZYGY following five years as a strategic planner for Wunderman. Previously, he held positions as a creative planner at The Brooklyn Brothers, iris worldwide and Publicis Chemistry, with client experience spanning Disney, Virgin Galactic, TK Maxx, Barclaycard, UEFA, EE, Gatwick and VISA.

He will be drawing on his creative and planning experience to develop strategies for the agency’s clients and driving SYZYGY’s insight-led digital services, reporting into strategy director, Dom Waghorn.

Following a period of significant contribution to the business and recent new business wins, Matt Wills and Matt Brown have both been promoted to expanded roles. Brown is promoted to director of media, broadening his current position to encompass the direction and growth of the media component of the agency.

Wills is promoted to director of design and build, and will play a key role in leading and progressing the company’s ‘digital architect’ offering. In a further move, Philip Stelter has relocated to SYZYGY’s New York office, where he adds MD of SYZYGY US to his current role as global chief media officer.

“Client demand for smart thinking is such that we are rapidly expanding our strategic team and are delighted to welcome someone of Matt’s calibre to the team,” SYZYGY UK CEO, Ita Murphy. “He will make a robust addition to the UK team, offering our clients access to leading-edge digital thinking and strategy. Additionally It’s immensely gratifying to acknowledge Matt Wills and Matt Brown’s leadership roles, given their significant contributions to the company.”

Sterling brings insights to Uberall
Digital platform Uberall has appointed Greg Sterling as the company’s first VP of market insights. Sterling brings 20 years of experience as an analyst, writer, and researcher, focused on digital and location-based media and marketing.

In this new role, Sterling will support multiple internal teams, and lead research and content initiatives within the company. They will include leveraging Uberall’s unique data and insights to help benefit the company’s enterprise customer base, channel partners and resellers, as well as the broader market. Sterling will also be speaking at and programming events.

He has extensive experience in location marketing and intelligence, digital strategy, research, content development, and event programming. Before joining Uberall, Sterling was the VP of strategy & insights at LSA, where he helped accelerate the organisation’s transformation from a traditional media trade group to a leading digital marketing association for location-based marketers.

He said: “I’m thrilled to join the exciting Uberall team. “There’s still a considerable amount of work to do to educate and help brands and marketers to deliver effective ‘near me’ experiences to their customers; and Uberall is doing some great and innovative things to meet those needs.”

Martinez takes on commercial brief at Upstream
Mobile technology company, Upstream, has appointed Raul Martinez as its new chief commercial officer. Based in London, Martinez will be responsible for driving Upstream’s revenue growth and business acceleration across new and existing markets.

Prior to joining Upstream, he spent more than eight years with the Millicom Group, leading commercial, marketing and strategic functions for the Group’s Mobile and Mobile Money Divisions in Latin America and Africa.

Prior to Millicom, Martinez was responsible for revenue management and pricing at one of Latin America’s leading airlines, where he also held a number of commercial and strategic business roles after completing his Business & Economics degree at ESEN in El Salvador. He also holds a Sloan Master’s degree from the London Business School.

Welcoming the appointment, Upstream CEO Dimitris Maniatis said: “Raul brings a wealth of international commercial, marketing and strategic business development experience to Upstream. I am confident he will drive business growth, fostering the talent within our existing teams and advancing the continued expansion of our worldwide business as Upstream is becoming the go-to digital monetization partner for mobile operators.”

Talon Outdoor hires Elahi to innovate
Independent Out of Home (OOH) media firm Talon Outdoor has appointed Imran Elahi to the newly-created role of head of digital. Elahi is charged with driving digital OOH innovation alongside Talons Strategy and Transformation teams.

He has more than 10 years’ experience in digital marketing and ad tch, including roles as sales and commercial lead at UserTribe and Criteo, and as a digital consultant at Accenture Interactive, where he helped to guide major UK businesses through programmatic in-housing and proprietary ad tech development processes. He takes up the new role immediately and is based at the company’s London head office, reporting to Jonathan Conway, Talon’s chief strategy officer.

Elahi said: “By answering the demands of advertisers for more data driven targeting and measurement, DOOH is poised for exponential growth. This is an exciting time to work in OOH and I am looking forward to capitalising on Talon’s industry leading platforms and playing my part in the broader technology-driven transformation the medium is undergoing.”

Wood to perform at Spark Foundry
Spark Foundry, the Publicis media agency, has hired Oliver Wood as its head of performance. A senior digital marketing and performance media specialist with over 18 years’ experience, Wood will be managing Spark Foundry’s PPC, SEO, paid social and affiliate capabilities, under a united Performance department.

Wood joins the team from Group M, where he held several roles. Most recently, he was head of performance for global clients at Wavemaker UK. Prior to this, he ran the Maxus performance division of over 90 people.?Wood has worked with a wide range of clients, including Apple, BT, L’Oréal and British Airways.

He said: “I am thrilled to have joined the Spark Foundry family. I am really looking forward to working with my new team and taking on a new challenge within an exciting, forward-thinking agency, under Lindsay’s [CEO Lindsay Turner] brilliant leadership. I’m excited to get stuck into delivering the best value and performance for our clients, along with innovation and excellence across all media.”

New MD and strategy director for Barbarian
Barbarian, the digital creative agency backed by Cheil Worldwide, has appointed John McGarry as managing director, Samsung, and Janice Radomsky as group strategy director. As managing director, Samsung, McGarry will oversee all of Barbarian’s Samsung business, leveraging his 25-plus years’ experience in digital marketing and advertising from both client and agency side.

He spent the majority of his career developing interactive marketing programs for clients in the technology, travel, telecommunications, consumer products, health and fitness, banking and entertainment industries. Notably, he served as chief digital officer and partner at Mcgarrybowen, working with Fortune 500 brands including Marriott, Chevron, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, and United Airlines.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the incredible team at Barbarian. They have a rich history of marketing innovation and developing new transformative ways to enhance the customer experience.

Backed by her diverse background and experience in brand strategy, Radomsky will oversee the entire strategy department alongside Barbarian’s CSO, Andrew Dawson. Prior to Barbarian, she served as head of brand and innovation planning at Diageo, where she helped to shape brands including Johnnie Walker, Baileys, and Smirnoff. She has held director of strategy roles at creative, digital, content and brand agencies, leading the strategic development for brands across industries, including CPG, retail, financial services, beauty, automotive, healthcare, and non-profit organizations.

She said: “Im excited to bring my agency and client experience in shaping the strategies of global brands, to the outstanding team at Barbarian. Im inspired by the innovative work the agency has created in the past, and Im looking forward to being part of its future.”

Eisenberg to head up growth, Garrison, people, at Tinuiti
Tinuiti, an independent performance marketing agency working across Google, Facebook and Amazon, has promoted Jesse Eisenberg to chief growth officer and Jen Garrison to chief people officer.

Eisenberg joined Tinuiti more than 11 years ago, and during his tenure has acted as a driving force behind the success of the agency throughout its evolution. His promotion recognizes his success in serving for the past year as senior vice president of business development, in which he led the sales team to expand relationships with existing clients, sign top-tier brands to the agency roster, and surpass revenue goals. In his new role, he will oversee Tinuiti’s global sales team, with responsibility for developing new client relationships, mapping out client goals, and ensuring that sales and marketing efforts are closely aligned to deliver scalable growth and overall client satisfaction.

Garrison steps into the new position of chief people officer after serving as senior vice president of people for Tinuiti and managing the successful integration of employees, operations, and technology following the agency’s three major acquisitions – social ad agency OrionCKB, email marketing and creative agency Email Aptitude, and Amazon-focused eCommerce agency, CPC Strategy.

Garrison’s leadership during the integration of the acquired agencies focused on building “One Team, One Dream” with an unwavering focus on maintaining the agency’s award-winning culture, and steered the agency through a hiring boom that increased the agency’s headcount by 60 per cent. In this new position, Garrison will oversee the HR, facilities, operations, IT, and people teams to ensure a holistic employee experience.

“We’ve built our agency on a unique model that empowers our team members to ‘unleash greatness,’ and by investing in our client and people teams, we’ve been able to grow our agency, deliver unmatched results for our clients, and maintain our award-winning culture,” said Tinuiti CEO, Zach Morrison. “I feel really fortunate to have worked alongside Jesse and Jen as we’ve grown Tinuiti into an agency that was just recognized by Ad Age as the #1 Best Place to Work for the second year in a row, and I look forward to working with them to bring our agency to even greater levels of success.”

Zynga UA head Choi heads to ConsumerAcquisition
John Choi has joined as vice president of user acquisition (UA). He joins with a wealth of experience in user acquisition from his most recent role as head of UA at Zynga, where he looked after games such as Words With Friends, CSR Racing and Zynga Poker, and his previous UA roles at Kabam, Glu Mobile and CAPCOM.

Choi brings over 12 years of global UA experience throughout the game industry across a wide range of genres including Action, Shooter, RPG, Casino, Word, Strategy, Adventure, Kids, Puzzle, and Sports. Hes worked with both original IP and licensed brands, offering ad optimization strategies that utilize auction logic and automation with social and programmatic ad partners.

Consumer Acquisition has managed over $3bn in creative and social ad spend for the largest mobile games and apps. As Facebook and Google drive towards full UA automation of media buying, Consumer Acquisition shifted to build a Hollywood-based creative team to deliver and optimize video ads at scale and offer high-end media buying for cross-platform campaign management through its AdRules self-service platform.

Choi said: “Consumer Acquisition is the clear leader in Facebook and Google UA for mobile games and I’m delighted to join the team. For years, they have proven their deep expertise and innovation in high-end media buying and creative optimization to become the clear UA leader in mobile gaming. They are uniquely positioned to design creative that delivers return on ad spend, while offering unbeatable media buying that complements internal UA teams around the world.”

Legal brief for Gaudin at VideoAmp
VideoAmp, a software and data platform for advertisers working across linear TV, OTT and digital video, has appointed Andrew Gaudin, as chief legal & privacy officer. He will be tasked with expanding the company’s base of clients and partnerships, and driving privacy compliance initiatives without compromising on quality. Gaudin brings over 30 years of experience to the role, having previously worked for a wide variety of media and technology firms, including DoubleClick, Adobe, FreeWheel Media and Comcast.

“Privacy is of paramount importance to our clients and their consumers and so this is constantly at the forefront of our team mindset as they provide accurate, advanced measurements and analytics without compromising consumer safety,” said VideoAmp co-founder and CEO, Ross McCray. “Andy will play a pivotal role in ensuring we deliver on our strategy to achieve the perfect balance of putting consumer privacy first whilst simultaneously nailing best practice in measurement and media monetization.”

Sharma takes up CFO role at Digital Risks
Insurtech Digital Risks, which describes itself as “a flexible, personalised insurance provider for start-ups and SMEs”, has appointed Anil Sharma as its CFO.

Sharma joins the company with over 15 years’ experience working within fast-moving start-ups, such as Aventus and Homelyfe, and large multinational businesses within the life and non-life spaces in corporate development and finance, including Prudential and AXA. His most recent role was at insurtech start-up Aventus, where he played a key role in setting up its finance function, and helping the company fundraise as it grew and developed its enterprise software. At Digital Risks, Sharma will work closely with the founders, Cameron Shearer and Ben Rose, helping lead the company’s expansion as it scales and starts to enter new markets.

Sharma said: “Digital Risks has established a strong position in the market in a short period of time, with a forward-thinking product. Joining the team at this point in its growth cycle is an excellent opportunity to provide a much needed digital proposition to an under-served audience.”

Granston joins Zignal Labs as chief customer officer
Zignal Labs, whose Impact Intelligence platform aims to measure the real-time evolution of opinion and identifies which topics, people and networks can shape it, has promoted Jennifer Granston to the position of chief customer officer.

Granston has more than 20 years of communications, marketing and analytics experience, and joined Zignal Labs in March 2019 as head of strategy and insights. In her new role, she will oversee customer engagement and experience, ensuring each customer receives maximum value from the platform as they use Zignal’s data to create actionable intelligence to support critical business goals and brand decisions. To support this work, Granston will lead initiatives and teams across multiple divisions, including Customer Success, Implementation, Training and Strategy & Insights.

“Jennifer has worked closely with our top customers to help them realize concrete business gains using Zignal’s platform,” said CEO and co-founder Adam Beaugh. “She has deep expertise working with the world’s best communicators, marketers, researchers and risk managers to connect the dots between the promise of augmented analytics and bottom-line returns. She has become an integral member of the team, and we look forward to her continued leadership.”