Movers and Shakers: Snap, Group Nine, Abzorb, Mather, 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) Kenny Mitchell, Brian Lee, Matt Dykes, Harvey Turner, Gulrez Alam, Sarah Clarke

Snap gets its first CMO
Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, has hired Kenny Mitchell as its first-ever chief marketing officer, starting in June 2019. Reporting to CEO Evan Spiegel, he will lead all consumer and product marketing programmes.

Most recently, Mitchell held the role of vice president of brand content & engagement at McDonald’s USA, where he guided the company’s strategic brand and consumer marketing agenda in the US. Prior to McDonald’s, he served as head of consumer engagement at Gatorade, where he led all global integrated consumer marketing efforts and pioneered the usage of Snapchat vertical video and augmented reality tools.

Mitchell has also overseen brand and consumer marketing for Nascar and served as vice president and general manager at the Dew Tour, a division of the NBC Sports Group.

“Snap is a great company with strong values, an inspired vision and innovative products that are empowering its global community,” said Mitchell. “I look forward to helping Evan and Snap continue to tell their story to people around the world, and working with my new colleagues as we define the future of the camera and self-expression.”

Lee recruited to lead Group Nine’s commerce business
Group Nine Media, the mobile-focused digital media holding company behind Thrillist and NowThis, has named Brian Lee as executive vice president of commerce. Based in Group Nine’s New York headquarters, he will be responsible for licensing, merchandising, affiliate advertising, and direct-to-consumer products around the company’s brands, which also include The Dodo and Seeker.

Lee is the founder of SKIG, a New York based accelerator providing early stage startups with capital, strategic advisory, and business development opportunities. Most recently, he exited with Maker Studios, a digital content studio. At Maker Studios, Lee built the company’s merchandise and commerce business from conception all the way to its eventual $675M acquisition to Disney in 2014. 

“Group Nine has some of the most loved and impactful brands, coupled with the ability to leverage a host of deeply powerful insights,” said Lee. “I believe we are uniquely positioned to make huge strides in this space and can’t wait to get started.”

Abzorb hires Dykes as CCO
Abzorb Systems, a B2B telecoms service provider, has appointed Matt Dykes as chief commercial officer as it bolsters its senior team following record growth in 2018.

He joins following a 20-year career in the wholesale telecoms industry at Vodafone and O2. He brings an in-depth knowledge of the channel and strong relationships with the networks to Abzorb.

“This is a hugely exciting time to join Abzorb. The company has consistently posted double digit growth over the past three years and my goal is to make sure this organic expansion continues,” said Dykes. “The business has set a strong foundation for growth. We are now scaling up our technology roadmap to drive the pace of change for an industry that will soon be characterised by 5G, AI and data-driven decision making.

“The hosted telecoms technology and customer-centric approach at Abzorb is in their DNA and my goal is to transform the company from a commercial perspective.

“The opportunities to grow around our network-agnostic mobile offering and replace legacy systems architecture with cloud-based technology is huge. Our product roadmap reflects this and we are looking forward to launching exciting new products and services throughout 2019 and beyond.”

Clarke takes up MD role at Mather & Co
Sarah Clarke has re-joined Mather & Co, becoming the design consultancy’s managing director. She will oversee its studio and take a strategic view across all live and upcoming projects.

Clarke has over 15 years’ experience working in the museums, attractions and exhibitions industry and previously worked at Mather & Co as project director for five years before becoming a freelance exhibition consultant for more than two years.

She began her career on the Imperial War Museum’s Churchill Museum project team in 2002 and has held roles as exhibitions manager at the Natural History Museum, and head of exhibitions at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

“We have some incredible projects and plans in the pipeline, so it is a fantastic time to rejoin the company and see them come into fruition. It’s great to be able to lead the team as we secure even more pioneering design work in the UK and beyond,” said Clarke.

“It’s a really exciting time for the business, and my previous experience in the industry, coupled with an in-depth understanding of Mather & Co, means I can hit the ground running as we finalise the latest wave of truly unique exhibition and design projects.”

Affle brings in Alam to lead investment & strategy
Mobile marketing firm Affle has appointed Gulrez Alam as chief investment & strategy officer. He will be focused on driving the group’s strategy and investments and use his experience to extend the company offerings to clients across the world.

Alam comes with 15-plus years of experience in digital media and has been successful entrepreneur having founded Resultrix, a leading digital marketing company across five countries. The Publicis Groupe later acquired Resultrix and he was appointed as the chief development officer for APAC at Zenith Optimedia (part of the Publicis Groupe). His most recent venture was an algorithmic trading company.

“This is an exciting time to join the Affle group as it is experiencing growth momentum through both organic and inorganic initiatives,” said Alam. “I am looking forward to be part of Affle’s growth journey and collaborate with its entrepreneurial teams across markets to drive growth through new strategic initiatives.”

Turner joins Dept as MD
Digital agency Dept, previously Building Blocks, has recruited Harvey Turner as managing director for design & technology in the US. He will lead in orchestrating the development of the agency’s service offerings in the US from its base in Boston.

Turner has nearly 25 years of experience producing quantifiable results in terms of sustainable growth, increased revenues and new business opportunities. He has previously head a managing director position at Grand Union, chief operating officer positions at Fresh8 Gaming and Quill, and chief executive officer at Bodugi Technology.

“Dept offers a best-in-class service offering, creating experiences that people want and businesses need,” said Turner.”I’m thrilled to join such a rich, diverse and vibrant company culture of experienced thinkers and makers. I look forward to this opportunity to spearhead innovation, growth and change for Dept in the US.”