Movers and Shakers: Talon, Airship, NMPi, WildBrain 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: Frank Bryant, James Copley, Michael Lavoie,  Ed Camargo, Munyaradzi Hoto, Jocelyn Morris, Sean Whitty, Steve Manners

Talon restructures at the top
Independent OOH (out of home) agency Talon has unveiled changes to the management structure of the business, with founders and managing directors Frank Bryant and James Copley assuming new responsibilities. Bryant becomes group chief operating officer, while Copley is appointed CEO for the UK business. Both will report into Talon group CEO Barry Cupples.

He said: “Elevating the roles of Frank and James gives us the best chance to meet the challenges that we know lay ahead. They allow us to focus senior management time on leading and innovating change in OOH, whilst embracing the realities it brings to the business in light of the increasingly fluid media industry. Talon has enjoyed real success to date through its growth mindset and proactive relationship with clients and agencies.

"James assumes leadership of an experienced and talented UK team whilst Frank will oversee multiple areas of the business at Group level and focus on delivering growth initiatives. We have also put a strong team of experts in place around them and are well placed to maximise opportunities in key areas including technology, evidence measurement and expanding our offer across Digital OOH, offering smarter as standard solutions to our clients in the exciting and expanding OOH media vertical.”

Airship hires Lavoie for customer success role
Customer engagement company Airship has appointed Michael Lavoie to the role of senior vice president of customer success. In this role, Lavoie will lead Airship’s global customer success team, with responsibility for all post-sale customer relationships and the delivery of all services provided to Airship’s customers. He will report directly to CEO and president, Brett Caine.

Lavoie brings more than 20 years of experience leading global customer services organizations for marketing technology companies to the role. Most recently he was chief customer officer at Marketing Evolution, which provides online-to-offline marketing attribution software. Prior to that, he was SVP of customer success at data visualization and marketing operations software company TapClicks.

At eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, Lavoie was responsible for integrating three distinct companies – email, marketing data management and mobile – into a single operating unit, while streamlining its customer success organization to improve the quality and timeliness of client support. He also held multiple executive leadership roles in his 14 years at Epsilon, including EVP of global digital operations where he oversaw digital services delivery across all geographies, and participated in the acquisition and integration of several companies.

“Michael’s incredible depth of experience in building and leading world-class customer success organizations are of tremendous value to Airship and our customers,” said Airship CEO and president, Brett Caine. “As the newest member of our executive leadership team, Michael’s track record in multichannel marketing services, operational excellence and developing talent will be of tremendous benefit to our company and the global brands we serve.”

Camargo takes up the US reins at NMPi
Digital agency NMPi has appointed Ed Camargo as managing director US, operating out of the agency’s New York office. The company also has offices in Los Angeles, the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Camargo has more than 23 years’ experience in digital media. Before joining NMPi, he worked as VP of digital paid media at ForwardPMX, where he was responsible for the strategic vision and operations of the SEM, Display and Social Media departments. At NMPi, he will be responsible for driving the firm’s US strategy.

The appointment forms part of NMPi’s and its parent company, Incubeta’s, global growth strategy to create a market-disrupting, full-service digital agency built on transparency, brand safety and outcomes-based performance.

Incubeta CEO Luke Judge said: “It’s fantastic to have Ed join us as Managing Director in the US. As an agency, the US is a key market for us in 2020. We are already working with some amazing brands in the region and I’m excited to see these relationships strengthen and grow as we bolster our team with the necessary talent to drive our positioning in the market forward.”

WildBrain hands YouTube brief to Manners
WildBrain, a global kids and family content company whose brands include Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou and Inspector Gadget, has appointed Steve Manners to head up a new initiative designed to maximise opportunities for brand licensors and content creators to reach consumer audiences through YouTube. In the new role, Manners will work with clients to build brand management programmes that leverage the expertise of WildBrain’s established consumer products licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG, and its digital network and studio, WildBrain Spark, which offers one of the largest networks of kids’ channels on YouTube, with over 145m subscribers.

Maarten Weck, EVP and Managing Director at WildBrain CPLG, said: “We have been working closely with our colleagues at WildBrain Spark as the licensing industry becomes increasingly attuned of the potential of YouTube and other digital platforms for launching, supporting or reinvigorating IP. Steve is the ideal person to spearhead business initiatives that help inform and support our clients as they look to navigate the digital landscape, and his new role will help maximise the synergies across our businesses.”

As VP, business development WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Spark, Manners will report to Maarten Weck and Jon Gisby. Manners has nearly 30 years’ experience in consumer products. Since 2010, he has been a key member of the management team at WildBrain CPLG. Prior to joining the company, he held senior positions at 20th Century Fox, Universal and Beanstalk.

Mobica seeks a solution with Whitty hire
Global software services company Mobica, has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of Sean Whitty as head of solutions. Whitty will be based at the company’s new Munich office and will oversee Mobica’s complete technology solutions offering, from chip to cloud. His responsibilities include enhancing Mobica’s existing technology portfolio, by growing a new range of solutions that will enable customers to tackle their technical challenges.

Whitty brings more than 15 years’ experience in software services and solutions, having joined from Luxoft, an international custom software development company. His previous work saw him coordinate delivery for consulting and engineering services, develop customer-specific tools and apply technical focus to complex domains, such as E/E architecture and in-vehicle network design for the automotive industry.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at such an exciting time for the company”, he said. “Its reputation as a strategic partner and unrivalled technical expertise were both a huge draw for me. I’m thoroughly looking forward to building on existing customer relationships and bringing my own industry expertise to new clients.”

Babu takes up CRO role at Aqilliz
Aqilliz, a blockchain-enabled digital marketing solutions provider, has appointed ex-Coty regional sales director for Southeast Asia, Venkatesh Babu, as its chief revenue officer (CRO). With an established career in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector spanning almost 25 years, Babu has held roles at multinational cosmetics, fragrance, and skincare conglomerate Coty and leading global multinational FMCG corporation Procter and Gamble (P&G). In his new role at Aqilliz, he will be responsible for all the company’s go-to-market initiatives across key geographies in the Asia Pacific region.

He said: “CROs have seldom been associated with the emerging tech sector but the rise of direct-to-consumer businesses has prompted a change – the ability to foster profitable yet meaningful customer relationships is everything. I am excited to be joining the team at Aqilliz as we continue to refine our go-to-market strategy. By establishing new partnerships and ensuring that we deliver maximum value to our partners’ and their customers’, we can hope to translate this meaningful growth to revenue as we expand to new geographies.”

Prior to joining Aqilliz, Babu served most recently as Coty’s regional sales director for Southeast Asia for the past four years, where he was responsible for go-to-market, sales, and business development for the cosmetics, personal care, and fragrances portfolios.

During this time, he was part of the strategic team that was involved in the integration of P&G’s 43 beauty brands in Southeast Asia, an acquisition valued at $12.5 billion. With two decades of experience at Coty, he is a seasoned emerging markets expert with a proven track record in implementing market entry strategies and business development across diverse geographies in Europe and Asia Pacific. Before Coty, Babu began his professional career at P&G Prestige Beauty (formerly Cosmopolitan Cosmetics) as the market development manager for Russia.

Led by Gowthaman Ragothaman, former global client lead at WPP, Aqilliz leverages blockchain technology to address sector-specific challenges across the digital marketing industry, including reconciliation on the digital supply chain; verification and authentication of transaction parties; and risk mitigation in costs and consumer outcomes. Created in collaboration with Zilliqa, a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform, the company aims to provide bespoke enterprise solutions to facilitate a fairer digital marketing ecosystem underwritten by greater trust, transparency, and engagement.

Outform adds three to EMEA senior management team
Global retail and innovation agency Outform has announced three new hires. Keith Fleet joins the firm as EMEA operations director, Jocelyn Morris as EMEA finance director, and Sorana Duca as EMEA marketing and communications manager. The appointments follow a sustained period of growth for the company, which has seen its business in EMEA double in size since 2016.

Fleet, who brings 20 years of global industry experience to the role, has a remit to deliver globally for Outform EMEA’s clients and optimise the business’ in-house manufacturing operation with its international supply chains. Morris, who will oversee the development and delivery of a growth financial strategy, brings a wealth of experience from her previous hi-tech, IT, and manufacturing roles. Duca will be responsible for overseeing all marketing for the EMEA region, as well as corporate communications and events. She brings over a decade’s worth of experience in global media and advertising to the role.

All three will support Outform EMEA in its mission to work with the world’s leading and most ambitious brands to define the future of retail. They will report into Simon Hathaway, managing director at Outform EMEA.  He said: “We believe in retail and have continued to work with some of the biggest brands on the high street to reinvent their retail experience and exceed customer expectations that are reset with every visit, click and download. These new hires represent the next stage in our development, and together we will shape the future of retail.”

Adfenix expands with CMO and CTO hires
Adfenix, a social media marketing platform for the real estate sector, has hired Munyaradzi Hoto as chief marketing officer and Adam Horner as chief technical officer.

Hoto joins Adfenix having after stints at technology firms Idio and Foundry. With a remit to support the continuing growth of Adfenix across the world, he will be developing the company’s marketing capability, with a focus on supporting client acquisition and development and driving further investment for the business.

Horner joins Adfenix with a brief to help accelerate the development of innovative technical solutions for the company as it continues to grow. He has previously serves as CIO at Ultimate Finance and CTO and co-founder of Satago.

"I am delighted to welcome Adam & Munya to the team,” said Adfenix CEO and co-founder, André Hegge. “Their experience in scaling global technology businesses is what startups at our stage dream about getting their hands on. Over the summer they have been embedded in the business and in the last few months we have started to see a significant lift across our technology and marketing functions. I am confident that we are seeing the beginning of something truly great for Adfenix and its customers."