Making Science

Movers and Shakers: Three UK, Croud, Invibes, Spark Foundry 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: Elaine Carey, Joy Dean, Pete Edwards, Alex Taylor

Carey appointed chief commercial officer at Three UK 
Three UK has announced the appointment of Elaine Carey as chief commercial officer for Three UK and Ireland. Her brief will be to drive growth by maximising the platform of the UK’s largest 5G spectrum portfolio and fully leveraging Three’s £2bn investment in its IT systems and network.

In her new role, which she began in March, Carey will lead the Customer and Marketing teams across both businesses and is at the forefront of the company’s response to COVID-19.

This approach will help drive closer collaboration both between the two functions as well as with Three Ireland, where she already works closely with Three UK and Ireland CEO, Robert Finnegan. Her appointment will drive greater collaboration between the UK and Irish businesses, with each able to share learnings and pool resources where possible.

Carey brings more than 20 years of telecommunications experience to the role. At Three Ireland, she has driven the strategic commercial agenda over the last 13 years to build a financially sustainable business. She has spearheaded all of the business’ consumer commercial activities, including devising and managing Three’s propositions & products portfolio, managing the retail portfolio, and overseeing ecommerce and all digital and brand activities, along with the management of Three Ireland’s extensive sponsorship portfolio.

During her time as CCO for Three Ireland, the company’s market share has grown from 1 per cent to 36 per cent, it has established a national retail footprint, and its brand scores have achieved record levels of 40 points. She was a key member of the team that completed the acquisition and successful integration of O2 in Ireland and has been the executive sponsor of Three Ireland’s digital transformation programme which aims to transform the company into a digital-first business. Prior to joining Three, she has also held senior roles at Eircom and Digicel.

She said: “The next few years represent a huge opportunity to grow our UK business, so I am delighted to be taking on the challenge. It’s more important than ever that we stay close to our customers, creating campaigns that resonate and show the value of Three in our day-to-day lives. I’m looking forward to bringing Three UK’s customer and marketing teams closer together, using insight and intelligence to develop propositions and campaigns that will really matter for our customers.”

Wyman to VP, SEO at Croud
Digital marketing agency Croud has appointed Joe Wyman, former associate director at Digitas North America, as vice president, SEO.
Wyman began his SEO career as an outreach and engagement manager at Digitas in 2014, before relocating to New York in 2018 as associate director, SEO. He has led global, enterprise SEO strategies across a range of clients, including Aer Lingus, Radisson Hotels, H&M, and Audible, as well as guiding and supporting smaller brands to find competitive advantage against industry giants. He will lead the SEO team in Croud’s New York office.

He said: “It's an exciting, albeit unconventional, time to join Croud, having started during lockdown and onboarded entirely virtually. Fortunately, I have a great team here in New York helping me adjust and it’s been remarkably easy to get up to speed.

“SEO is an incredibly empathetic channel, one that can illuminate shifting customer sentiment and behaviour, while being pivotal to ensuring critical information is easily findable. With reduced confidence and tightened budgets in media, there’s never been a more important time for brands to invest in SEO to communicate with their customers where they are. I look forward to helping Croud’s clients navigate these uncertain times and come out stronger at the end of it.”

Founded in 2011,Croud provides marketing consultancy alongside SEO, PPC, content, programmatic, paid social, Amazon and analytics services to brands including Superdry, AMC Networks, Frontier Developments and AXA.

Invibes refreshes UK management team with two senior hires
Digital in-feed advertising firm, Invibes Advertising, has appointed Caroline Lidington as UK country director, and Joy Dean as UK partnership director.

This brand new managerial team in the UK will look to continue the European expansion of the company, which also announced its Q1 consolidated revenue of €1.7m (£1.5m), representing organic growth of 41 per cent.

Lidington has over 20 years’ experience in digital and broadcast advertising. Before joining Invibes Advertising, she was sales director for Northern Europe for Group. Previously, she held management positions within global groups in the advertising industry, including Hearst Magazines, Hachette Filipacchi Media, Bauer Media, Yahoo! and Universal McCann.

Dean has over 12 years’ experience in digital advertising at mobile advertising firms including Widespace and Ogury, and data-driven marketing firms like Exponential, where she held the positions of advertising manager and partnership manager.

Edwards appointed CEO of Spark Foundry
Publicis Media has announced the appointment of Pete Edwards as chief executive officer of Spark Foundry UK. Edwards will lead the agency as it continues to drive growth and innovation for its clients, and will report directly to Sue Frogley, chief executive officer of Publicis Media UK. He takes over from Lindsay Turner, who has decided to step down and leave the business at the end of May.

Edwards joined the agency in June 2019 as chief client officer, bringing a wealth of industry experience to the role, having been the CEO of Engine Media UK for over two years beforehand. Prior to that, he led the group’s strategy for a number of years, including the consolidation of its media offering to launch Engine Media in 2017.

Edwards’ time at Engine began in 2009, having successfully launched his own business, Edwards Groom Saunders, which he grew substantially before its subsequent sale to the group. He has also held numerous roles at Starcom, where he was UK managing director between 2003-2005, and BBH’s media arm, where his career began.

Sue Frogley, chief executive officer of Publicis Media UK, said: “In Pete, we have someone who knows the business and our clients well, who has a deep understanding of the marketplace, and a wealth of leadership experience and track record to take the agency from strength to strength.

“I’d like to thank Lindsay for everything she has done since joining the agency in 2011, which she leaves in excellent shape with a strong leadership team in place. We are all sad to see Lindsay go and will miss her energy and passion but we respect her decision and wish her the very best for the future.”

Kim to CMO at Udacity
Udacity, a global online learning platform that trains the world’s workforce for the careers of the future, has appointed Kenny Kim as its chief marketing officer. With almost 20 years’ experience in marketing, Kim joins the company from Google, where he served as the global head of growth marketing for Google Shopping.

Previously, he led the marketing teams for both NatureBox and SquareTrade, as well as leadership roles at other high-growth startups, including Trulia and Hotwire, and at more established brands, such as American Express and Ticketmaster.

As Udacity continues to add new courses and ‘Nanodegree’ programs to its library, Kim will oversee the company’s continued efforts to raise awareness of the skilling capabilities that Udacity offers to workers around the globe. Most recently, Udacity launched the AI for Healthcare Nanodegree program, in conjunction with experts from Microsoft Research, Genentech, among others.

“Udacity’s commitment to providing business leaders, their employees, and also individuals with the skills they’ll need for the future is a powerful mission,” said Kim. “I'm eager to do my part to help Udacity transform online education by connecting its new programs and existing solutions to their growing base of partners and learners.”

Merrells quits Amazon for strategy role at Amazon agency Molzi
Amazon agency, Molzi, has hired Charlie Merrells as its chief strategy officer. Previously the UK category leader for Beer, Wine and Spirits at Amazon, Merrells will be responsible for the company’s international expansion and growing its offerings for global brands. The hire supports Molzi’s commitment to find and conquer Amazon growth opportunities for the world’s biggest brands. Molzi has grown rapidly in Europe over the last three years. The 60-person team currently manages more than £100m of annualised Amazon revenue.

At Amazon, leading a team of vendor managers, Merrells successfully partnered with global brands to accelerate growth for clients and Amazon alike. An Amazon veteran, prior to his role in BWS, Merrells was a senior manager in Beauty products.

The appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Beer, Wine and Spirits category as retailers face a unique set of challenges. Brands are seeking guidance on resource intensive logistical obstacles and the operational processes Amazon demand. These include discoverability, wine catalogue management, selling individual bottles opposed to cases, weighty shipping and beer’s low average selling price (ASP).

However, given almost half of UK consumers buy alcohol online at least once a week and are willing to spend more than 15 per cent more online than in store, (according to IWSR research), brands need to embrace the shift to online services.

Merrells, said: “There has never been a better time for brands to sell on Amazon. As the alcoholic drinks category matures on Amazon, there is huge potential and early-mover advantage for brands that act quickly. With the category’s unique challenges, Amazon can understandably seem intimidating, but I’ve seen how difficult it can be to play catch-up on the platform. I’m striving to support brands willing to capitalise on the current opportunities by giving them the inside track on Amazon.

“Joining Molzi was an easy decision. I believe in everything the leadership team and the brand stands for: agility, transparency, effectiveness and celebrating shared success.”

Following Merrells from Amazon is Louise Evans who joins as senior business development manager. Evans spent three years at Amazon, most recently as a vendor manager specialising, in EU and UK fashion. Her experience includes driving sales for a wide range of brands in the sector and completing a secondment in Brazil as a program manager.

Taylor takes up partnerships role at Picnic Media
Picnic Media, a user-first ad marketplace that helps publishers monetise their AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) inventory, has appointed Alex Taylor as partnerships director. Taylor’s brief is to develop Picnic into the leading AMP monetisation solution through growing existing partnerships with the UK’s largest publishers, as well as leading the firm’s expansion into key European and American markets.

The hire further cements Picnic’s rapid growth over the last twelve months and will enable the company to expand the high-quality ad experiences of social media to the open web, delivering proprietary social formats like Sponsored Stories and Posts mid-article on premium editorial content.

Prior to joining Picnic, Taylor was a partnerships account director at Captify, where he worked globally with first-party Publishers, DMPs and SSPs to leverage their wealth of intent search data and inventory, as well as negotiating all Publisher and SSP trading deals for Captify.
He said: “Picnic is an exceptionally innovative technology company with some incredible minds, and I am thrilled to be joining the team to increase the awareness of their game-changing work.”

Admix appoints Whitfield-Niven to head up revenue
Admix, a non-intrusive advertising platform for developers of video games, VR and AR, has appointed Natasha Whitfield-Niven to the role of VP, revenue.

She has vast experience of developing commercial relationships across the industry, having formerly served as director of publisher development (EMEA) at ad tech firm, The Rubicon Project.

Whitfield-Niven cemented her career at Collective, where she managed all strategic supply relationships, moving to Captify to build its global media partnerships team. She also completed stints at iProspect, managing partnerships and affiliates for Wal-Mart’s Asda, and affiliate network, AWIN.

Her remit at Admix will see her nurturing relationships with the business’ advertising clients, which include brands such as Uber, Amazon, Warner Bros., Facebook and Salesforce. She is also charged with developing the Admix client base and forging future growth and revenue streams globally.

“Admix has grown exponentially since Sam Huber and I founded the business and it’s a hugely significant milestone for us to attract the level of talent embodied by Natasha,” said Admix co-founder, Joe Bachle-Morris. “We are massively excited to have her on board and look forward to working alongside her in building Admix’s relationship with advertisers and our future as the leading non-intrusive advertising platform for gaming, AR and VR developers.”

Gilder appointed CEO at Colt
Colt Technology Services has appointed Keri Gilder as its chief executive officer. Gilder replaces current CEO Carl Grivner, who after five years with Colt, has decided to step down.

Grivner has led a period of growth and transformation at Colt, with his tenure centring around investing heavily in Colt’s IQ Network, with a particular focus on ensuring Colt can facilitate today’s high bandwidth connectivity requirements.

The past few years have also seen Colt aggressively expanding its IQ Network further across Europe and APAC, and in 2018, Colt launched in the US. The company has also been investing in next-generation technologies, as well as ensuring integration with key Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) so that it can facilitate highly flexible bandwidth solutions for enterprise on-demand connectivity to the cloud.

Gilder said: “I am honoured to be taking over the leadership of Colt from Carl. Ever since joining the business, I have been inspired by the passion of my colleagues. From our drive to remain vigilantly focused on delivering the very best for our customers, to our use of innovative and new technologies to advance the industry.

“This passion has always come from the top; however, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been inspired by Carl and his love for this industry and Colt. Colt is in a great position to thrive during this time of significant transformation, through our steadfast focus on our customers, partners, and our drive to create an inclusive environment within Colt and across the industry. I couldn’t be more excited to lead this organisation.”