Movers and Shakers: Verizon, MediaCom, Vodafone, Rubicon Project, 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 left to right) Monica Majumdar, James Mackenzie, Sarah Harden, Lynda Clarizio, Laurence Parkes, Geoffrey Prince, Charles H. Rivkin, Juan Garriga, Meghan Kirsch

Verizon turns to Majumdar to lead UK strategy
Monica Majumdar has been appointed UK head of strategy at Verizon Media. Reporting to UK managing director Anna Watkins, she will lead and build holistic strategic solutions for advertisers across its content brands and advertising platforms.

Majumdar joins from Spark Foundry, where she was head of strategy and planning for the agency’s key clients. Prior to that, she was strategy director at Spark Foundry and media group manager at PHD UK.

“This is an exciting time for the Verizon Media business here in the UK as a new brand,” said Majumdar. “With the strength of the Verizon global brand behind it, I’m very much looking forward to showing our clients the power and possibilities of how working together and building strategic partnerships can deliver clear ROI against their business objectives.”

Mackenzie becomes MediaCom UK exec
MediaCom UK has promoted James Mackenzie to chief investment officer. In his new position, Mackenzie will focus on building MediaCom’s relationships and partnerships with media owners.

Mackenzie joined MediaCom two years ago as head of investment, leading the investment team in the successful implementation of the agency’s new structure as well as being integral to a series of new business wins. He arrived at the company after three years at PHD, and has also held roles at Vizeum UK and Zenith.

“Jimmy joined us at a pivotal moment for our business – with the client/agency relationship changing, the media industry completely transforming and MediaCom itself needing to adapt and move with this. He made an immediate impact and has played a key role in our success over the last two years,” said Josh Krichefski, MediaCom UK CEO. “Jimmy is hugely knowledgeable about all aspects of trading and this, coupled with his calm and professional demeanour, has made him a huge asset for us, our clients and media partner. It’s a promotion that will ensure he can play a key role for us now and in the future and I’m genuinely delighted to be announcing it.”

Vodafone brings in Kumar as Business boss
Vinod Kumar has been hired as chief executive officer of Vodafone Business by the Vodafone Group. Reporting to Vodafone Group chief executive Nick Read, he will begin the role from 2 September 2019, at which point he will replace interim chief executive officer Vivek Badrinath.

Kumar has been managing director and chief executive officer at Tata Communications since 2011, having initially joined the company as chief operating officer in 2004. His career in telecommunications has included roles at Asia Netcom, WorldCom, Global One, and Sprint International.

“I am very excited to join the vibrant team at Vodafone Business,” said Kumar. “The global reach, the pervasive network and the brand loyalty that Vodafone has created makes it an ideal partner for any organisations digital transformation, regardless of size or industry.”

Harden joins Rubicon board
Advertising exchange Rubicon Project has appointed Sarah Harden to its board of directors, bringing more than two decades of experience in digital media, entertainment, and direct-to-consumer video to the board.

Harden is currently chief executive officer of Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine. This followed five years of executive level positions at Otter Media/The Chernin Group, including president and executive vice president.

She previously served as a board member of ESPN-Star Sports, Star China Media and The Moby Group and as a board director overseeing successful acquisitions and exits of private portfolio companies including Crunchyroll, Fullscreen, Roosterteeth, McBeard, Stagebloc, and DLVR.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve on the Rubicon Project board during such an exciting time for the company,” said Harden. “I’m looking forward to continuing to enhance Rubicon Project’s position in this dynamic market and strengthen our partnerships as we continue to add value to the ecosystem.”

Adjust hands board position to Clarizio
Lynda Clarizio has joined Adjust, a mobile measurement firm, as a non-executive board member. She will assist Adjust’s leadership in the strategic direction of the company.

Clarizio brings nearly 20 years of executive experience growing and scaling businesses within data and technology particularly. Most recently, she was president of Nielsen US Media, where she was responsible for leading the performance of Nielsen’s business providing media and advertiser clients with measurement and marketing effectiveness solutions across television, digital, audio and other media. Prior to that role, she was executive vice president for corporate development and operations at AppNexus. She also served as chief executive officer and president of Invision, and previously held a variety of executive positions at AOL.

Aside from Adjust, Clarizio serves as a member of the boards of directors of CDW, Resonate, OpenSlate and Human Rights First.

“Adjust is the leading global platform empowering brands with mobile attribution and other measurement along with best-in-class fraud prevention. I am impressed with the strong leadership of Christian Henschel and Paul Muller, and their commitment to bringing greater trust and transparency to the rapidly growing business of mobile marketing,” Clarizio said. “I am honoured and excited to work with Adjust as the company expands its platform and suite of measurement solutions.”

APAC directors named by Kochava
Mobile attribution platform Kochava has appointed Makoto Katayanagi as regional sales director for its Japan business and DongHee Cho as regional sales director for its Korea business.

Katayanagi’s hiring marks the opening of the company’s Tokyo office. He has a background in law and more than 15 years of experience in sales and development with advertising companies. He was previously sales manager at Group IMD and, before that, spent 12 years at ADK as a senior account executive.

“Im excited to be joining this great international team of professionals. The opportunities in Japan are wide open, and I look forward to expanding Kochavas services to new customers in this region,” Katayanagi said.

Cho was added to Kochava’s existing team in Seoul earlier this summer, bringing strong operational and development skills with him, and most recently served as executive director at GfK. Prior to that, he was a division head at Nielsen.

Thrillist recruits Kirsch to lead on content
Meghan Kirsch has been hired as chief content officer at Group Nine Media’s Thrillist. Reporting to Thrillist’s president, Ocean MacAdams, she will oversee all Thrillist content and brand identity, providing both vision and leadership for the written, video, production and design teams.

Kirsch has nearly 20 years of experience in the TV and digital media industries. She joins from Vice Media, where she was senior vice president of creative & marketing, leading a near 50-person team in the strategy, development and execution of all brand expressions and marketing campaigns for Vice, Viceland, Vice Digital, Vice News and Vice Studios. Prior to Vice, she served as vice president of brand creative & marketing at A&E Networks for 11 years, where she led the creative development for all off-air marketing communications for A&E, History Channel and H2, and created the brand identity for launch of lifestyle network FYI. Kirsch previously held consumer marketing roles at AMC Networks.

“I couldn’t be happier to join Ocean and this incredibly talented team,” said Kirsch. “There’s so much information, stimulation and noise out there. Thrillist’s eye towards curation and track record for creating the kind of impactful content that cuts through and creates a loyal fanbase makes it an exciting place to be. I can’t wait to dive in and help continue growing this great brand.”

Several global exec hires made at Flashtalking
Flashtalking, an independent ad server, has made a series of hires around the world as part of its ongoing global expansion. Juan Garriga has joined as senior sales engineer in Spain, while Eric-Alexis Fortier arrives as country manager in France and Tracy Yap becomes APAC account director in Singapore.

Garriga, who was formerly positioned with Eyeblaster/MediaMind and then as country manager for Sizmek, will contribute extensive primary ad serving and technical capabilities, to more deeply activate Flashtalking’s regional capabilities in that market.

Fortier brings significant experience in Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO), holding previous executive posts at ADventori and AdParlor (Adknowledge). In addition, he provides expertise across the telecoms, automotive, travel, eCommerce and retail verticals.

Yap, who was most recently with TripAdvisor and Adara, brings almost a decade of publisher and DSP experience to Flashtalking.

The company has also promoted Dom Satur to vice president of business development in Europe, having previously been vice president of solutions engineering for seven years. Chris Nachimas has joined in the US as vice president of solutions engineering and Fred DeCaro III has arrived from Sizmek in the new position of director of training & operational readiness.

Via names Rivkin on its board
Charles H. Rivkin has been appointed to the board of directors at rideshare app Via. He is currently chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and has more than 30 years of experience as a media executive and US diplomat.

Before joining the MPAA, Rivkin served for almost a decade at the highest levels of the US government’s diplomatic corps, including as the US ambassador to France and Monaco and later the US assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs at the Department of State.

“I am honoured to join Via as its first independent director,” said Rivkin. “Daniel [Ramot] and Oren [Shoval] have built an extraordinary company and I look forward to supporting their vision to bring a truly dynamic mass transit system to the world.”

Pair join OneM2M marcom committee
Nadja Rachow has taken up the position of chair of OneM2M’s marcom committee. She has been joined by Peter Kim, who steps into the position of regional vice chair of Asia for the same committee.

Rachow, who is communication director at ETSI, brings 20 years’ experience across the automotive, energy, transport, and logistics industries. She will lead OneM2M’s marketing and communication efforts as it continues to drive standardisation in the internet of things (IoT) ecosystem. This will include working closely with oneM2M’s technical plenary to help develop a strategy for its Release 4 specifications, which aims to enhance interworking of IoT applications within various industry sectors beyond telecoms.

“I am thrilled to be taking on the position of marcom chair at an incredibly exciting time within OneM2M, as work on Release 4 begins to ramp up,” said Rachow. “As more IoT applications and devices emerge on the market, it is critical that the industry understands the importance of standards in enabling a harmonious, thriving global-scale IoT ecosystem – and I look forward to driving this initiative forward.”

Kim, who has been heavily involved with OneM2M since its formation in 2012, is currently chief researcher at TTA. As the person in charge of operating and organising oneM2M in Korea, he has been actively promoting oneM2M and helping to recruit Korean companies to join and participate in the partnership project.

“As the IoT continues to gain pace in Asia and beyond, the need for an interoperable IoT framework is increasing with this,” said Kim. “In South Korea, we have already seen several multi-vendor oneM2M rollouts across various smart cities, providing cities with the freedom to choose solutions which fit their own requirements and won’t leave them locked in with insufficient, out-dated equipment further down the line. I look forward to continuing to drive awareness of the benefits of OneM2M as I embark on my new role as regional vice-chair.” brings in Prince and Dalton
The company that creates digital assistants for auto brands,, has hired Geoffrey Prince as vice president of product and Robert Dalton as senior director of project management. Both previously worked at J.D. Power, serving various roles in the product and technology development sides of the business.

Prince will lead CarLabs’ product set as it expands its SaaS services throughout the auto industry both within the US market and internationally. He also previously served as the head of roduct at Affinitiv, where he assisted the executive team and private equity partners in delivering a technology-centric vision of the company and a roadmap for the needed digital transformation of the product offering.

Dalton has been tasked with transforming high-potential projects into financial and operational successes through the implementation of appropriate methodologies, procedures, and guidance techniques. In addition to his time at J.D. Power, he has also worked at Disney.

“We have reached an exciting time in our companys growth where we need proven experts to manage the rapidly developing opportunities presented to CarLabs,” said Martin Schmitt, CEO and co-founder. 

Parkes becomes Rufus Leonard boss
Rufus Leonard, an independent brand-led digital experience agency, has named Laurence Parkes as its chief executive officer. He steps into the role following his time as chief strategy officer, succeeding co-founder Neil Svensen, who will continue in his role as co-founder and will take on the new role of chair following 30 years as chief executive.

Parkes has held the chief strategy officer role since 2016, in which time he reframed the agency services under brand experience and launched products including the Brand Experience Index. He has been responsible for creating digital brand experiences for clients including PizzaExpress, Lloyds Banking Group, the AA, and Stagecoach.

Prior to joining Rufus, Parkes led strategy teams at network agencies including AMV, DDB and BBH. Laurence was most recently responsible for building and developing a 10-strong team of multi-disciplined strategists at AKQA’s Amsterdam office.

“It is rare to find an agency that has the strategic ability, experience design and technical expertise, in-house, to both define and implement our clients’ vision,” said Parkes. “Ever since our founders… started Rufus Leonard 30 years ago, we have been helping businesses create extraordinary experiences for their colleagues and their customers across all touchpoints. From BT’s first website in 1992 to BBC’s future of voice strategy in 2019. This is where Rufus Leonard is unique.”

The executive reshuffle has been completed with the promotion of Ale Cabra from managing partner to client services director and board member. She will be responsible for growing Rufus’ client business and fostering exceptional client service, across organic business development and overarching client growth strategies. Cabra joined Rufus in 2016 following roles at Razorfish, Collective London, and Publicis.

Bluetooth SIG adds Haipeng to board
Haipeng Jin has joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) board of directors as an associate member director. He will serve a two-year term on the board, which is responsible for the governance of the organisation and plays a vital role in driving the expansion of Bluetooth technology.

Haipeng is the co-founder and engineering vice president of Telink Semiconductor, currently leading the daily operations of Telink’s research and development (R&D) and product team. brings years of experience in developing and commercialising innovative low power wireless IoT technologies.

His appointment means the Bluetooth SIG board now consists of individuals from Apple, Bose, Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, Telink Semiconductor, and Toshiba.

“The addition of Haipeng Jin from Telink to the Bluetooth SIG board of directors is an honour and we look forward to Haipeng’s expertise and creativity,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “With the rapid growth of Bluetooth to provide commercial and industrial solutions such as connected lighting, asset tracking, and access control, the expertise Telink provides will be beneficial as Bluetooth continues to add capabilities and enhance the technology to meet market demands.”