Movers and Shakers: Zynga, Global, Snap, Shutterstock and more

David Murphy

The mobile and digital marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our monthly round-up of the hottest hires in the industry…

(Clockwise from top left): Matt Wolf, Mark Halliday, Meghan Schoen, Will Cox, Joao Barbosa, Debbie Capell

Wolf takes up blockchain role at Zynga
Game publisher Zynga has appointed Matt Wolf as its Vice President, Blockchain Gaming. Wolf will focus on the opportunity to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology into Zynga’s existing portfolio and owned IP, as well as to develop games from inception that are built with NFTs as part of the core gameplay loop.

Before joining Zynga, Wolf was the founder and CEO of D20, an emerging media agency that focused on gaming, eSports, creator culture, blockchain and NFTs. During his time with D20, Wolf provided growth strategy, marketing insights, creative ideation and industry access. Prior to D20, he was Vice President of Entertainment and Ventures at The Coca-Cola Company, where he oversaw marketing strategy, business growth and venture investment innovation through the lens of gaming, music, film, fashion, social media platforms and creator culture.

He said: “Zynga’s mission to connect the world through games makes NFTs and blockchain technology a natural next step in its evolution. Web3 token-based systems will allow us to innovate and deliver new forms of player value in our games, while also transforming how players interact with each other. By creating an integrated experience that enables players to become owners in their gaming journey, our goal is to expand Zynga’s audience reach and drive stronger engagement and retention. Above all, we are focused on maintaining a secure, inclusive and eco-friendly approach while harnessing this technology to enhance our player experience.”

Halliday to head up DAX at Global
Media and entertainment group Global has appointed Mark Halliday as its new Director of DAX, its digital audio advertising programmatic outdoor advertising platform.

Halliday has over 20 years of experience, most recently as Chief Digital and Data Officer at Manning Gottlieb OMD, and prior to that he was CEO of Omnicom Media Group Performance, APAC. He’ll join Global in early 2022 and will work alongside Katie Bowden, Director of Commercial Audio and Chris Forrester, Director of Commercial Outdoor, all three reporting to Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Gordon.

Gordon said: “With Chris, Katie and Mark we have assembled an expert team to maximise the growth opportunities across outdoor, audio and digital advertising. We work with brands who want to reach audiences creatively, and use data to make marketing investment more personal. Mark’s experience of data and mobile, combined with helping some of the biggest brands in the world, makes him perfectly placed to deliver the exciting opportunities presented by DAX.”

Snap hires two
Amber Sayer has joined Snap Inc. as Senior Head of Retail and Ecommerce. In this newly-created position, she will sit in the Enterprise Leadership team and lead the Retail and eCommerce division in the UK, driving business from more than 40 leading retail and e-commerce brands and supporting their digital transformation journey.

Sayer previously spent more than six years at ASOS, overseeing ASOS Media Group, which was responsible for driving innovative marketing campaigns for its top tier supplier brands. Prior to this, she held positions at Jamie Oliver Group, UKTV and Auto Trader

"Amber's appointment demonstrates Snapchat's commitment to our clients in the retail and eCommerce sectors,” said Snap UK General Manager, Ed Couchman. “Over the past few years we have had the privilege of guiding our advertising partners through the deeply engaging opportunities that augmented reality and mobile video present to brands. Amber's appointment allows us to deepen our relationships with our partners and further educate the industry on the power of Snapchat for retail.”

Snap has also hired Anne Laurenson as its first Managing Director of Global Carrier Partnerships. She joins from Google and will be the first Snap executive to lead a Global team, including the Americas, from outside the US. She will be based in Paris, France.

Laurenson will be responsible for Snap's carrier partnerships strategy across the US and Latin America; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia-Pacific regions. Snap’s carrier partnerships strategy is to build and strengthen relationships with telecom carriers to create mutual business value and enable people all over the world to use Snapchat and benefit from the potential of augmented reality. 

Prior to joining Snap, Laurenson spent 14 years at Google, 10 of those driving Android growth. She most recently served as the Managing Director for Android Partnerships for EMEA. In this role, she was responsible for the overall strategy and execution of growing the adoption of Android ecosystem and Google services through partnerships with carriers, smartphone manufacturers and retailers in the region. She has over 20 years experience in both the tech and telecom industries, and holds an Engineer’s Degree from Ecole Centrale of Lille and an MBA from HEC.

Shutterstock promotes Schoen
Shutterstock has promoted Meghan Schoen to Chief Product Officer (CPO, where she will spearhead the development and execution of Shutterstock’s product vision. She will focus on strengthening the company’s portfolio of content, services, application, and data business lines, and help the team to bring to market new and innovative products to meet evolving customer needs and demands.

Schoen’s promotion follows the success of Shutterstock’s new flexible product solutions, AI-powered features, and the launch of Creative Flow, a suite of applications powered by creative insights designed to enhance creativity, encourage collaboration and allow customers to create with confidence.  

In her previous role as SVP of Product at the Company, Schoen oversaw the Product and UX function, where she was responsible for driving Shutterstock’s product strategy and roadmap. She led several of the Company’s recent acquisitions, such as PicMonkey, TurboSquid and three artificial intelligence platforms. Prior to Shutterstock, Schoen served as VP, Product Management at Meredith where she drove the consumer product vision, strategy, and execution for all Meredith and legacy Time brands. 

“Through her business acumen and conscientious leadership, Meghan has proven to be an integral member of the team shaping Shutterstock’s strategy for making content and applications accessible to our customers globally,'' said Stan Pavlovsky, Shutterstock’s CEO. “I am delighted to be officially welcoming her into the Executive Committee, where she will continue to bring her invaluable knowledge and experience to further Shutterstock’s growth, transforming our business into a creative, intelligent platform.”

Cox to head up mobile publishing at Kwalee
Hypercasual games publisher Kwalee has hired Will Cox as Head of Mobile Publishing as the company continues to expand on its publishing operations across both mobile and non-mobile platforms. With extensive management and analytical experience in a games industry career spanning 15 years, Cox takes the reins of all the developer and publisher’s third-party mobile game publishing efforts.

Starting his career with Panasonic, Cox made the jump into the games industry at SEGA, where he held various analytical and publishing roles as he climbed the ranks in a 12-year stint with the company. This spell culminated with him taking the reins as the Director and Country Manager of goGame (a subsidiary of SEGA) in 2017. He joins Kwalee from Ubisoft Singapore, where he was Studio Operations Manager.

“Will is thoughtful and analytical and has an outstanding track record in the industry for strategy and management, along with plenty of hands-on experience of game publishing, so we’re thrilled for him to be joining us,” said Kwalee CEO, David Darling. “We believe that no other publisher gives developers a better chance of success and with Will on board, I’m even more confident of that.”

Shanahan takes up CMO role at Feefo
Verified reviews platform Feefo has appointed James Shanahan as its Chief Marketing Officer. The position has been created following a period of sustained growth for the company and the acquisition of the customer reviews business, Reevoo, earlier this year.

Shanahan joins the company at a pivotal stage in Feefo’s growth journey. The platform supports over 4,000 brands across the UK, US and Australia including BA Holidays, Expedia, KIA, Next, AXA, and Iceland. Now, the company aims to establish itself as the only reviews platform that can give brands access to an unrivalled quantity of verified and trustworthy data as well as the analytics tools to transform and personalise customer experience journeys.  

With a marketing career in the digital space spanning over 20 years, Shanahan joins Feefo from Bionic, an expert comparison service for SMEs, where he held the role of Director of Digital Marketing. Prior to Bionic, he worked agency side for WPM and TDG, consulting on a mix of large corporates through to private equity scale-ups, and in-house for Virgin Atlantic and Comparethemarket.com. 

He said: “Feefo is in an extremely exciting place just now. We’re working with over 4,000 fantastic brands and have a strong management team with a wealth of sector experience. There is a huge demand for our product suite and marketing is going to be key to tapping into this and taking Feefo to the next level.” 

The Ozone Project hires Barbosa to head up data operations
Digital advertising platform, The Ozone Project, has appointed Joao Barbosa to the newly-created role of Director of Data Operations. He had previously spent more than four years as Director of Monetisation & Operational Analytics at Telegraph Media Group, one of The Ozone Project’s founding publishers. Prior to joining the Telegraph, he had a long career at Yahoo where he held a number of senior analytic and insight roles. 

In this new role, Barbosa will take responsibility for leading Ozone's data stack to inform business strategy and value by building and developing a best-in-class team in the field of data engineering, data science and analytics. 

He said: “I’ve been very fortunate to be within arm’s length of the Ozone team during my time at the Telegraph, and I’m now thrilled to be joining such an exciting business. There are many brilliant aspects to what differentiates Ozone in the market, but it was the huge opportunity to rapidly scale how the organisation organises, analyses and interprets its unique view of customer data, that really got me excited. I can’t wait to get stuck in.” 

Benjamin takes up MD role at Merkle’s media practice
Merkle has promoted Toby Benjamin to the newly created role of managing director of its media practice. Benjamin joined Merkle in 2018 to launch and lead its tech consultancy practice, advising clients on balancing in-house and outsourced models and helping brands take more ownership of their media and data strategy to ensure total transparency.

Initially brought in to support the onboarding of the Nestle Global SEO project, Benjamin has since helped to strengthen and mature Merkle’s Google partnership and built out its consultancy offering, winning new brands including Disney, Deliveroo, Paypal and Hilton.

In his new role, he will be responsible for leading and growing Merkle’s media business, which comprises PPC, paid social and programmatic. Reporting to both Anne Stagg, CEO of Merkle UK, Dentsu’s CXM Service Line, and Hamish Nicklin, CEO of Dentsu’s Media Service Line, home to Carat, iPro and Dentsu X, he will also be responsible for driving ongoing collaboration between both service lines. This will enable clients to seamlessly access Media and CXM services and deliver a total customer experience across every interaction a consumer has with a brand.

His second focus area will be to drive expansion of Merkle’s media clients into CXM services, including the analytics and CX practice areas, supporting clients on their ongoing customer experience transformation journeys across media, data and digital transformation and analytics. This follows an increase in Merkle’s media clients moving into CXM and is now a high growth area for the business.

“Since joining Merkle as one of the first senior leadership hires for the Agency Service business, Toby has made an incredible contribution, delivering over £4m in incremental revenue within the last year,” said Anne Stagg, UK CEO of Merkle/CXM. “His wealth of experience and proven track record makes him the perfect fit to lead our media practice and drive collaboration between Dentsu’s Media and CXM Service Lines, something we are really excited about.”

Blis opens up in Manchester
Location-powered programmatic advertising firm Blis is opening an office in Manchester, and has hired as Sadie Teasdale as Group Head in the region to run it.

Her appointment reflects Blis’s plans to broaden its operations to include markets with good potential for growth. The company plans to make several additional new hires in the North over the next few months to augment the team. “Our investment outside of London is a strategic choice for Blis’ European expansion roadmap,” said Charlie Smith, Managing Director Europe at Blis. “With tremendous experience in the industry and a deep understanding of the unique regional needs, Sadie will lead our sales team and support our plans to grow the team. We’re thrilled to move our Northern operations in-house.”

Blis recently launched Audience Explorer, a visual, real-world planning tool that combines precise location data with hundreds of rich and anonymised third-party signals, ranging from lifestyle characteristics and affinities, through to browsing and shopping habits, to give brands and agencies an holistic view of their customers.

Habib takes up dual role at Havas
Havas Media Group has announced the appointment of Hamid Habib to the newly created dual role of Chief Experience Officer, Havas Media Group and Deputy Managing Director, Havas Entertainment, following the simplification of the group’s offering and the launch of Havas Entertainment earlier this year.

Habib joins Havas Media Group from Craft Media, where he spent two-and-a-half years as Strategy Partner, leading strategy and comms planning for clients including Jamie Oliver Group and BBC Children in Need.

In this new dual role, Habib will work to develop modern media experiences for clients across Havas Media Group’s three core propositions, Havas Media, Havas Entertainment and Havas Market. He will help brands create experiences which look beyond traditional channels to harness the whole media mix, from social and influencer through to PR activity.

Habib will also play a key role in driving growth for Havas Entertainment, which launched in February of this year and has since had a number of major new business wins including the UKTV media planning and buying account.

With 21 years of marketing and media experience, Habib has previously held roles spanning strategy, innovation, PR, data and analytics at agencies such as ZenithMedia, Starcom, OMD UK, as well as working client-side at MTV and Nickelodeon.

Capell to COO at Journey Further
Performance marketing agency Journey Further has appointed Debbie Capell as its Chief Operating Officer. She will be responsible for leading Journey Further’s operations in the UK and US to deliver against the company’s ambitious five-year growth plans. She will also be joining the executive board to develop the agency’s operations vision and will be working closely with the senior team to build a world-class training and people function.

Capell brings over 17 years’ experience in operations to the role, working for the likes of Xerox, thebigword, Close Brothers and most recently, Solera. Her appointment comes as the agency gears up for its launch in the USA, which will see CEO, Robin Skidmore, relocate and take the role of Global CEO, with Managing Director, Matt Kwiecinski, becoming UK CEO.

Capell said: “I am delighted to join such a dynamic, fast-growing business with strong values and a very special people-first culture. I am looking forward to being part of the executive team at Journey Further and adding value as we embark on our next phase of growth and international expansion.”

Fossier takes up newly-created marketing and comms role at Hawk
Hawk Platform (formerly TabMo) has expanded its senior team with the appointment of Geoffrey Fossier as VP, Marketing and Communications. The newly-created role reflects the company’s extended remit as it plans its expansion into new territories in northern and southern Europe and continues to develop new offerings for media buyers.

Fossier will support the growth of Hawk (which is already established in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK) into Spain and Italy in 2022, with Scandinavia on the roadmap for 2023. He will also help to build a new European sales team to target brands and advertisers directly.

Demand side platform (DSP) Hawk is a proprietary technology that delivers display, video and audio advertising on all devices. Its creative studio helps brands to deliver the right assets for each channel. Media activation is enhanced with Hawk’s media insights. It’s footfall-tracking technology, In-Store Impact, enables brands and retailers to optimise marketing spend, while a survey tool integrates research studies into advertising campaigns to determine their effect on key metrics. 

Fossier joins from European trading desk Adot, where as VP of marketing he developed and implemented the communication strategy and tools for the company’s cross-device offering, which included media and insights solutions. His other roles have included Digital Marketing Director at news media group, Le Figaro, and Head of Programmatic Marketing at Webedia, a global media and technology operation.

Renaud Biet, Co-founder at Hawk Platform said: “Geoffrey has held similar roles at several major companies, where his skills and expertise have been instrumental in their ongoing growth and evolution. His place in the management team at Hawk puts us in a very strong position to realise the next phase of our ambitions, as we bring media buying, creative input and media insights into the same ad tech stack, and continue to expand our omnichannel operations across Europe.”

Brown appointed UK MD at Syzygy
Syzygy, WPP’s data and digital strategy agency, has appointed its former UK Commercial Director, Matt Brown as UK MD. His role will span the agency’s UK and growing US expansion, bringing its expertise and team on both sides of the Atlantic under one unified management structure. He will also encourage and facilitate further collaborations within the Syzygy Group throughout Europe, with a particular focus on media and data strategy. 

Previously Syzygy’s Commercial Director and US MD, and Head of Search and Social at MailOnline, Brown has a track record of delivering strategies for brands seeking rapid growth and media effectiveness, especially in eCommerce, throughout the US and Europe.  

He said: “As an agency, Syzygy has proved itself time and again as a continued source of valuable client insights and cutting edge digital and data-led thinking. The current marketplace is really responding to this fusion of media knowledge and next-level consultancy, and I look forward to working with the team both in London, the US and throughout Europe as we keep innovating and delivering results that help clients to not only achieve but dramatically exceed their goals.”   

VaynerMedia London hires two
VaynerMedia London has hired Daisy Domenghini as its Head of Client Partnership and Alannah Wesley as Client Partnership Director. Domenghini and Wesley will help to lead the agency’s client services approach to cater to a newly-expanded client roster, with new wins including Kraft Heinz and Hydrow. Both will work across the agency’s roster of clients including TikTok, WeWork, NatWest Group, Natura &Co and recent wins, Kraft Heinz, and Hydrow.  

Domenghini was most recently at The Engine Group, where she was known for driving long-standing, global client relationships and continuing to push for innovative partnerships and solutions. Wesley joins the agency from The Department, having spent the last five years of her career leading the new business and client services team for the organisation.  

“We’ve gained some fantastic momentum with our clients, revenue and headcount over the last year and Daisy and Alannah’s diverse experience and incredibly innovative approach to client solutions will help us take that even further,” said London MD, Sarah Baumann. “Their passion for building brands and business in a different, modern way will help us take our client relationships to the next level.”  

PubMatic relocates Barry to New York to head up addressability, opens French office
Sell-side platform PubMatic has appointed Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand, Peter Barry to a global role, naming him VP of Addressability. Barry, who joined the company in 2016, will relocate from Sydney to New York for the new role. He will provide overall leadership across multiple cross functional teams and lead efforts with publishers to ensure they monetise their inventory and drive better outcomes for advertisers. He has been responsible for rolling out the company’s Addressability Suite across APAC, and working with leading data and identity partners in the region.

PubMatic’s Addressability Suite includes Audience Encore, which enables data companies, publishers, and advertisers to buy and sell first-party data and utilize it to create targeted advertising offerings including campaigns with higher match rates. It also includes PubMatic’s identity management layer for publishers, Identity Hub.

“Addressability is a key opportunity for our industry in the coming years. PubMatic fosters collaboration and innovation between technology, publisher and buyer stakeholders to ensure that every entity benefits,” said Barry. “PubMatic’s Addressability Suite helps future-proof our industry, keeps publishers creating diverse content, and drives advertiser ROI, while respecting user experience and choice, so I’m excited to be taking on this role”.

Separately, PubMatic has announced its expansion into France. The Paris-based team will join PubMatic’s roster of established local market teams working across Europe, including London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Stockholm.

The France office will be run by Laurence Harroch, Director of Publisher Development, and Constance de Vulpian, Customer Success Manager, who will be responsible for ongoing growth and expansion.

“Bringing on board Harroch and Vulpian is a major milestone for PubMatic both in Europe and globally,” said Siebren Roorda, Regional Director, Benelux and France at PubMatic. “We’re committed to aiming to provide the best possible independent omnichannel technology that caters to the nuances of individual programmatic markets and serving the needs of global and local advertisers and publishers.”

Siotis to lead Springserve’s efforts outside the US
Independent ad serving platform SpringServe has recruited Leon Siotis as Head of International. He was formerly the President of EMEA at SpotX. In his new role, Siotis will spearhead SpringServe’s efforts outside of the US, working to ensure global publishers have access to the right technology to keep pace with the acceleration in CTV and online video ad spend. The news follows Springserve’s acquisition by Magnite earlier this year.

The expansion of SpringServe’s international team comes in direct response to the growth of its international CTV business: SpringServe customers saw over 140 per cent growth in international revenue for the first 3 quarters of 2021. What’s more, SpringServe CTV impressions grew by 100 per cent internationally in Q3 2021 and CTV now represents over 60 per cent of international impressions.

“I am excited to lead the SpringServe international team and strategy at a time when video publishers are excited to see how technology can unlock more opportunities for them,” said Siotis. “Following the significant growth in CTV ad spend across the globe, international customers increasingly require solutions to help them connect with the right advertisers, while ensuring the viewer experience is preserved. SpringServe’s video ad serving platform encompasses a robust monetisation and ad management tool set and I look forward to bringing this to more publishers.”

Kalyvas takes up CCO role at Upstream
Mobile marketing automation firm Upstream has appointed George Kalyvas as its new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Kalyvas is currently Chief Operating Officer and a 12-year veteran at the company.

Upstream announced the new appointment as part of a plan to strengthen its team to support a period of accelerated growth. Verticals, customers, revenue and profitability at the company are forecast to grow significantly over the coming years as the company’s innovative engagement and acquisition solutions – under its recently launched ‘Grow’ mobile marketing platform – are adopted by mobile network operators (MNOs) and other enterprises in some of the world’s most promising markets.  

Kalyvas has been instrumental in driving Upstream’s success during his 12-year tenure at the firm. Since 2019 he has led operations across commercial, technical and performance marketing functions globally as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this role, he served as Senior Vice President and oversaw commercial and technical operations, first in Africa, and later on a global basis. Kalyvas previously served at Siemens, before joining Upstream in 2009. He holds a first degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and an MSc in Management from Bayes Business School, City, University of London.

Upstream CEO, Dimitris Maniatis, said of the new appointment: "George is an Upstreamer through and through. I can’t think of anybody more capable to assume the role of CCO and continue making market inroads with our new mobile marketing platform. The new role will encompass George’s current duties as COO, positioning him right where he needs to be in order to lead operations and engagement with our customers.”

Walsh leaves HubSpot for growth role at impact.com
impact.com, the global partnership management platform, has hired HubSpot veteran Kim Walsh as its Chief Growth Officer. Her role is to support long-term commercial success by maintaining alignment and customer centricity among all of impact.com’s go-to-market initiatives, working alongside the leaders of sales, marketing, channel partnerships, revenue operations and the APAC and EMEA regions.

Prior to this move, Walsh spent more than a decade at HubSpot leading sales and partnerships teams. Most recently, she was Global VP, Go-to-Market Partnerships where she was responsible for growing the product and partner-led ecosystem. 

“Kim has an amazing track record of building and leading a significantly sized commercial organization, as well as strengths in driving product-led and partner-led growth initiatives,” said impact.com CEO, David A. Yovanno. “Given she has achieved so much in a company like HubSpot that is highly relevant compared to impact.com’s ecosystem, she is well positioned to help lead our next phase of go-to-market growth.”

Wavemaker increases Bowden’s responsibilities
Wavemaker Global Chief Strategy Officer Stuart Bowden has taken on a wider role in a move to link the agency’s strong planning culture closer to its tools, technology and platforms. As Global Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Bowden will ensure clear communication, continuity and free flowing provocation between Strategy, where ideas are created, and Product, where ideas are converted into growth for the agency’s clients.

Over the past year, Wavemaker has introduced a series of new technology products into its Provocative Planning platform, including Maximize, the world’s first AI powered multi-audience planning tool as well as the first-ever integration of Amazon Advertising’s Overlapping Audiences API.

Bowden said: “Over the past two years, Wavemaker teams have built some of the most pioneering tools, technology and platforms in our industry, many of which will power GroupM for the future. I’m excited about bringing cutting-edge technology together with human ingenuity to keep creating market-beating ideas for our clients.”

Murphy to head up marketing at Hallam
Digital agency Hallam has promoted Anna Murphy to Head of Marketing. She joined the agency in March as a Senior PR and Content Marketing Consultant for Hallam's clients, having previously worked as a Feature Writer for national women’s magazines, and for retail technology firm, Retail Assist, where she handled their PR and communications. 

She said: "I'm thrilled to be representing Hallam as its new head of marketing. With big plans for the future, it's a very exciting time to take on this new challenge and to help grow the agency in line with our long-term goals. I'm very proud of my colleagues' expertise, our culture and the work we deliver for our clients, and I look forward to working with them to lead the business into its next chapter.”