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Movers and Shakers: Cheetah Digital, Fyber, Sinch, SpotX, and more

Tyrone Stewart

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) Richard Jones, Vikram Khandpur, Billy Burgoyne, Adrian Lee, Andrea Bernhardt, Adit Abhyankar


Cheetah names Jones as first CMO
Richard Jones has been appointed chief marketing officer at Cheetah Digital, a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider. He will lead Cheetah’s global marketing efforts of its recently announced Customer Engagement Suite.

Jones was previously chief executive officer at Wayin, which was acquired by Cheetah earlier this year and rebranded as Cheetah Experiences. There, he helped brands to create zero-party data strategies. Brands included Daily Mail Group, NHL, Bauer Media, Vodafone, Priceline.com, Reckitt Benckiser, Air New Zealand, and Manchester City FC. I

In his more than 20 years of marketing, sales, and strategy experience, Jones also co-founded EngageSciences, which merged with Wayin in 2016, and led regional sales for the EMEA team at Eloqua.

“We’re in a new, uncharted era of marketing. With growing privacy regulations and consumers’ oversaturation with marketing messages, brands are looking to cut through the noise and establish more honest, direct and mutually valuable relationships with consumers. However, to do so with authenticity, relevance and accuracy, requires new capabilities,” said Jones. “Cheetah Digital is uniquely positioned to help brands provide a value exchange with consumers through the lifecycle in return for consumer attention, engagement and loyalty. It’s why I was excited to join Cheetah Digital as part of the Wayin acquisition, and continue this mission in my new role.”

Simon to lead revenue at Fyber
Mobile app monetisation platform Fyber has chosen David Simon as its chief revenue officer and global head of revenue operations. He will oversee demand and supply revenues across Fyber’s portfolio of app developer products including Fyber Fairbid.

Prior to joining Fyber, Simon was a partner at Jounce Media, where he focused on developing a blueprint for the programmatic transformation of media companies and marketing organisations. He has also held leadership roles at Verizon Media and AOL, where he led the video syndication business unit.

“The growth opportunity in this industry is truly limitless, but we must remain vigilant against fraud. Brands are awakening to the potential for capturing high-value consumer attention in apps, while also needing assurances on transparency, support and measurement,” said Simon, “I am very excited to work with Fyber in leading this charge – the best-positioned company in the market globally to be able to share data in a completely direct and honest way.” 

Sinch looks to Khandpur on product
Vikram Khandpur has been hired as chief product officer at cloud communications platform Sinch. He will lead his global teams out of Seattle, a location strategically chosen by Sinch to place its product leadership close to some of its largest customers.

Khandpur joins Sinch after spending 13 years at Microsoft. Here, he spearheaded the development and growth of technologies, including Skype and Microsoft Teams. Before that, he held leadership positions at Nokia and Philips Consumer Electronics, as well as founding startups in the mobile apps and gaming space.

“Companies of all sizes across the globe want to deliver smarter and better customer experiences,” commented Khandpur. “There is a massive opportunity for Sinch’s SaaS products to power these interactions across marketing, sales, R&D and customer support departments. The opportunity to work on products that have such a profound impact on the lives of people around the world is a real and rare privilege. I’m excited to get to work.”

Welch hired to direct political clients at SpotX
SpotX, a video advertising and monetisation platform, has recruited Allan Welch to be its director of political & government affairs. Overseeing the company’s political-focused clients, he will report to Geoff Halsema, regional vice president, mid-market, demand facilitation.

Welch will serve as an extension of the Demand facilitation team with a focus on political agencies, super political action committees (PACs), presidential, congressional and advocacy groups, along with non-profit, issues, causes and charity groups.

Before joining SpotX, he held political and government-focused positions at Yahoo! Inc. and Mother Jones, creating advocacy, fundraising, and advertising campaigns.

“As a veteran in the political advertising arena, I'm excited to be joining the SpotX team at such a crucial moment in the industry, as we see an exponential increase in advertising on CTV and OTT,” said Welch. “During the 2016 presidential elections, we saw political advertising explode across social media. Today, advertisers are following eyeballs and SpotX, as a leader in online video and CTV/OTT, is particularly primed to advise clients on this shift and support political advertisers to achieve their goals.”

Journey Further selects Burgoyne to take charge of creative
Billy Burgoyne has joined Journey Further, a performance marketing agency, as creative director of its new creative offering. Reporting to managing director Matt Kwiecinski, he will initially be focused on the opportunities with existing clients, providing creative support to increase performance across programmatic, paid social and PR campaigns. 

Burgoyne has previous experience from his roles at B-Reel and Unit9, where he created campaigns for Google, VW, Honda, Three, Adidas, British Airways, Microsoft, Sony, Ford, and Spotify.

“There’s a huge creative opportunity at Journey Further,” said Burgoyne. “Too many creative agencies base their decisions on unsubstantiated opinion and ego, while data-led agencies stifle creativity. Our Clarity at Speed proposition allows us to inform creative briefs with verifiable audience data, delivering high quality, insightful creative that connects on an emotional level.”

Six experts join CAN
The Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) has welcomed six experts from the creative industry to its committee to help its battle against advertising abuse.

The esteemed names that have joined CAN include Ali Hanan, founder and chief executive officer of Creative Equals; Amir Malik, digital marketing expert at Accenture Interactive; Jerry Daykin, head of media EMEA at GSK; Matthew Styles, client services lead at Merkle; Abi Gibbons, internal and external communications expert at ISBA; and Tanya Joseph, a former Marketer of the Year.

“It is truly incredible to have leading voices in the creative industry, from visionary creative pioneers to marketing experts, to communication gurus - brought together by one, clear vision - to fight advertising abuse in the industry they know and love,” commented Jake Dubbins, co-founder of the Conscious Advertising Network. “Our goal at CAN is to battle harmful advertising operations and content in pursuit of making communications that are better for all. The insights and experience our new committee members bring, truly equips the network with tools to highlight these issues and confront them head on.”

Ad-Lib welcomes Abhyankar and Collister
Adit Abhyankar and Patrick Collister have arrived at Ad-Lib, a martech SaaS platform, as chief executive officer and creative director respectively. Both men have joined the company from Google.

Abhyankar, who was head of Google Marketing Platform for Continental Europe and emerging markets, will oversee the next stage of growth and investment in Ad-Lib’s platform, team, and client relationships. Prior to Google, he was executive director at Visual IQ and chief operating officer at SolutionSet.

“Personalising creative the way we personalise media targeting is a huge untapped opportunity, even though it has been proven to drive tremendous value. The reason it is so underutilised is an organisational one – it is simply too clunky and costly to produce high quality, personalised creative across all the profusion of digital formats manually,” said Abhyankar. “Ad-Lib’s AI-driven platform is disrupting the current status quo by making this process faster, cheaper and smarter. I’m thrilled to be joining the stellar team at this pivotal time to further accelerate its impressive growth.”

Collister, who joined Ad-Lib as non-executive director last year, will provide insight and input into the ongoing design of the platform and manage the Ad-Lib design hub. He was head of design at Google Zoo and, before that, held roles as executive creative director and vice chairman at Ogilvy London and chief creative officers at EHS Brann Group.

“Adit and Patrick share Ad-Lib’s vision for saving digital advertising from itself by using AI to both improve personalisation and creative quality,” added Oli-Marlow Thomas, founder and president of Ad-Lib. “We are thrilled to be building out our team with the best talent in the business and the desire of these industry pros to join our company is testament to the true value of the solution we are offering.”

Huettl takes his seat at the CMO Council
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has named Manuel Huettl as its senior vice president and regional development officer in Europe. He is asked with collaborating with European advisory and academic liaison boards, as well as developing CMO Council partnerships, relationships, and content distribution channels in the European theatre.

Huettl is currently owner and principal of SugarAndSpice, a digital and content marketing firm, and was previously senior vice president at WE Communications. He is also currently a board member for the European Expert Group for IT Security and has served as a vice president for the German Ice Hockey Federation.

“We are pleased that Manuel is becoming an integral part of the CMO Council,” noted executive director Donovan Neale-May. “He is bringing enormous experience and new perspectives to the table. Manuel served in different influential organisations through his career. With his can-do attitude he will expand the Council's role in Europe.”

MediaSense opts for Bernhardt on strategy
Andrea Bernhardt has been appointed strategy director at MediaSense, an independent media advisor. She will support brands to better maximise media investment and advise on organisational operating models for the consultancy’s global client portfolio.

Bernhardt arrives from Reckitt Benckiser, where she led global media and digital, developing media capabilities and a new integrated media strategy in the areas of media effectiveness, data-driven marketing, and communications. Prior to that, she held director and strategic development roles at WebMD, and drove strategic planning at Mindshare and Zenith. Bernhardt is also a previous member of the World Federation of Advertisers executive committee.

“I’m excited to be joining MediaSense at such a significant and important time in the evolution of 21st century media and marketing transformation,” commented Bernhardt. “MediaSense are leading the way in re-shaping global media operations and I look forward to working across their portfolio of world renowned brands, helping advertisers to future-proof the structure and processes they need to effectively connect with consumers and drive positive impact to their business.” 

Tosi gets a seat on the Skillz board
Skillz, a mobile eSports platform which is backed by the NFL’s investment arm, has added Laurence Tosi to its board of directors.

Tosi previously served as the long-time chief financial officer at Blackstone and, subsequently, Airbnb, where he also led payments, customer service, and corporate development. He is the founder and managing partner of WestCap, which has invested in Skillz.

“Skillz is the disruptive player in the gaming market and is leading a paradigm shift in how mobile games are consumed, developed and monetised,” said Tosi. “With a multi-faceted business model, distinctive for the network effect of its gaming marketplace and proprietary technology platform, Skillz is on track to become one of the great companies of tomorrow.”

SCMP picks Lee to preside over marketing and events
Adrian Lee has been hired as senior vice president of marketing and events at the South China Morning Post (SCMP). Based in Hong Kong, he will lead growth strategies to help build the global brand. His responsibilities include raising brand awareness, increasing traffic to SCMP’s digital platforms, overseeing product and digital marketing, and driving SCMP’s events business.

Lee was previously head of digital client solutions at Wavemaker, where he helped lead the Hong Kong agency's direction, growth, profitability, and people development, as well as directing global marketing campaigns for clients. Before that, he was global digital strategy and innovation director at Vizeum in London, working with clients including Burberry and Honda. Lee also worked at MediaCom in Hong Kong.

“It is an exciting time to join a media company that is leading the global conversation on China, especially with a growing demand for reliable news to understand the global impact of the second-largest economy in the world,” said Lee. “The organisation is full of driven and intelligent people and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do work that carries real purpose.”

McKenna to head up performance marketing at Blink
Digital health company Blink Health has turned to Gene Mckenna as its head of performance marketing & analytics. He arrives with over 15 years of leadership experience managing marketing, product, and engineering teams.

Most recently, McKenna served as vice president and general manager at Groupon, where he led strategy and oversaw approximately $1bn in annual sales. Prior to that, he was co-founder at Uptake and has also served as vice president of product at Acxiom Digital.

“Blink Health is doing amazing work to ensure that everyone can afford the medications they need to live safe, healthy lives. It’s my job to help spread the company’s message so that every American has an opportunity to lower their drug prices,” said McKenna. “Nobody should struggle to pay for their prescription drugs and I look forward to helping Blink Health make that a reality for everyone.”