Moengage

Movers and Shakers: DAZN, DDB, News UK, MediaCom, VidMob, 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.

Top (L-R): Kevin Mayer, Varsha Kaura, Pedro Cosa, Liza Davidian
Bottom (L-R): Matty de Castro, Gina Garrubbo, Andy Vick, Jeremi Gorman

DAZN names Mayer chair of board
Kevin Mayer has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors at sports streaming platform DAZN Group. He will provide strategic direction to DAZN’s leadership team as the company continues along its aggressive growth trajectory. Previous Chairman, John Skipper, will remain on the Board and serve as a Strategic Adviser.

Mayer was previously Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and International at The Walt Disney Company. There, he launched and ran the company’s streaming businesses including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Hotstar, as well as overseeing Disney’s global advertising sales, content sales, channels sales, and international operations. Prior to that role, Mayer served as Disney’s Chief Strategy Officer, leading the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 21st Century Fox, and BamTech.

“As Chairman, I’m looking forward to partnering with the management team and my fellow directors to help DAZN build on its impressive track record of success in developing a truly global sports platform,” said Mayer. “Since I began working with Access Industries last year, I’ve been impressed with DAZN’s ambitions and ability to quickly grow from a new entrant to an important player in key markets throughout the world. I look forward to guiding DAZN’s strategic development into its next chapter.”

Business Director duo join DDB
DDB Worldwide, an Omnicom-owned advertising network, has hired Varsha Kaura as Global Business Director for DDB North America and Vanessa Reyes as Group Business Director for DDB New York.

Kaura will have overall responsibility of leading the cross-market teams servicing Mars Incorporated. Operating within DDB Chicago and reporting to Justin Thomas-Copeland, CEO of DDB North America, she will be responsible for strengthening Mars Incorporated global relationships across multiple geographies and individual agency offices, including adam&eveDDB, DDB Chicago, DDB Guangzhou, DDB Mudra, DDB Mexico, and DDB New York.

Kaura was previously a member of the core leadership at Motista, where she led strategy and client relations across a variety of industries.

“Varsha brings a unique mix of extensive creative agency experience combined with C-Suite management consultancy leadership in data and analytics driven strategy. We are excited for the new value creation we will bring to Mars Incorporated through data-driven creativity to further catapult their brand,” said Thomas-Copeland. “Varsha will bring her unique set of skills adding a new dimension of creative problem-solving to our clients, using data and insight to fuel our creativity for Mars Incorporated.”

Reyes will lead a broad group of client businesses, bringing a new perspective to strengthen the agency’s client relationships. She has over 15 years of experience in integrated marketing and has partnered with brands such as MetLife, Instagram, Lego, ESPN, and Verizon. Previous to this role, Reyes held the position of Group Managing Director at R/GA.

“The addition of the Vanessa to the DDB New York leadership team is the perfect manifestation of creativity and connection – both needed to drive business growth today,” said Thomas-Copeland. “Vanessa is a truly integrated thinker and business leader. She brings progressive digital-first experience, and we will marry this to the progressive business questions and expectations our clients are engaging us in. Vanessa represents the new direction and skill base of DDB NAM.”

News UK hires Cosa as Data GM
Pedro Cosa has been named as Data General Manager at News UK, the publisher behind The Sun and The Times. Reporting to Chief Operating Officer David Dinsmore, he will be responsible for driving a joined-up data vision and strategy across the whole business. He will lead the company’s Data Hub, optimising the value of data and insight, and working with senior leaders from all divisions and brands to ensure that strategic decision-making is fuelled by data.

Most recently, at Warner Media, Cosa led the transformation of a cross-platform data and intelligence function to support the company’s expansion across its portfolio of network and streaming brands in EMEA including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Boing, Cartoonito, HBO, and TCM.

“I’m hugely excited to be joining such a talented team at News,” said Cosa. “They have a roster of brands which sit at the heart of the national conversation, engaging millions every day. Gaining an ever-better understanding of who those millions are, how they connect with the brands and how they connect with the world will open up more opportunities for News UK, and for its commercial partners.”

Pair of senior execs join MediaCom’s US team
WPP media agency network MediaCom has recruited Liza Davidian as Executive Vice President of Investment & Activation and Yorlene Goff as Executive Director of People. Both will join the executive committee and report to Sasha Savic, US CEO of MediaCom.

Davidian will lead the agency's future-forward investment vision, including client investment strategies that are holistic in approach and united end-end with planning and analytics and adaptable to the evolving consumer landscape. Across her over 20 years in the media industry, she has worked with clients including General Mills, Clorox, SCJ, CBS, CW, Showtime, Wells Fargo, Experian, Levi Strauss & Co., Ancestry.com, and McDonalds.

Goff will lead the agency’s ‘people first’ culture, nurturing a workforce and environment where everyone feels empowered to fulfill their potential and making continued progress in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. She joins MediaCom from Publicis Spine, where she served as Chief Talent Officer responsible for driving strategic global talent structure optimisation within the platform, technology, and data & analytics teams across brand agencies and local markets.

“Transformation and the opportunities for growth never stop – for our clients and ourselves,” said Savic. “Liza and Yorlene bring with them excellence in their craft and are both critical in our mission of working with the most ambitious clients, having the most advanced products, and cultivating the most talented workforce. Their respective contributions are vital in our 'Seeing the Bigger Picture' vision and for MediaCom to have continued successes and growth in 2021 and beyond.”

VidMob turns to De Castro on growth
Matty de Castro has joined VidMob, a creative analytics platform, as Vice President of Growth and Operations. He will expand VidMob’s business intelligence practice and build a global sales organisation to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Prior to VidMob, De Castro spent 12 years at Facebook, most recently as Head of North American Scaled Accounts. During his tenure, he led their earliest and current monetisation programs, laying the groundwork for business growth, and helping to evolve Facebook into a dominant marketing services platform. Earlier in his career, De Castro held leadership positions at Arkadium, Pulse 360, Ticketmaster, and Citysearch, working with clients including Walmart, General Mills, Nestle, Leo Burnett, Sony, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox.

“For years, I’ve watched firsthand as marketers of all sizes have struggled to evolve their creative operations to keep pace with the needs of today’s opportunities,” said De Castro. “I’ve also witnessed just how impactful VidMob’s platform can be in improving advertiser efficiency and results. As creative intelligence gives rise to a new category of first-party data, VidMob’s ability to bring data and creativity together in one place is one of the most exciting developments I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m so excited to join the team and get to work.”

Garrubbo elevated to chair of board at IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has elected Gina Garrubbo as Chair of its Board of Directors.

Garrubbo, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Public Media, has served as the IAB Board’s Vice Chair since August 2020 and Co-Chair of the IAB Audio Committee since 2017. Krishan Bhatia, President & Chief Business Officer of Global Advertising Partnerships at NBCUniversal, has been elected to serve as Vice Chair.

“Having worked across different disciplines within media and marketing, I have been able to experience first-hand the vital role that IAB plays in driving the industry forward,” said Garrubbo. “There has never been a more important time to be part of IAB as the industry is going through a tremendous reset and reinvention. I look forward to working alongside IAB CEO David Cohen, the Board of Directors, and IAB members to help guide this industry forward and to continue to ensure that we create vibrant marketplaces that foster innovation and collaboration.”

LiveXLive recruits Vick to lead programming
Andy Vick has been named Head of Programming at livestream and on-demand audio platform LiveXLive, as well as Executive Vice President of the company’s newly formed content division, StudioOne. He will create and expand digitally native content to drive subscribers, sponsors, and new revenue streams across the LiveXLive flywheel.

Vick was most recently President of Virtual Reality and Immersive Entertainment at STX Entertainment. In 2015, he co-founded and was Chief Content Officer for Surreal, where over 100 VR experiences were produced under his leadership. Surreal was acquired by STX in 2016.

“LiveXLive has purposely engineered themselves for a future where talent and partners can walk right through the front door and plug directly into their comprehensive and fully integrated flywheel. From interactive live streaming to on-demand video, podcasts, digital radio, OTT apps, in-person events, and custom physical goods...they are a one-stop-shop,” Vick commented. “Everyone knows this is where the music and entertainment business is headed, and lucky for me, LiveXLive is already there.  I'm humbled at the opportunity and looking forward to working with the LiveXLive team to keep pushing boundaries.”

Gorman takes seat on Samba board
Samba TV, a television data and omniscreen measurement platform, has added Jeremi Gorman to its Board of Directors.

Gorman has served as Chief Business Officer at Snap Inc. since 2018, where she is responsible for revenue and customer operations across the company. Before joining Snap, she spent several years at Amazon, most recently as Global Head of Field Sales for Amazon Advertising. Gorman also held senior advertising and sales positions at Yahoo! And Variety Magazine.

“Ever since discovering Samba TV during my time at Amazon, I have been impressed by the critical role the company plays in reinventing the television model for today’s viewer that consumes video across all screens,” said Gorman. “I am eager to work with the team and contribute my perspective to further advance its market position.”

TabMo welcomes Phillips as Non-exec Director
Ben Phillips has been appointed as mobile advertising firm TabMo’s first Non-executive Director.

Phillips has spent 17 years working in the mobile advertising space. His career-path includes five years at MediaCom as Global Head of Mobile. This was followed by the role of Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Blis, where he worked with agencies and brands direct to overcome challenges and drive return on their advertising investment. 

“With direct experience of using TabMo’s platform while at MediaCom, I have seen first-hand the reliability of its platform and the results it delivers; this is combined with a culture that actively encourages inspiration and innovation,” said Phillips. “I jumped at the opportunity to work with such a robust business during its dramatic growth and development.”

Brown takes up advisory role at TVSquared
TVSquared, a cross-platform TV ad measurement company, has announced Andy Brown as Executive Adviser. He will provide strategic counsel to TVSquared’s Board and executive team.

Brown was most recently Global Chief Executive Officer for Kantar Media. Between 2013 and 2020, he helped Kantar significantly develop its media business and played a key role in the acquisition of TNS PLC and, subsequently, the sale of its majority stake to Bain Capital. He also led the expansion of services into more than 50 markets worldwide.

“As TV viewership continues to fragment, it has never been more critical for advertisers to measure the impact of TV and reach the right audiences at scale,” said Brown. “TVSquared is the real deal – its proven, always-on platform is used by thousands of buy- and sell-side clients to measure TV how people consume it, across platforms and screens. To be armed with precise insights into optimal reach and frequency, the publishers and inventory driving performance and the audiences watching and engaging with ads is game changing for any brand.”

Malwarebytes announces Strassman as CPO
Mark Strassman has been appointed Chief Product Officer at cybersecurity platform Malwarebytes. He will lead the product teams to put a renewed emphasis on the customer, evaluate new market opportunities, and deliver solutions to unmet and unarticulated needs. His focus will centre on creating superior customer experiences across both the consumer and corporate product lines to continue to accelerate customer acquisition and retention growth.

Strassman joins Malwarebytes from LogMeIn, where he was General Manger of their Unified Communication and Collaboration product portfolio. While there, he drove growth in the core UCC business, moving from dozens of products to a single, integrated UCC platform, driving up usage, customer satisfaction, and retention rates. He also led product, design, and integrated portfolio strategy at BlueJeans, and has held leadership roles at Blackboard, Autodesk, Adobe Systems, and Macromedia.

“Malwarebytes presents a unique opportunity to help align the needs of multiple customers and be a contributor to an incredible stage of the company's growth,” said Strassman. “I'm excited to join such a seasoned and accomplished executive team and help deliver a differentiated value proposition which puts our customers at the center of everything we do.”

Three elevated at MiQ
MiQ, a programmatic media partner, has announced three promotions across its senior executive management team to bolster its European expansion. Giles Ivey has been promoted to EMEA CEO, Van Sideras has been named EMEA COO, and Freddie Turner moves to the role of UK MD.

Ivey, who was previously UK CEO, joined MiQ almost three years ago having previously been a Non-executive Board Member and then Global CRO at Avid Media. Prior to this, he was UK Managing Director at Collective.

“We've globalised in all the English-as-a-first language markets, and over the last 15 months we've entered into China and India - the second biggest and one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, respectively,” said Ivey. “Our expansion into EMEA represents the next piece in MiQ’s global story. We’ve already got a business unit in Germany and now we want to turbocharge this growth, bringing our clients and agency partners with us on this journey to new markets.”

Over the last nine years, Sideras has risen through the ranks of the trading team to be MD of the UK business. His new challenge as EMEA COO will be to bring the UK and DE teams closer together, as well as serviing and growing the EMEA business effectively from new markets over the coming years.

“With the need to reach audiences online, lockdown has accelerated the pace of programmatic adoption,” said Sideras. “In a world of uncertainty, brands and agencies are even more conscious of investments, and what they want right now is clearly measurable and trackable ROI. By harnessing data in programmatic advertising, marketers can not only optimise campaigns to deliver the best results, but use this insight to tackle wider business challenges.”

Turner will lead MiQ’s UK business into a period of continued growth and opportunity. She joined MiQ from Agenda 21 over two years ago and has been pivotal in the evolution of MiQ’s product story, worked closely as a lead with MiQ’s data scientists, engineers, and analysits in Bengalura, and advanced its omnichannel and cookieless offering. With her move to UK MD, Turner will also take a leading role in MiQ’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and corporate social responsibility in the UK.

“As we all move towards a post-cookie world, advertisers need to look at new ways to plan and deliver campaigns without relying on cookie-level data,” commented Turner. “In my new role, I’m excited to spearhead this major shift, defining and launching a full suite of omnichannel programmatic and futureproofed solutions to deliver tangible results for key holding companies, independent agencies and brands alike. MiQ’s expertise is using data to drive insight and as we expand into new markets, our clients will gain access to even more insight that can drive more measurable business outcomes for their whole corporation - it’s an extremely interesting time for the industry.”

Impact makes host of hires and promotions
Partnership automation company Impact has made a number of new hires amid the continued expansion of its EMEA team.

Alex Springer has been promoted to Regional VP, EMEA Sales & Solutions Architects; James Bennie to Senior Director, Customer Success; Sam Crocker to Director, Mid-Market & SMB Sales; and Matthew Sheppard and Smita Pillai to Customer Success Director roles; while Bharat Siyani has been promoted to Director, Global HR; Alex Gordon to Associate, Channel Partnerships Development; and Ana Santos, Associate, Solutions Architect.

Clara Mantegazza and Dayo Ojo are hired in Business Development roles, whilst Patrick Chancelier joins as Account Executive, Strategic Enterprise.

“Our diverse and world-class team will be working with customers and partners across a range of markets at a time when brands are beginning to grasp the power of partnerships,” said Florian Gramshammer, MD EMEA at Impact. “By scaling and growing our team in this way we can better meet market demand for our Partnership Cloud technology and continue to innovate and optimise our offering.”

Nixon and Levy join Adnami
Ad platform Adnami has hired Kathryn Nixon as Publisher Partnerships Manager and Sam Levy as Commercial Activation Manager.

Nixon is tasked with looking after publisher relationships in the UK, growing the business by dipping into her extensive network. She will lead service activation, delivery and training with top tier publishers in the UK. Her most recent role was at PapayaMobile, where she worked across a number of projects including the launch of a new eCommerce platform as Business Consultant. Prior to this, Nixon held the position of Head of B2B at Encore Digital Media and managed multi-million-pound accounts at Reach PLC, having started her career in Account Management at City AM.

“I can’t wait to support publishers, agencies and brands in creating and delivering a better, more efficient advertising ecosystem,” said Nixon.

Levy will work with Adnami’s partners during the onboarding process; ensure campaigns exceed expectations; and focus on nurturing new accounts and growing existing relationships. She was most recently at Flashtalking, and has worked with a range of clients including P&G, Paddy Power, Visa, and Kia.

“Adnami is pioneering uniquely high impact campaigns, and I can’t wait to help more clients enjoy astonishing ad experiences and accelerated return on investment,” commented Levy.

Kyra looks to head up US sales
Kelsey Arnold has been appointed Head of US Sales at Gen Z-focused media company Kyra Media. She is responsible for creating activations, campaigns and initiatives for brands looking for creative ways to engage with Gen Z.

Most recently, Arnold served as director of brand partnerships at Apartment Therapy Media, working with leading food brands, CPG products, and major national retailers across platforms, including the Kitchn. Arnold previously led brand partnerships for various emerging players in the media landscape in both the B2B and B2C space, including Social Media Today. Her early career began at IBM on the sales and marketing team, supporting client relationship initiatives like the Women in Leadership program and CIO summits.

Four join Dept
Dept, a digital agency, has welcomed four female digital experts across marketing, project management, design, and user experience.

Lavinia Alexoiu has been named as a Senior UX Designer, joining after three years at Mancester’s Accenture Interactive, where she worked as Senior Product Designer and a UX Designer.

Ali Marler arrives as a Designer, arriving from The Drawing Room in Manchester with four years of experience working in creative agencies.

Senior Marketing Manager Alexandra Moorhouse worked for Manchester Central, I-COM and, most recently, MIDAS (Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency). She has eight years of experience in marketing and communications and will be responsible for delivering Dept’s sector-focused strategies and campaigns with core competencies in content creation and event management.

Dept has also welcomed Jo Warrilow into the role of Service Delivery Executive within its DOS (Digital Operations Services) team where she coordinates projects, manages resources and ensures the smooth running of day-to-day operations. Warrilow's seven-year professional track record involves business support and project coordination for Mercer, WYG Group, and Breast Cancer Care.

“We’re delighted to welcome this talented group of women to Dept, especially on International Women’s Day. Women are having a massive, positive impact on the future of our industry and we’re seeing that right now, here at Dept,” said Melissa Hermitt, Operations Director at Dept UK.

Lycamobile names Turner as EVP
Phil Turner has joined mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile as Executive Vice President of Professional Channel Sales. He will play a crucial role in supporting Lycamobile’s expansion plans, taking on responsibility for the overall productivity and effectiveness of Lycamobile’s channel sales. He will work closely with key internal and external stakeholders to enhance existing revenue streams and develop new ones in national markets.

Turner joins Lycamobile with over 30 years’ experience and has implemented vital strategies at companies including Payzone, the Post Office, and Travelex. As Head of Retail Proposition at Payzone (part of Post Office), he was responsible for the delivery of a new commission and pricing structure, delivery of a business banking partnership with Cashplus, setting up a Retailer Forum, as well as introducing a new customer experience process to more than 12,500 retail locations and reducing transaction times by 30 per cent.

“We’re pleased to announce Phil’s appointment as our Executive Vice President of Professional Channel Sales,” said Navanit Narayan, Lycamobile’s Group Chief Operating Officer. “He brings with him not only experience, but an unparalleled knowledge, flair, and expertise for supporting and handling stakeholder relations.”

Humphries-French takes charge of marketing at Never.no
Never.no, an audience engagement platform, has named Alex Humphries-French as its Head of Marketing & Communications. He will support Never.no’s strategy in growing brand reach and strengthen industry partnerships with collaborative events throughout the year.

Humphries-French joins from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, where he was a Senior Account Manager. He has previously worked for Rotolight as their PR & Marketing Lead, managed campaigns for Avid, and built personal brand for actors in film & TV.

"I’m excited to join Never.no during a time of innovation across the industry. We’re seeing huge changes in the way the audience is consuming content, as broadcast, digital, social and brand content providers look to create new ways to connect with a growing audience,” said Humphries-French. “I’m delighted to be leading the marketing and comms for a company that has a huge opportunity for growth, particularly with our audience engagement platform, Bee-On and the team’s first-rate industry expertise – I can’t wait to get stuck in and collaborate with established partners and clients, such as Vizrt, ITV, and Sky.”

Heap makes executive reshuffle
Effective 2 April, Ken Fine assumes the position of Chief Executive Officer at digital product analytics company Heap, as CEO and Co-founder Matin Movassate transitions into a full-time role as Chairman of the Board. Heap has expanded its product and engineering leadership bench as well, adding Rachel Obstler as VP of Product and David Fullerton as VP of Engineering.

“Heap is coming off a record year of growth executing against its product vision and has never been in a better position to accelerate into our next stage. A recognized leader who’s made a career out of driving company growth and pushing the envelope toward what’s next, Ken is the ideal person to take this company forward into its next decade. I couldn’t have found a more trusted advisor to lead Heap,” said Movassate.

“In a world where digital experiences are your product, digital product analytics are a critical tool for gathering data, surfacing powerful insights, and taking meaningful action on them,” added Fine. “I’m thrilled to continue to build on the amazing work Matin has already put in to advance this mission of putting product data in the hands of teams everywhere, and am elated that we’ll have Rachel and David helping grow our game-changing product.”