Movers & Shakers: M&C Saatchi Mobile, Mindshare, AppNexus, PHD and Unlimited Group

The mobile marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is a regular feature following the hottest hires in the industry, so you can keep track of whos joined which company, and what theyre doing there.

(Clockwise from top left) Christian Haase, Ruth Zohrer, Kaylie Smith, Ryan Wain and Verica Djurdjevic

M&C Saatchi Mobile Expands European Presence with Berlin Office

Mobile creative agency M&C Saatchi Mobile has announced plans to open a new regional office in Berlin, headed up by digital expert Christian Haase, who joins the firm as regional director for Germany to provide strategic support to existing clients and expand the company’s portfolio in the region.

The office will join M&C Saatchi Mobile’s network of global locations including San Francisco, Syndey, Singapore, New Delhi, Bangalore and its headquarters in London. With smartphone penetration in Germany rising to 74 per cent last year, the company is keen to establish a strong presence there.

“Our business has seen exceptional growth across Europe, and in particular the German market, over the last few years,” said James Hilton, global CEO of M&C Saatchi Mobile. “With the addition of the Berlin office, and Christian in the role of regional director, we are excited to be able to build on this growth by offering local strategic support to our existing clients and provide best-in-class mobile-first solutions in the German market.”

Haase joins the company from leading eCommerce company Zalando, and previously held senior positions in a number of mobile and media businesses, including MeteoGroup, Axel Springer, Yahoo and Aedgency.

Ruth Zohrer Promoted to Head of Planning at Mindshare UK
WPP-owned media agency Mindshare UK has revealed Ruth Zohrer as its new head of connections planning, focused on offering the company’s clients a fresh perspective on how they can engage with their customers. Alongside Zohrer’s new role, Joe Brewer and Steve Ray have been promoted to planning partners.

Zohrer joined Mindshare in September 2015, and previously acted as head of programmatic marketing at the firm, proving instrumental in helping the business demystify perceptions around the technology to deliver insight-led client strategies. Her promotion comes at a pivotal time for media planning, as data and technology continue to transform the industry.

“I am delighted and excited to take up this new challenge, and to use my skills in programmatic to steer our planning approach in a new direction. Through experience I’ve found that the reality of where we are as an industry today falls short of the vision we pitch.

“My aim is to close the disconnect between vision and reality to enhance the advertising experiences we offer to people, and through that create greater value for our clients.”

AppNexus Strengthens Position in Japan and Asia Pacific with Appointment
Kaylie Smith has been named as managing director for Japan and Asia Pacific by independent ad tech company AppNexus, with the intention of overseeing the firm’s strategic partnerships in Australia, Japan and the surrounding area. The company currently has offices in Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney as part of its efforts in the region.

Smith joins AppNexus from Rubicon Project, where she served as head of seller cloud and managed the firm’s publisher division, directing strategy, product and account management in both the US and JAPAC. Prior to that, she was an executive at DoubleClick, and brings with her a proven track record in building and expanding innovative advertising technology companies.

“Kaylie’s appointment represents our deepening investment in JAPAC,” said Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus. “Over the past year, AppNexus has established relationships with some of the region’s premier buyers and sellers of digital advertising. Kaylie’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge enhance our ability to act as a strategic partner to current and future customers across JAPAC.”

PHD Promotes Verica Djurdjevic to UK CEO
Verica Djurdjevic is set to become CEO of the UK offices of media agency PHD, having serves as managing director for the UK for almost four years. Djurdjevic joined PHD in 2009 from MEC, and has been responsible for leading and growing some of the agency’s most high-profile client accounts as well as winning instrumental new business from Volkswagen Group and Virgin Atlantic.

“PHD is an amazing agency with a strong heritage and distinct culture,” said Djurdjevic. “I follow in the footsteps of some legendary figures, and I’m both excited and privileged to be able to lead the agency into the next chapter at such a transformational time for our industry.”

“I’m a huge fan of Verica’s,” said Mike Cooper, worldwide CEO of PHD. “Very few people have her leadership qualities, energy and passion. Verica has shown tremendous talent as managing director of our UK office, and I am confident will rise to the challenge in her new role as CEO and continue to lead PHD UK onto bigger and better things.”

Unlimited Group Picks Ryan Wain to Spearhead Marketing
The Unlimited Group has found its first chief marketing officer in the form of Ryan Wain, former director of business development at TBWA London. Wain will be responsible for communicating the Group’s offering to clients and prospects, and leading organic and new business growth across a variety of sectors.

The Unlimited Group comprises a collective of specialist agencies working across data, digital, insight, PR and advertising, and employs over 900 marketing communications professionals. The Group’s agency and partner brands include TMW Unlimited, Foresight Factory Unlimited, The Real Adventure Unlimited and Nelson Bostock Unlimited.

“I’m proud to join a forward-thinking group which has created a genuine and seamless offer, where bespoke teams of discipline experts are focused on solving any business and brand challenge,” said Wain. “The Unlimited Group has acted where others have endlessly ruminated. When we shine a spotlight on the brilliance and bright minds here, it won’t be too long before we’re welcoming many more clients through our doors.”