Movers & Shakers: Pandora, Tala, Mobext, Coinbase, S4M and more

  • Thursday, December 14th, 2017
  • Author: Tim Maytom
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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 top left) Aimée Lapic, Kevin Novak, Kaoutar Benazzi, David Marcus, Mike Gray, Dean Nagib, Jessica Stafford, Nicolas Saraiva Da Silva

Pandora names Aimée Lapic as chief marketing officer
Music streaming provider Pandora has announced that Aimée Lapic is set to join the company as its new chief marketing officer this week. The firm has said the Lapic will help bring Pandora’s next chapter to life through cutting-edge digital, social and mobile marketing initiatives, leading consumer brand strategy, market positions, performance-based and partnership marketing for the company.

“I’m incredibly excited to join Pandora at such a pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Lapic. “Pandora wrote the playbook on personalised music. I can’t wait to help shape the next chapter by attracting and engaging listeners in innovative new ways.”

Lapic comes to Pandora from Gap Inc, where she has held various roles over 13 years with the company, most recently as chief marketing officer for Banana Republic and general manager for Prior to this position, she has served in various leadership roles with increasing responsibility, including senior vice president and general manager of International Gap Outlet. Earlier in her career, she held senior roles at Providian (now Chase), multiple internet startups and as a consultant for McKinsey & Company.

“Aimée brings to Pandora a deep customer focus and long track record of driving significant growth for consumer brands,” said Roger Lynch, president and CEO of Pandora. “She has the exact performance and partner marketing experience we need to take Pandora to the next level and expand our audience across all tiers of service.”

LA-based fintech firm picks up ex-Uber data chief Kevin Novak
Tala, a fintech startup based in Los Angeles, has found a chief data officer in the form of Kevin Novak, former data chief at Uber. Tala, which uses mobile and online behavioural data to underwrite loans for potential borrowers with no formal credit history, raised $30m (£22.4m) in financing at the beginning of the year, and has expanded its operation to include Tanzania and the Philippines.

Over more than six years at Uber, Novak built the company’s first data science organisation, and was instrumental in the firm’s rise, helping to launch UberFreight and inventing the company’s dynamic pricing structure. At Tala, Novak will be leveraging his experience building global data products and platforms to help the company expand operations in Latin America and Asia, while also deepening product offerings in its existing markets.

“Tala is working with one of the most exciting data sets imaginable, and with the goal of building financial services that include more of the world’s people,” said Novak. “I’m blown away by the team’s passion and commitment and by the great work already underway. I look forward to working with Tala’s existing data scientists and global teams to guide the company’s next chapter.”

Havas Group’s mobile agency recruits Kaoutar Benazzi as Head of Mobext France
Mobext has brought Kaoutar Benazzi onboard to be the new head of its French operations. With over 10 years’ experience in ad sales networks, Benazzi will leverage her expertise to further develop Mobext’s mobile strategies, visibility and customer relations in France. She will manage a team of 15 mobile experts, focusing on strategic consulting, mobile content creation, mobile-first audience planning and direct or programmatic operations and management.

Benazzi brings strong expertise in community channels, having worked as account director for Skyrock’s ad sales network, and also has experience in video and brand content from her time spent at Dailymotion and Webedia. Her most recent role was as sales director at Groupe Cerise, Prisma Media’s digital subsidiary, where she spent four years creating the network and developing websites, as well as strengthening the firm’s growth, monetisation and partnerships.

“I’m thrilled to join Havas Group as the head of Mobext, a dynamic and innovative entity infused by a true team spirit,” said Benazzi. “I can’t wait to starting working on new projects with every Mobext expert, to always be the best at guiding our clients in that ever-changing mobile and digital marketing world.”

David Marcus gets on the cryptocurrency train, joins Coinbase’s board
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has added Facebook’s David Marcus to its board of directors. Formerly the president of PayPal, Marcus joined Facebook in 2014 as its vice president of messaging products. With significant experience in both mobile and fintech, and first-hand knowledge of building global brands, Marcus’ experience will add breadth and depth the Coinbase board as the company seeks to expand and take advantage of the cryptocurrency boom.

“David’s perspective and experience in bringing innovative and impactful products to market will be invaluable to Coinbase as we grow,” said Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase. “David’s knowledge of both the payments and mobile space will help guide us in achieving our mission of creating a truly open financial system that will bring opportunity to people all across the globe.”

“I’ve been involved with, and fascinated by, cryptocurrencies since 2012, and I’ve witnessed how Coinbase has started democratising access to this new asset class,” said Marcus. “I’m convinced that what the company is working on has the potential to materially change the lives of people around the world, and I’m looking forward to working with Coinbase and its leadership team to help make this vision a reality.”

S4M aims to strengthen industry ties with new head of partnerships
Nicolas Saraiva Da Silva has joined mobile programmatic firm S4M as its head of partnerships, as the company aims to strengthen its standing in the industry with a number of strategic partnerships. Earlier this year, S4M joined forces with Integral Ad Science for improved viewability measurement, while more recently the company has partnered with Factual and Zvelo to improve online-to-offline measurement and ad fraud prevention, respectively.

Prior to joining S4M, Nicolas worked within the Mozoo Group in London, holding various positions ranging from traffic manager to head of product and innovation. His primary mission at S4M will be to grow the company’s partnership network with strategic programmatic players, data partners, measurement services, SSPs and premium publishers in the industry.

“I am excited to be joining S4M to spearhead new partnership initiatives for our technology and our clients,” said Da Silva. “I believe that expanding our partnerships is key to empower marketers with more choices and flexibility in their mobile campaigns. Our technology stands out in the industry because of our open and agnostic approach.”

Jessica Stafford becomes senior vice president and general manager at Autotrader
Automotive sales and publishing firm Cox Automotive has promoted Jessica Stafford to senior vice president and general manager of Autotrader, making her responsible for leading the business and working cross-functionally across product, sales, marketing and operations. Stafford has been part of Cox Automotive for 10 years, and is highly respected within the industry for her strong leadership skills, passion for employee culture, creativity and business acumen.

Stafford joined Autotrader in 2007 as an associate manager of digital marketing, before moving to various other marketing positions within the company, including her most recent role as vice president of marketing for Cox Automotive’s portfolio of powerhouse brands in the Media Solutions Group, which includes Autotrader, and Kelley Blue Book.

“We are at a pivotal point in our integration across Cox Automotive, and Autotrader will be the central force in the reinvention of buying and selling cars,” said Stafford. “I couldn’t be more honoured to lead Autotrader through the dramatic transformation of our brand, providing new solutions to our clients that deliver more qualified leads, and helping shoppers quickly and easily move from shopping to buying.”

Media IQ expands UK team with two new hires
Global analytics and technology specialist Media IQ is continuing its UK expansion with the appointment of two new executives; Dean Nagib as head of sales UK, and Mike Gray as head of client strategy. Both will have direct reporting lines into the current UK leadership team through Marcus D’Souza, the new vice president of strategic accounts for EMEA, and Joe Worswick, new joint managing director for the UK with Evangelos Sideras.

Gray boasts over 12 years of digital, media and agency experience, having worked across various media owners and platforms including News UK and Haymarket. Most recently, he was head of industry at Rocket Fuel. At Media IQ, he will focus on adding further value by providing insight-driven inputs to enhance clients’ programmatic strategies. Nagib will be responsible for driving business growth in a key region for Media IQ, and brings over 13 years of experience in media to the role, having started his digital career with Mediacom, and run the Oath video and Xbox teams as head of sales at AOL.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Dean and Mike to Media IQ to fill two newly-created positions to drive forward our ambitious Media IQ growth plans,” said Richard Dunmall, president of Media IQ. “Alongside this, the promotions of both Van and Joe ensure that we have strong leadership in the UK, from people who have been embedded into our business for a substantial amount of time.”