Movers & Shakers: Quantcast, Teads, Visualsoft, Sky Media and more

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.

(Left to right) Sam Barnett, Jacque ODonnell, Hayley Wright, Andrew Mortimer, Bernd Hesse, Mathew Ford, Eric Laffly

Quantcast appoints Sam Barnett as its first chief product officer
Sam Barnett, former CEO of Struq, has been named as the first ever chief product officer at leading AI firm Quantcast. Barnett will oversee the development and growth of the company’s global product portfolio, reporting directly to CEO Konrad Feldman, as Quantcast aims to strengthen its AI-driven audience behaviour platform.

Barnett first joined Quantcast in 2014 when his company, Struq, was acquired by the firm. He most recently served as senior vice president for the firm’s Measure division, and he has focused on developing Quantcast’s AI-driven solutions to provide publishers with a better understanding of their audience data, and more tools to monetise it.

Barnett’s former company Struq used machine learning to personalise ads for some of the world’s biggest brands, and while CEO, he was recognised by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards as Digital Innovations Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. As chief product officer, he will drive the product vision and strategy across Quantcast’s Advertise and Measure businesses and leverage Quantcast’s leading technology to help publishers grow their audiences and deliver relevant online campaigns for advertisers.

“Quantcast is a customer-first organisation,” said Barnett. “That means it’s crucial to anticipate and prioritise the customer’s needs, and continue to challenge ourselves to drive even greater impact for them. Creators need to grow, and our customers are our greatest partners in helping us do better every day. I’m excited to take on this new role and continue to deliver great products that our customers love.”

Jacque O’Donnell completes leadership team for Teads
Video advertising marketplace Teads has added Jacque O’Donnell, former head of magazines from News UK, to its executive team. O’Donnell, who also served as director of agency sales at Immediate Media, has joined the company’s London office as group commercial director.

Teads has spent the last six months building the next generation of its commercial operation, harnessing talent from across the industry to build upon the record revenues it saw in 2017, when it achieved 53 per cent organic growth year-on-year to achieve sales of $317m (£225m). As advertisers increasingly seek premium, brand-safe environments for their campaigns, it has seen growing interest in its video advertising marketplace.

“O’Donnell is the final piece of the puzzle, and will lead and up-skill what is already a best-in-class commercial arm of the business,” said a Teads spokesperson. “Her experience across magazine brands, radio, agency sales and publishing means she will not only bring industry authority, but also bigger picture thinking to deliver a unified strategy.”

New digital marketing manager named at Visualsoft
Hayley Wright is set to join Manchester-based eCommerce and digital agency Visualsoft as the company’s new digital marketing manager. She will be responsible for improving the overall digital performance of the company’s online channels and promoting the brand as a leader in the eCommerce and digital space.

Wright boasts over four years’ experience within the digital sector and has a proven flair with managing a variety of clients and boosting their online reach. Most recently, she spent a year and a half working as an account manager for Mediaworks, where she was responsible for handling strategies, managing web and app projects and creating project timelines.

“Having just come from another digital agency, I am experienced implementing new digital strategies that significantly improve brand recognition,” said Wright. “I am really excited to bring a fresh perspective to Visualsoft’s digital marketing team and see how we can increase the brand’s online reach even further.”

Sky Media shifts Andrew Mortimer to director of client strategy
Andrew Mortimer, formerly director of media at Sky, has moved from the marketing group to the newly-created role of director of client strategy for Sky Media, tasked with building deeper relationships with Sky Media’s clients. Mortimer has been with Sky since 2010, and most recently managed the company’s media buying review which is due to complete this spring.

During his time at Sky, Mortimer has led teams across media strategy and planning, digital, social media, sponsorship, promotions and partnerships. Prior to Sky, he held positions at a number of leading agencies including Manning Gottlieb OMD, Vizeum and Saatchi & Saatchi. Andy Heatley will fill Mortimer’s previous role as director of planning and media.

“I’m really looking forward to joining the team at Sky Media and using my client side experience to help our customers grow their businesses,” said Mortimer. “It’s a particularly exciting time to join the business with advertisers more and more aware of the value of trusted, brand safe and accountable media partners. Sky Media offers the proven effectiveness of TV combined with leading technology to give clients an unrivalled opportunity to build brands and drive profit.”

Bernd Hesse joins the Broadband Forum’s board of directors
The Broadband Forum has revealed the latest addition to its board of directors in the form of Bernd Hesse, senior director of technology development at Calix. Hesse brings his extensive experience leading industry forums and creating momentum for leading-edge broadband innovations to support the Broadband Forum in its ongoing work to define and deliver next-generation access technologies.

Hesse has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, having founded several industry groups and technology forums. He is also the founder and chairman of the Broadband Forum’s BASE events, a series of public workshops which provide technical expertise and education on innovative broadband technologies.

“The Broadband Forum is a world-class organisation doing critically important work across the world to help shape how broadband evolves,” said Hesse. “I am honoured to have been elected to the board. My career has largely focused on progressing the development of the next wave of broadband technologies, so I am excited for this opportunity to further influence our industry through this position.”

Atmosphere Proximity boosts agency with two senior hires
Mathew Ford and Eric Laffly have come onboard Atmosphere Proximity, the New York office within Proximity Worldwide, as the firm aims to bolster its strategic and account handling departments. Ford joins as director of strategy, while Laffly is taking the role of group account director. Both will report directly to Garrett Franklin, managing director at Atmosphere Proximity.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Ford brings a wealth of both planning and vision capabilities coupled with design thinking and customer experience strategy. He comes from Huge Inc, where he oversaw strategy for brands including Thomson Reuters, Four Seasons and Casper. Laffly joins from R/GA and previously drove digital product and service innovation at Wunderman and Digitas, working with clients across a range of industry verticals. He boasts 15 years of experience working in digital, advertising and relationship marketing.

“We’re committed to hiring the industry’s best and brightest talent who have extensive experience, a unique perspective and true understanding of how to help our clients navigate today’s complicated marketing challenges,” said Franklin. “Both Mat and Eric fit that bill and we’re thrilled to have them join as we continue to advance our data-driven creative approach for a robust and growing list of marquee brands.”