Movers & Shakers: Spotify, Wunderman, Optimizely, CXPartners and Unidays

  • Thursday, September 21st, 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 a 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) Rakesh Patel, Stephan Pretorius, Carl Tsukahara, Daniel Harris, Kevin Tewes-Allen

Spotify Gets New Head of Sales for UK
Rakesh Patel is set to join Spotify as head of sales for Spotify UK. He will be based in Spotify’s London office and responsible for leading Spotify’s sales team in the UK from November onwards, reporting to Marco Bertozzi, Spotify’s vice president of sales for Europe.

Patel brings 18 years of industry experience to Spotify, having most recently worked at Auto Trader as advertising director. Prior to Auto Trader, he spent seven years in sales management roles in Microsoft.

While at Auto Trader, he helped transform its display business, delivering data driven marketing solutions and insights to brands and being recognised for his efforts with a Commercial Director of the Year Award in 2015 at the IPA’s Media Owner Awards.

“Rak’s wealth of experience and digital sales background is exactly what we need to drive the Spotify’s UK sales team forward, and we are excited to welcome him,” said Marco Bertozzi. Patel joins other Spotify recent appointments like Zuzanna Gierlinksa, head of programmatic for Europe and Louise McCarthy, senior sales trainer.

Wunderman Snares Stephan Pretorius as UK CEO
Stephan Pretorius has been promoted to the newly-created role of UK Group CEO at WPP digital agency Wunderman, where he will oversee the group’s growing operations in the UK. Pretorius will continue to also hold the position of chief technology officer, a role he has held since joining the agency in 2016 when it acquired ad tech company Acceleration.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring together a truly integrated digital experience offering underpinned by some of the best specialist resources available in the market,” said Pretorius. “Wunderman UK is in a unique position to deliver the services businesses need to succeed in today’s digital economy.”

Pretorius was one of the founders of Acceleration in 1999, and will control his old firm as part of the full Wunderman business portfolio in the UK, which also includes Burrows, Salmon, Wunderman London, Fusepump, Cognifide and the newly consolidated Possible.

“In the face of rapid change in digital marketing, clients are looking for simpler solutions spanning the full range of digital marketing,” said Mel Edwards, EMEA CEO and UK chairman for Wunderman. “Stephan’s appointment is designed to support further collaboration and integration across our entire network of growing businesses in the UK.”

Carl Tsukahara to Lead Optimizely’s Next Phase of Growth
Experimentation platform Optimizely has brought on industry veteran Carl Tsukahara to serve as its chief marketing officer, with the aim of applying his expertise in scaling global marketing operations to ensure Optimizely expands its presence with enterprise customers and operates under a unified global marketing strategy.

“Carl is one of the top marketing minds in the software industry,” said Jay Larson, CEO of Optimizely. “He brings tremendous expertise to this role at a time that we’re looking to continue our global growth and bring even more powerful experimentation capabilities to our customers. It’s an exciting time for the company and I’m confident Carl will scale our team, enable the market to understand the full potential of experimentation, and help companies of all sizes leverage the Optimizely platform.”

Tsukahara brings over 25 years of enterprise experience to the role with a successful track record of driving product innovation and success for high-growth companies. He joins Optimizely from business analytics firm Birst, and was previously executive vice president of marketing and products for predictive analytics and machine learning solutions company Evolv. In the past, he has also worked as global CMO for Monitise and held key roles at Workday, Microsoft, Taleo and Riverbed Technology.

Daniel Harris Ready to Shape Transformational Programmes at CXPartners
User experience and design consultancy CXPartners has revealed that industry heavyweight Daniel Harris is joining to firm to lead transformational programmes for its public sector and travel clients. He comes aboard the firm after eight years at Fjord and Accenture Interactive, where, as principle director, he helped evolve the firm’s design practice and worked with brands including Tesco, Royal Bank of Scotland and the BBC.

“We’re in an age where technology is accelerating market expectations and disrupting organisations of every kind,” said Harris. “Within this challenging landscape, human-centred design is forging opportunities with bright new ideas. The user is central to everything CXPartners does which is why it has been able to deliver such innovative work and become one of the most well-respected consultancies around. I’m thrilled to be joining a team with such a depth of talent and one which shares my ethos and passion for intelligent design.”

“Daniel is an important hire for us at what is an exciting time for both CXPartners and the future of user experience and design,” said Giles Colborne, co-founder of CXPartners. “Changes in technology, society and regulation mean that organisations need to re-think the way they operate. They can only be successful if they begin by understanding the users and customers they serve. Daniel’s vision, passion and ability to see these changes and the broader opportunities for our clients fits perfectly with our desire to solve challenges with elegantly simple solutions.”

Unidays Appoints New Lead for Global Content and Social Strategy
Kevin Tewes-Allen has been appointed as vice president of content, a newly created role, at leading student affinity network Unidays. Tewis-Allen joins from media and internet firm and sister company Unilad, where he was global director of business development for music & entertainment, and will be responsible for leading and shaping Unidays’ content strategy and social channels.

Launched in 2011, Unidays is one of the UK’s top ten fastest growing technology firms, connecting a verified global student and Gen Z audience of millions in 32 regions with over 600 of the world’s biggest brands. In 2016, the firm generated $2.4bn in partner sales through its network.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a market-leading brand that has unprecedented access to such an incredible database,” said Tewis-Allen. “Creating exclusive ‘student-first’ content which gets superior engagement is a relatively undiscovered space and for the taking. It’s a really exciting time to join as VP and develop meaningful and viral content for our social media audiences.”