Movers & Shakers: SpotX, AppNexus, Quantcast, Snap, Yoyo and TIM

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) Jonas Rundgren, Nigel Gilbert, Dr Peter Day, Tim Stone, James Taylor, Amos Genish

SpotX and Smartclip name new managing director for Nordics
Global video advertising and monetisation platforms SpotX and Smartclip have appointed a new managing director for the Nordic region in the form of Jonas Rundgren, who will succeed Mattias Spetz to lead teams for both brands in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki. Rundgren, who has been with Smartclip since 2010, will work with agencies to provide superior monetisation for publishers using Smartclip, as well as driving growth for publishers and media owners using the SpotX technology platform.

Smartclip and SpotX, both of which are owned by the RTL Group, announced their merger plans back in November 2017, and the first stage completed in February this year. Rundren currently serves as business development director for Northern Europe and global media for Smartclip, having joined the firm as business development director for the Nordics. He has previously held senior positions in the online advertising industry, including stints at AdLink and TradeDoubler, where he specialised in publisher management, campaign management and business development.

“Jonas Rundgren is an extremely capable and experienced ad tech industry leader who has been delivering strong results for our business for the past eight years,” said Jean-Pierre Fumagalli, general manager for EMEA at SpotX. “He lives and breathes video advertising and knows the Nordic markets well. We are convinced he will continue Mattias Spetz’ work and will further strengthen the position of SpotX and Smartclip in the Nordic markets.”

“I’m thrilled to be spearheading the transformation we are going through with Smartclip and Spotx,” said Rundgren. “With our presence in the Nordic countries, we understand – and can meet – the Nordic advertising industry’s specific requirements. I’d like to thank my predecessor Mattias, who has been a strong support in the past months to prepare for my new position.”

New executive appointments aim to support momentum in EMEA for AppNexus
Leading independent ad tech company AppNexus has announced a round of executive appointments and promotions designed to reflect the momentum the firm has seen across EMEA and fortify collaboration with partners across the company’s core regions. The new roles include Jerome Underhill as senior vice president for EMEA, Nigel Gilbert as chief market strategist for EMEA, Kathryn Schlieben as vice president for EMEA commercial development, Julia Shullman as chief privacy counsel, and Melissa Roberts, who joins the company as head of video market development in EMEA.

“We have reached a critical juncture in the evolution of the internet in Europe, and AppNexus is fully committed to helping our clients be ready,” said Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus. “Jerome Underhill, Nigel Gilbert and Kathryn Schlieben are seasoned executives, proven in strategically guiding clients through industry disruption to seize new opportunities. As the market adapts to meet the regulations, I am confident we have outstanding people overseeing our solutions locally.”

As senior vice president for EMEA, Jerome Underhill will be responsible for commercial teams in the region, ensuring a strong link between all EMEA regions and AppNexus’ headquarters in New York City. Nigel Gilbert will continue developing and executing key strategic initiatives at an industry and market level in EMEA, with both he and Underhill reporting directly to Rubenstein.

As vice president for EMEA commercial development, Schlieben will lead the rollout of go-to-market initiatives in EMEA, as well as guiding commercial best practices and the evolution of the commercial operating environment. Melissa Roberts joins from Freewheel, where she held various commercial leadership roles, and will develop and implement video strategies within teams across EMEA. Chief privacy counsel Julia Shullman will oversee the firm’s global privacy work, advising internal teams on policies, products and partnerships. Schlieben and Roberts will both report to Underhill, while Shullman reports to Nithya Das, chief people and legal officer.

Dr Peter Day promoted to chief technology officer at Quantcast
AI-driven audience insights and measurement platform Quantcast has promoted Dr Peter Day to chief technology officer. Day joined Quantcast in 2016, and most recently served as vice president of engineering. Day’s promotion is the latest in a series of recent senior appointments at Quantcast, including Steven Wolfe Pereira as chief marketing officer, Rob Horler as chief operating officer, Meredith Long as chief revenue officer for North America, and Sam Barnett as chief product officer.

Day began his career in academia, researching machine learning before moving into the finance sector. He has held a number of roles in the tech and finance worlds, including executive director of equity derivatives technology at UBS, and has helped to design and build systems that help financial organisations better understand risk, and automate faster and more effective trading.

“The advertising sector is home to some of the most complex and exciting data challenges around,” said Day. “At Quantcast, I’m privileged to work with the most talented engineers and researchers from across a range of disciplines. Together, we’re developing new ways to understand how people engage online, ultimately providing more relevant experiences for consumers and better outcomes for advertisers and publishers.”

Snap Inc’s CFO steps down, announces Amazon executive as replacement
Drew Vollero, chief financial officer for Snap Inc, is set to be replaced by Tim Stone, currently the vice president of physical stores at Amazon. Vollero’s departure, which according to the company isn’t related to any disagreements over Snap’s operations, accounting or other practices, will take place on 15 May.

“I am deeply grateful for Drew and his many contributions to the growth of Snap,” said Evan Spiegel, Snap CEO in a regulatory filing made on Monday. “He has done an amazing job as Snap’s first CFO, building a strong team and helping to guide us through our transition to becoming a public company.”

Stone will join Snap from Amazon, where he’s worked in various roles since joining in 1998, including vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Amazon Web Services and digital content. Stone was one of the leaders behind the online retailer’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, and its integration into the Amazon ecosystem.

James Taylor comes aboard Yoyo as VP for finance
Combined payments and loyalty marketing platform Yoyo has hired James Taylor, former finance director with Mastercard, to serve as vice president of finance for the firm. With over 13 years’ experience in the industry, Taylor has previously headed up the finance team for Zapp, the scheme operator of digital payment app solution Pay by Bank.

When Vocalink, Zapp’s parent company, was acquired by Mastercard in 2017, Taylor remained with the company, becoming a finance director for the financial services giant. Prior to his time at Vocalink, he has also held roles at Barclays, where he worked in several executive-facing roles and supported key strategic initiatives. In his new role at Yoto, he will oversee the development of the company’s operational finance function, while also supporting the business with his extensive commercial experience.

“I’m delighted to be joining the talented team at Yoyo at this exciting stage in the development of the business,” said Taylor. “The award-winning products and technology that have already been developed by Yoyo are revolutionising what customers and retailers now expect from a payments and loyalty experience.”

New CEO named at Telecom Italia following boardroom coup
Amos Genish has been reappointed as CEO at Telecom Italia (TIM) following a dramatic boardroom coup that saw activity fund Elliott wrest board control from French media group Vivendi. Genish has previously announced that he will focus his tenure on carrying out digital transformation within the company, fixing its finances and getting back an investment grade credit rating.

Elliott began its campaign to loosen Vivendi’s control over TIM in March, building up a stake of nine per cent to compete with Vivendi’s 24 per cent. The activist fund accused Vivendi of serving its own interests when it came to decisions at TIM, while Vivendi claimed that Elliott was only seeking short-term financial gains. Elliott appointed 10 independent directors after winning a shareholder vote, but five Vivendi directors remain on the board.

“I would like to thank the new board of directors at TIM for entrusting me with the leadership of the company as CEO,” said Genish. “I confirm my long-term commitment to the transformation of the group, which aims to reaffirm TIM’s position as an international best-in-class business. We are on the right track and have a great management team. The complete support of the new board enables us to continue implementing the DigiTIM strategy, which is already bearing fruit and delivering the value TIM is capable of creating.”