Movers & Shakers: Verizon, Weve, Branch, Proxama and Factual

Tim Maytom

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.(Clockwise from top left) Andrew McKechnie, Branch's London team, Kelvin Harrison, Mandeep Mason, Branch's São Paulo team, Tom Pearman

Apple's Global Creative Director Lands at Verizon for In-house Agency
Andrew McKechnie, former global group creative director at Apple, is joining US mobile operator Verizon to serve as its first chief creative officer, as the firm launches its own in-house agency for marketing.

McKechnie will lead a team of 60, responsible with marketing the brand, overhauling its website, devising new advertising strategies and even remodeling its retail stores. The change comes at a crucial time for Verizon as it prepares to purchase Yahoo in a multi-billion dollar deal.

"We want to create a really strong creative arm internally that can help connect the dots better for how the brand narrative and brand experience gets executed across touchpoints," said Diego Scotti, chief marketing officer at Verizon. "As we expand our bench of world-class marketing talent, we are thrilled for Andrew to bring his global expertise and fresh aesthetic to the Verizon brand."

McKechnie brings over 16 years of experience in design and communications to the role. He began his career in Asia, gaining experience at BBDO and JWT before moving to New York in 2010 to serve as global creative director at Y&R, where he worked with LG Electronics, Land Rover North America and the US Olympic Committee.

Tom Pearman Promoted to Managing Director at Weve
Weve has appointed a new managing director in the form of Tom Pearman, former commercial director at the company. Pearman will now oversee the entire business, including strategy, commercial, products, operations and partnerships, with immediate effect.

The promotion is supported by two other new roles; Martin Weller joins to serve as head of sales, having worked at Say Media, Emap and AOL, and Rob Brown, former group head of Weve's sales team, becomes head of business development.

The new leadership team hope to enable the company to move beyond its initial remit to become one of the UK's leaders in connected marketing, embracing the most up-to-date technology on offer.

"As Weve expands its proposition to focus on three core offerings around mobile media, programmatic trading and audience intelligence, we ware ensuring our structure and branding are in line to support these areas," said Pearman. "Weve has access to first-party, verified data, cellular location and behavioural insights, as well as insights from over 15,000 O2 wi-fi locations. The breadth of these insights means Weve is enabling the most accurate window into consumer behaviour across the physical and digital world in the UK."

Branch Expands in Europe and Latin America
Deep-linking specialist firm Branch is expanding its international presence, establishing offices in London and São Paulo to develop stronger links in the Western Europe and South American markets.

"Over the past 18 months, we've been expanding the company's presence and headcount outside of Silicon Valley, both domestically and internationally," said Ramsey Pryor, head of international expansion at Branch. "When we expanded our team in Eastern Europe and India last year, we had the privilege of working closely with the top apps in these regions, engaging the local app developer communities, and validating the strong demand for Branch's free and premium app growth solutions in these regions."

The London office aims to take advantage of the high level of smartphone penetration in Western Europe, and tap into the well-connected startup scene in London, where accelerators and incubators ensure there are a wide variety of startups working in diverse areas.

The São Paulo office will serve as the hub of Branch's Latin American operations. The city is Brazil's traditional financial capital, and home to the majority of the country's startups, VCs and angel investors, with a healthy local community of developers and entrepreneurs.

Kelvin Harrison Joins Proxama as Non-executive Chairman
Mobile payments and proximity firm Proxama has announced the appointment of Kelvin Harrison as its new non-executive chairman, with David Bailey moving to become deputy chairman.

Harrison is currently chairman of Traveltek, Atlas Cloud and Clixfix, and hold various other non-executive director positions. Previously, he served as chairman of Maxima Holdings and CEO of Symbionics Group.

"Kelvin joins us at an exciting time for both mobile proximity marketing and for Proxama," said John Kennedy, CEO of Proxama. "We believe there is a huge opportunity to grow the proximity marketing business over the coming years and are excited to welcome Kelvin, who brings with him a wealth of experience."

Factual Steers European Expansion with New Managing Director
Mandeep Mason has been named as the new managing director for Europe at neutral location data company Factual, as part of the firm's efforts to drive growth in Europe and power global expansion.

"I'm delighted to be joining the team at Factural and to continue my work in the location space, which I've been passionate about for many years," said Mason. "It was an easy decision – the talented team and Factual's distinctive, data-driven products are a winning combination for the evolving needs of marketers and businesses across Europe."

In this new role, Mason will be charged with the expansion of the company's European presence, capturing the massive growth opportunity in the market. Mason joins Factual with over 13 years of experience in advertising and mobile, most recently as general manager of PlaceIQ's European business.