Movers and Shakers: Starcom, Aki Technologies, Quantcast, Medialab 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.

Clockwise from top left: Claire Kula, Stephanie Klimaszewski, Louise Briggs, William Jones, Katie Davies, Keith Nealon, Dominic Tillson, Elizabeth Lane

Starcom promotes Kula to managing partner
Starcom has promoted Claire Kula to managing partner. In her new role, she will be charged with leading strategy across UK clients including Lidl, AXA, Alcon and Novartis. She will also continue to oversee a team of communication planners, as well as the broader team of product and activation specialists to deliver exceptional client understanding, idea generation, and media planning and activation for these accounts. She will also develop accelerator projects to help sustain and win future clients.

She started her career in digital media 15 years ago, joining Publicis Media in 2008 as digital strategy director for P&G, where she was awarded ‘Digital Wonderperson’, the P&G Media client team’s highest honour. She has also held roles within the Publicis Media Content team as senior client services director. During this time, she enhanced and fostered organic growth across key global clients including McCormick, Colart, Citigold and Citi Private Bank. Most recently, she has helped retain and grow Publicis Groupe’s Power of One proposition for AXA.

Supporting other working parents to thrive in this industry is a subject close to Kula’s heart. She is part of a community championing Starcom’s ‘Becoming’ initiative, which helps rebuild confidence for new and returning parents at work.

She said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to managing partner. I look forward to redefining the way we drive value and new commercial solutions for our clients. Having had two beautiful babies during my time with the company, I think I’m a great example of Starcom supporting and promoting parents into key leadership positions. I certainly have not been held back by having a young family, working a four-day week and I’m very excited for what this year will hold.“

Klimaszewski joins ‘Moment marketing’ firm Aki Technologies
Mobile marketing firm Aki Technologies has appointed Stephanie Klimaszewski as its VP of marketing. In this role, Klimaszewski will grow the marketing team, support new product launches, and collaborate with brand clients to demonstrate how ‘moment marketing’ ultimately wins customer attention and affinity.

Previously, Klimaszewski led marketing at Kiip (now NinthDecimal) and, more recently, served as marketing director for JustAnswer, an expert marketplace that has connected more than 16m people worldwide with doctors, lawyers, and other expert professionals. She also worked for SpinMedia (now Billboard) and Townsquare Media.

“Stephanie is a pioneer in moment marketing and was responsible for much of the early innovation in the space when she led the marketing team at Kiip,” said Aki Technologies CEO and co-founder, Scott Swanson. “She’s a true thought leader that knows how to bridge creativity with technology to help brands capitalize on the opportunity around personalized advertising. We are thrilled to have her energy and expertise at Aki Technologies.”

Klimaszewski joins Aki during a time of growth. The company, which uses artificial intelligence to predict when and how a mobile consumer is most likely to respond to a marketing message, hired its first CRO last year and has plans to hire more than a dozen people this quarter. Aki now has offices in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

Briggs takes up data strategy role at Quantcast
Audience intelligence and measurement firm Quantcast has appointed Louise Briggs as client partnerships director. Reporting directly into Ben Murphy, Quantcast’s UK managing director, Louise will be responsible for advising and guiding Quantcast UKs clients on data capabilities to develop their digital advertising strategies.

With nearly 18 years of experience working for global ad tech companies, Briggs joins Quantcast from RadiumOne where she led the company’s sales and account management teams.

She said: “At Quantcast we’re conscious of the challenges that marketers and their agency partners are facing in an increasingly complex digital landscape. By working closely with our clients we will continue to develop bespoke insights and marketing solutions that not only deliver performance, but also align with our clients’ desired business outcomes. I am excited to join the team and look forward to working with our partners throughout 2020 and beyond.”

Medialab hires Parker
Independent data marketing firm, Medialab Group, has appointed former Publicis executive Steve Parker to the newly-created position of executive director. He will take a place on the board, into whom he will directly report.
Parker is widely known for his 20 year career within Publicis Groupe rising to co-CEO at Starcom .

Media Group UK, before relocating to Dubai to help create Publicis Media as CEO of Middle East & North Africa. A highly respected leader, he has a track record of new business success, developing digital-based performance marketing units and building strong, transparent media owner partnerships.

MediaLab CEO Marcus Orme said “We are absolutely delighted to have Steve commit to our team, and have thoroughly enjoyed his involvement and contribution over the last few months. Steve has outstanding experience in the data and tech arena and a stellar reputation for driving high levels of valuable growth through trusted relationships, and he will help the Medialab Board to deliver transformative outcomes for organisations we believe in. It is a real statement of our growth, ambition and culture that we can attract someone of Steve’s reputation to our business.”

The appointment comes on the back of significant new business and organic growth for Medialab in 2019, culminating in six key account wins, the most recent of which was the £30m SunLife insurance business.

Jones takes up publisher development role at Telaria
Telaria, the software platform that optimises yield for leading video publishers, has hired William Jones, as head of publisher development, EMEA. 

Jones will work closely with Telaria’s expanding network of premium video publishing partners to help maximize the value of their inventory. With more publisher clients exploring emerging revenue streams and developing sustainable (Connected TV) CTV and streaming businesses in EMEA, Telaria’s addressable advertising solution, Audience Connect, is designed to provide publishers with complete choice and control on a deal-by-deal basis.

As commercial director at Digiday Europe, Jones was responsible for growing revenue across the publisher’s portfolio of display, content and events, building its profile in Europe and managing all commercial EU staff.

He said: “It’s an exciting time to join Telaria, I’m looking forward to combining my skills and experience with Telaria’s innovative technologies and customer-centric ethos, empowering publishers to unlock the value of their premium video inventory across mobile, desktop and CTV.”

Two senior hires for digital ad trade body, IAB UK
IAB UK has hired Elizabeth Lane in the newly-created role of head of research and measurement and Dominic Tillson as head of industry relationships and initiatives.

Lane joins IAB UK from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) where she led research and analysis for media and creative policy. Prior to this she worked at the BBC and Ipsos MORI. In her new role, she will oversee the IAB’s research strategy, including the launch of major insight projects in 2020.

Tillson, who has worked in digital advertising for over 20 years, joins from Inskin Media, where he was most recently director of marketing and insight. His new role will see him work with the IAB’s Steering Groups to shape and deliver member-led projects and increase member involvement with IAB initiatives. Antonio Forte joins Tillson’s team as industry initiative’s executive, having previously worked at Wavemaker.

“It’s great to have Elizabeth and Dom onboard as we start 2020,” said IAB UK CEO, Jon Mew. “Dom’s work in ad tech, not to mention first-hand experience of being an IAB member, makes him uniquely placed to lead our membership initiatives. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s time spent at the DCMS is invaluable when it comes to understanding the political context of our industry and creating research projects that resonate with both policy makers and the media industry.”

Bazaarvoice appoints Nealon to CEO role
Bazaarvoice has appointed Keith Nealon as its CEO. In his new role, Nealon will draw on over 20 years of experience with high-growth technology companies to help take Bazaarvoice into new markets and areas of innovation. Nealon assumed his role as CEO on January 1st, 2020, and is based out of Bazaarvoice’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Joe Davis of Marlin Equity Partners has served as CEO since Marlin Equity acquired Bazaarvoice in February 2018; he will transition out of the CEO role and return to his original role as operating executive.

“Keith is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with a strong track record leading successful, client-focused growth,” Davis commented. “His technology and go-to-market experience is the ideal match for the business needs of Bazaarvoice. With expansion into international markets, acquisitions of new solutions, and organic roadmap acceleration over the last two years, Bazaarvoice is positioned for continued growth, and we look forward to Keith driving exponential success for the business and its clients.”

Most recently, Nealon was the Chairman and CEO of financial technology platform Vyze, which was acquired by Mastercard in April 2019. Prior to that, he held leadership roles at both private and public technology companies, including Adaptive Insights, Eloqua, ShoreTel, Conductor, and NaviSite.

The Independent bolsters its US team
The Independent has hired Katie Davies as US Editor and John T Bennett as Washington DC Bureau Chief.

Davies returns to The Independent, where she previously worked on the news desk in London until 2012. She has spent the past seven years at MailOnline in New York, rising to the position of senior editor and helping to grow its digital audience in the US.

Bennett joins from Roll Call, where he has been White House correspondent for four years, having specialised in political analysis and reporting throughout his career.

In a change of role, Richard Hall will be relocated from his position as Middle East Correspondent in Beirut to become a Senior US Correspondent in New York.

“As President Trump moves from impeachment to re-election campaign, and with an unprecedented focus on the climate crisis, the year ahead offers The Independent a golden opportunity to establish a reputation for truly independent, free-thinking journalism within the most dynamic news market of all,” said Christian Broughton, editor of The Independent. “I can’t wait to work with Katie again, give John a broader platform on which to share his outstanding analysis, and provide Richard with a new territory for his endless energy and commitment to finding truly remarkable stories.”

Thorn returns to Tag in strategy role
Tag, a global creative production partner to brands and agencies, has appointed Kevan Thorn to the role of chief strategy officer. Based in London, he will work alongside the company’s regional CEOs, and report to Tag CEO David Kassler.

Thorn spent 10 years as CEO of Hogarth Worldwide and was one of the founding partners of the agency in 2008. Prior to Hogarth, he was managing prtner of Hub+ (now EG+) part of the Omnicom Group, and had previously worked for Tag from 2000–2005.

Tag CEO David Kassler said: “We’re delighted to have Kevan back with Tag. As we step into the new decade we are building the best team in the industry and we’re proud to be attracting such high-calibre talent. Kevan’s deep industry knowledge and expertise will help to expand our Creative Production business helping brands to make marketing more effective and efficient by transforming content production.”

DMA announces board level changes
Stephen Maher, CEO of MBA, has been named as the new chair of the DMA Board, with VerveIQ founder & MD Pipa Unsworth named as deputy chair. The pair are also joined by two newly-elected additions to the DMA Board in Cordell Burke, creative managing partner at Up There, Everywhere, and Firas Khnaisser, head of decisioning at Standard Life.

As his tenure begins, Maher said: “I am so delighted to be taking up this new role at such a vital time for the DMA and our 1,000 members who represent the UK’s leading brands and their marketing services partners. We will look to further extend and raise the profile of our industry expertise and training around data ethics and martech, as well as foster even greater industry diversity and inclusion from the classroom to the boardroom.”

Pipa Unsworth, new deputy chair of the DMA Board said: “Though technologies like AI and data-driven marketing are prominent trends in our industry, our members are equally focused on people – building diverse teams and flexible, inclusive environments that enable the kind of creativity and innovation that delights us all as consumers. The DMA provides leadership and support across all these areas and it’s a privilege to help lead the agenda forward as we enter a new decade.”

Maher and Unsworth succeed Mark Runacus, co-founder and planning partner at Wax/On, and Caroline Worboys, COO at Outra, who took up their posts in 2017 and helped steer the DMA through a significant period of change for the association and the industry it represents. This has included helping the data and marketing industry through the biggest legislative change in a generation, with the General Data Protection Regulation that came into force in May 2018.

Both Runacus and Worboys have also supported the DMA team through its rebrand in 2019 that saw it become the Data & Marketing Association, including the Institute of Data & Marketing and DMA Talent.

Burke and Khnaisser have both been elected to three-year terms on the DMA Board. They will be filling the positions left by Gavin Wheeler, CEO at WDMP, and Michelle de Souza, chief data officer at Age UK.

Bounteous goes for experience
Chicago-based digital agency Bounteous has hired Marc Blanchard as its first chief experience officer. The move marks the agencys latest strategic move in recent months, as it continues to win clients and add to its leadership team in response to growth.

Blanchard is responsible for leading Bounteous’ Experience Design practice and joins SVP of experience design, Amanda Ruzin, to set the strategy for the XD practice, one of Bounteous’ fastest-growing practices.

“Marc is a savvy designer, strategist, and thought leader, and we’re elated to have him join our team at Bounteous,” said Keith Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Bounteous. “Our design practice competes with the very best firms in the world, and Marc will continue the efforts of shaping those offerings and momentum.

“In partnership with Amanda, and the rest of our leadership team, Marc will sharpen our experience strategy; help develop creative engagements that drive value for our clients; and excite, challenge, and deepen our teams.”

Blanchard is a creative lead and experience designer with a 20-year track record of crafting digital brand experiences for global brands such as IBM, Intel, Charles Schwab, and Nike. Previously Global head of experience design at Havas, Blanchard is a recognized thought leader in using data and AI to power experiences, and has been a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at both NYU and Columbia.

Blanchard cites a transformative shift in marketing and heavier engagement than ever before in brand experiences from apps to online to retail. Marketing has grown beyond storytelling to create valuable experiences that people need at every stage of their customer journey, and in response, organizations are evolving their talent, type of work output, and types of engagements with clients.

“Marketing is evolving from making people want things to making things people want,” he said. “To own the conversation, our clients need different processes, different types of research, different ways of working. Its important today to have people in place who understand user experience, who are highly valued in the organization, and who use deep user research that empathizes with people to organize their work.”

Saskin takes up CX role at Selligent
Omnichannel marketing and experience cloud platform Selligent has hired Matthew Saskin as vice president of customer experience. Saskin will help drive Selligent’s growing CX business, working with its channel and technology partner community to enable businesses to deliver powerful end-to-end customer experiences.

Saskin brings more than 15 years of CX and digital strategy experience to Selligent, most recently serving as VP and general manager of Dimension Data’s Customer Experience practice for the Americas. While there, he defined and executed against a multi-year growth plan, which led to substantial growth in professional, managed, and cloud services bookings.

Prior to his role at Dimension Data, he was global practice director at managed services provider, IPsoft, where he spearheaded its unified communications and contact centre managed services practice, growing revenues from $0 to $20M ARR within two years.

He said: “I’ve always had a passion for using technology to deliver transformational business outcomes. I am very excited to join Selligent to usher in the next wave of experience-driven solutions. For years, organizations have struggled to break down silos across channels and functions to deliver end-to-end experiences – until now. I look forward to working with the Selligent team to drive change across the industry with their game-changing platform, and witness its growing impact in helping organizations deliver high-quality experiences.”

Pierce promotes Kelley to MD role
Pierce Global, an experiential agency within Omnicom Experiential Group, has promoted Mike Kelley to managing director. In this role, Kelley will lead Pierces vision, as well as the agencys strategic service offering.

Kelley, formerly of Gatorade (PepsiCo), was previously acting as the agencys executive vice president, heading up Pierce Client Engagement and Strategy teams. During his 20-year tenure at Pierce, he has also led teams on both the operations and client engagement side of the business, responsible for integrated experiential programming for top companies and brands including CitiBank, Diageo, Heineken USA, Kraft, Lidl USA, Post Foods and Unilever.

“I am thrilled to be asked to lead the agency,” said Kelley. “We have a team poised for growth, and the industry is in the most dynamic phase its ever been – the value, impact and influence of brand experience has never been greater”.

Two senior hires for DivvyCloud
DivvyCloud, which provides security and compliance automation for cloud and container environments, has appointed Brandie Kalinowski as vice president of people and culture and David Geevaratne as vice president of North American sales.

Kalinowski will focus on recruiting, engaging, developing, and retaining a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Previously, she was the head of people operations at Etsy, where she and her team were dedicated to aligning the company’s People Programs and processes with dynamic business and growth strategies by focusing on information systems and analytics, business partnership and customer service, and total rewards.

Geevaratne will oversee the enterprise sales strategy to promote growth and customer satisfaction. He brings 20 years of sales and marketing experience in cloud and technology solutions. He most recently served as general manager and market leader for SoftwareONE, in Switzerland, and was an integral member of the North American leadership team.

“We are thrilled to have Brandie and David onboard,” said Brian Johnson, DivvyCloud CEO and co-founder. “Our team grew by more than 110 per cent in 2019, and we plan to double it in 2020. Brandie’s expertise will help us proactively align the people team strategy with the company roadmap. Davids sales leadership and his strong background in building top performing sales teams will help DivvyCloud achieve its growth goals.”