Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Talent Tracker: AYKO Digital, ShowHeroes Group, Prezzee and many more

AYKO Digital, a Leeds and Manchester-based e-commerce agency, has strengthened its marketing and creative departments with five new recruits following a series of client wins. The new hires include Lucy Gregg who joins as Senior Paid Media Manager, bringing with her 4 years of experience and expertise in large agencies. Dan Carr joins as SEO Manager with 4 years of experience agency-side. He will be heading up the SEO offering and supporting AYKO clients with SEO auditing, platform migrations, and growth strategy. Also joining the AYKO team are a Junior UI/Web Designer and 2 new marketing graduates as part of the company’s existing and highly successful graduate scheme. The intake of graduates will develop under the stewardship of Marketing Director Chris Tate and will ensure the company can continue to deliver for its rapidly growing book of clients.

ShowHeroes Group has announced the appointment of media and ad industry expert, Amelia Parsons, as its new UK Head of Supply. Parsons started her career in the industry a decade ago at brand advertising company, Collective, as an account manager. She later moved across to her “real home” of publishing supply and worked her way up to become Head of Publishing at Collective, after the company’s acquisition by Time Inc. UK in 2016. Collective was subsequently bought by digital entertainment and media platform, Azerion UK, in 2020 and Parsons was promoted to the company’s Head of Publishing. During this period, Parsons was a regular contributor to leading industry publications and was shortlisted as an ExchangeWire Ad Tech Rising Star and New Digital Age’s Ad Tech Collab Champion. In her new role at ShowHeroes, Parsons will bring her wealth of creative, tech and commercial knowledge to help ShowHeroes grow its UK publisher network and increase its strategic partnerships.

Global digital gifting company Prezzee has announced the appointment of Nick Eshkenazi as its Chief Digital Officer. Prezzee was founded in Australia in 2014 and has since expanded into North America, New Zealand and the UK. In the role as Chief Digital Officer, Eshkenazi leads the brand’s digital, data, engineering and technology strategy, and the execution of its future product roadmap and technology vision. Eshkenazi has a successful track record of digital innovation for global retail brands such as Woolworths and Costco, where he created award-winning solutions and innovative products and services. He has more than 25 years of experience, and two decades with US-led global businesses. Earlier this year he was recognised with the Top 10 Chief Digital Officer – APAC 2022 Award by CIO Outlook.

Moloco, a machine learning company, has announced that advertising and search product executive Bill Michels has been appointed General Manager of Moloco’s Retail Media business unit. Prior to joining Moloco, Bill Michels was the Executive Vice President of Product at The Trade Desk. Michels brings more than two decades of successful leadership across product management, engineering, data strategy, and business development for some of the definitive companies in advertising and search. He was previously Chief Data Officer at Foursquare after spending 10 years at Factual, most notably as Chief Operating Officer responsible for product, engineering, and data partnerships before its merger with Foursquare. While at Yahoo!, as Senior Director of Product Management, Michels worked in Search, where he launched and led Yahoo! BOSS and several initiatives for international search monetisation.

Laurent Cordier is the new VP Client Services for EMEA at The Trade Desk, in charge of managing the client services teams as they maximize the performance of their clients’ digital campaigns. Cordier has over 20 years of experience in the technology, media and programmatic advertising industries. A graduate of the Telecom Paris engineering school in 1994, Laurent began his career in management consulting, notably at KPMG and A.T Kearney, as Senior Manager. After a stint at Dell, he joined Google’s London office in 2006. Initially in charge of developing the display and YouTube offer in the EMEA markets, he became Sales Director in 2009 and launched the marketing of Google’s programmatic offer in Europe ‘The ad exchange’). In 2011, Cordier joined Google’s teams in New York where he became Managing Director in charge of Google’s monetization products with publishers. global strategic partnerships with publishers as Managing Director. In 2018, Cordier joined the SAAS start-up specializing in mobile user experience Headspin as Chief Revenue Officer before joining MediaMath in 2021 as Chief Partnerships Officer.

CYLNDR, Cheil Worldwide’s tech-enabled, end-to-end creative production studio, has announced the appointment of Greta Wynn Davies as its UK Managing Director. Wynn Davies joins CYLNDR following nearly seven years at VCCP/ KIN where she was most recently Deputy Head of Film and Content at Girl&Bear. During her time at the ad agency, she oversaw film production for brands including Cadbury, Virgin, O2, TfL, and Nationwide. During her 23 years in the industry, she has held creative and film production and directing roles spanning advertising, music videos and animated series, both in the UK and internationally. Reporting to Sam Balderstone, Head of CYLNDR Global, she will be tasked with driving the growth of CYLNDR’s production capability alongside developing a service that delivers greater business efficiencies and commercial results.

What’s Possible Group, the harmonious marketing group for dynamic growth brands, has promoted Annalisa Gribble to Managing Partner of its People Team. Gribble, who was previously Head of People, will focus on putting diversity, inclusion, and equality at the heart of the Group’s talent retention and recruitment strategy. She will work closely with external partners, including Creative Equals, Creative Mentor Network, Brixton Finishing School, On-Hand and BeyondAutism. She advocates putting people at the heart of business decisions and is a champion of employee health and wellbeing and learning and development. Gribble joined in 2013 to create and lead the People team and has remained at the heart of What’s Possible Group for the last nine years. During this time Gribble has led the Workers and Community aspects of the group’s journey to becoming B Corp accredited and spearheaded initiatives including hiring a qualified in-house mental health and well-being specialist (a first for the independent media sector). Her work has helped the Group be named as one of Campaign’s Best Places to Work every year for the last five years.

Beyond Now, a fast-growing ecosystem orchestration and digital platform provider, has announced the appointment of Chris Gates and Ashley Haynes-Gaspar to its Board of Directors. The two appointments will help extend the expertise of the board and continue Beyond Now’s growing momentum in the U.S. market and globally. Chris Gates, former Group Chief Information Officer and head of Infrastructure Structure at Allstate, the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America, joins Beyond Now’s Board as a non-executive member. Ashley Haynes-Gaspar, Chief Operating Officer of Industry & Business Applications for the U.S. Subsidiary at Microsoft, also joins the Beyond Now Board.

Sangoma, the unified communications specialist, has significantly strengthened its channel division with the appointment of a new Head of Channel UK&I to drive forward the company’s operations. Mark Jones joins as Head of Channel, for UK & Ireland, at Sangoma to increase the number of Sangoma’s channel partners, help distributors onboard more resellers and expand Sangoma’s customer base, as well as grow Sangoma’s brand awareness and recognition in the UK. Jones boasts three decades of experience working in the technology industry and the channel; and joins Sangoma from Beyond Connectivity. Jones has also worked for high-profile companies such as BT and Virgin.

Cohesity has announced the appointment of Mark Molyneux as CTO for Cohesity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Molyneux will play a key role in advising customers, prospects, and partners on how next-gen data management can help them manage, protect, secure, and derive value from their data  — their most critical digital asset. Based in London, UK, Molyneux brings more than 25 years of relevant experience working for leading information technology (IT) companies and Fortune 500 financial institutes. Prior to joining Cohesity, he was the UK Business Development CTO at Dell Technologies, leading hybrid and multi-cloud conversations in the UK. Molyneux joined Dell Technologies in 2019, following more than twelve years at Barclays Bank where he held the position of Director of Group Storage, Virtualisation, and Public Cloud.

Havas Media Group UK has appointed Pedro Ramos as Head of Ecommerce for its specialist ecommerce consulting agency Havas Market. The hire completes the management line-up for Havas Market following the acquisition of full-service ecommerce and Amazon consultancy Expert Edge earlier this month, a move designed to accelerate Havas Market’s global expansion. Bringing fifteen years of experience in marketing, the majority within performance media and ecommerce, Ramos joins Havas Market following four years at Omnicom Media Group, where he rose to EMEA Executive Director of Performance, overseeing a team of over 20 to partner with clients such as SAP, Philips and Mercedes-Benz on ecommerce, paid social, paid search and programmatic.

Publicis•Poke has hired a wave of creative senior hires from three different continents: two new Creative Directors, Valentina Amenta and Chris Bruney, plus two Senior Creative Team duos: Thiago Jacon and Conor Barry, and Marion Cohen and Kevin Travis. Valentina Amenta joins from Italian hot shop Caffeina, where she was Deputy Executive Creative Director, and worked on accounts such as Ferrero and Danone. In previous years Amenta has worked at Publicis Milano, BBDO and FCB Milano, on accounts including BMW, Mars, Pepsico and P&G. During her time at BBDO in 2018, she worked on the international illy ‘half a cup’ campaign. She is also the co-founder of SheSays Milano, part the global network for women in the creative industry. Last year she was juror at Cannes Lions and the One Show. US-born Chris Bruney moves to Publicis•Poke from Amsterdam, where he was Global Art Direction Lead at Just Eat. Prior to this, he worked brand-side with Uber as their EMEA Lead Art Director. Before this role, Bruney spent seven years at DDB Chicago where he worked with brands including Skittles and McDonald’s. 

Among the new creative line-up is senior team Marion Cohen and Kevin Travis. The duo most recently freelanced with BBH for the past 20 months where they worked on campaigns for Barclays and Tesco, including the supermarket’s ‘This Christmas, nothing’s stopping us’ campaign last year. Cohen began her career at Lowe in her native Paris, she then moved to London and joined Saatchi & Saatchi, where she stayed for nearly 15 years. Since 2018, Cohen has freelanced at many agencies including Ogilvy, The Brooklyn Brothers and McCann. Travis has worked at many of the UK’s top agencies over the past two decades, including an 11-year stint at Leo Burnett. Since 2015, Travis has been freelancing at agencies including McCann, Engine, Ogilvy and AKQA. He also spent time brand side at ITV. Creative duo Thiago Jacon and Conor Barry are the second senior team within Publicis•Poke’s wave of new hires. Jacon and Barry have spent the past two years freelancing with Le Pub Amsterdam and BBH London working on campaigns including ‘Live Till The Last Drop’ for Bonaqua (Coca-Cola) Global and Heineken’s Cheers To All Fans. Jacon, from São Paulo, Brazil, teamed up with US-born Barry in 2010. Over the years, their work has received awards at Cannes Lions, D&AD, The One Show, London International, Clios and ADC.

GWI, the audience insights technology company, has announced that it has appointed Sara Spivey as Non-Executive Director, based in Austin, Texas. Spivey possesses a wealth of experience across marketing and marketing technology. Most recently she was Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Braze, the market-leading customer engagement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) firm, during its $520 million IPO in 2021. Prior to that, she was Chief Marketing and Client Officer at Bazaarvoice, the leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions. Sara also helmed InReach, the learning management solutions provider, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), achieving positive EBITDA and positioning the company for sale.

Mobivity Holdings Corp., a global provider of personalized reward solutions that drive customer acquisition, frequency and spend, has announced that Kim Carlson has joined Mobivity as Chief Revenue Officer. Carlson will use her vast expertise in mobile gaming and advertising to drive Mobivity’s revenue operations and work to accelerate growth following the successful deployment of its Connected Rewards solution to leading gaming publishers and brands. Carlson brings more than two decades of experience building and leading revenue growth for traditional and digital media organizations. Most recently, she was Head of Global Revenue at Aarki, a mobile Demand Side Platform, which was acquired by leading mobile games platform Skillz in 2021. Previously she served as CRO at global mobile adtech company Taptica through its acquisition by Tremor International. Carlson’s prior revenue leadership experience includes roles at Infospace, Marchex, InMobi and Appnique.

Uberall, a global provider of hybrid customer experience (CX) solutions, has announced that it has hired Alid Dettke as its new Chief People Officer, and Paul Nannetti as Chairman of the Board of Directors. These new additions to the Uberall team highlight the company’s growth and further position them as worldwide leaders in hybrid CX. For more than 15 years, Dettke has been delivering global transformation at the intersection of people and culture, strategy, innovation and digital. Her global experience spanned from consulting for Accenture Interactive (now Accenture Song), the world’s largest digital consultancy, where she spent 11 years, to leading corporate digital innovation organizations. Most recently, she held the role of Chief Human Resources Officer and headed the global people function at Wärtsilä, the Finnish-based global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. Nannetti was formerly a member of the Group Executive Committee of Capgemini, where he was responsible for Sales, Portfolio Transformation, and Cloud Services. He also led a number of other Capgemini Group businesses and has served on the boards of several private equity-backed Technology organizations. He brings a wealth of experience in driving profitable growth and value creation to support Uberall’s continued success.