Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA’s Talent Tracker column provides a regular update on which companies are recruiting who and from where.

Talent Tracker: Azerion, Lumen Research, Adnami and many more

Azerion, the digital entertainment and media platform, has announced the appointment of two new hires to its Manchester team, expanding the company’s Northern footprint as Dave Mullan and Emma Hart join the company as Account Managers. They join Business Director, Hannah Atkinson, and  Eiña Crerand, who joined Azerion a year ago as an Account Manager. Dave Mullan will be responsible for managing the regional client relationships and delivery of their campaigns through Azerion’s platform. Mullan is joining from Invibes Advertising where he worked as Digital Sales Manager, managing the delivery of the company’s marketing services to regional agencies and advertisers in the Manchester region. Prior to this, Mullan was Client Executive at Channel 4, where he managed a portfolio of global brands. Also joining as an Account Manager, Emma Hart will manage the relationships and campaigns with Azerion’s major media partners. With more than five years of industry experience, Hart has most recently worked at Havas Lynx Group as a Media Buyer. Prior to that she worked as a Media Manager at Global – both in the Manchester region.

Lumen Research, the global attention technology company, is ramping up US operations to meet increased demand for attention measurement and optimization solutions. In Los Angeles, Bill Forelli joins Lumen as VP of Sales, North America, bringing extensive experience in ad-tech measurement and brand sales through executive positions at Frameplay, Newegg, and others. Heading up US customer success is Barbara Butts, who joins Lumen with 10+ years of ad operations experience across companies such as FramePlay, Ford, and Universal McCann. Forelli and Butts join Scott Linzer, General Manager, North Americas, and Blaise Lucey, Marketing Director, in the rapidly growing US-based Lumen team.

Ad tech company Adnami has appointed Sophie Spencer as UK Agency Sales Director as it continues its rapid expansion across Europe, with growing numbers of advertisers across the continent turning to Adnami’s high-impact display and video formats. Formerly Head of Agency Sales at News UK, Spencer has also been Agency Partnerships Director at adtech platform, Cardlytics. With over ten years of media sales and management experience, Spencer will create and sustain strong relationships with media agencies, leading the agency sales team as advertisers wake up to the power of programmatic, high-impact advertising.

Global technology company, Brand Metrics, which works with publishers to demonstrate the effectiveness of digital advertising, has appointed Kristen Friesen as VP Business Development in the US as growing numbers of clients opt to use its technology to measure brand lift at scale. In her new role at Brand Metrics, Friesen will form part of a growing team, helping to scale its groundbreaking products across the US market. She will seek out strategic partnerships whilst developing and leading the US-based sales structure. Based out of Austin, Texas, Friesen was most recently Head of Growth for Zeus Prime at Zeus Technology, the ad tech start-up within The Washington Post serving the publisher and advertiser ecosystem. Here, she was focused on building a self-serve advertising platform which connected advertisers directly to ad inventory from a marketplace of trusted publishers, as well as developing strategic partnerships and overseeing go-to-market strategy.  

To mark International Women’s Day, CreativeX, a creative data platform for the world’s largest brands, has published new analysis showing a need for brands to elevate their approach to including women in ads. 2022 findings showed that women (in particular women with darker skin tones*) are still underrepresented – and underinvested in when it comes to ad spend – across professional environments compared to family and domestic settings. The analysis assessed over 10,000 adverts supported by over $100M in ad spend shows the presence of women in domestic or family settings in adverts increased to 66% in 2022 compared to just 32% in 2021. In addition, the percentage of women that were portrayed in professional settings decreased by nearly two thirds (60%) from 16% in 2021, to just 7% in 2022. This is despite women appearing more frequently across all of the ads indexed than men; over the last two years, ads featured 34% more women than men. CreativeX’s analysis shows despite women appearing in more creatives in total, the focus on showing women in progressive environments has slipped. 

Intuit has appointed Michael Benjamin, formerly Global Head of Digital Growth and Acquisition at Meta, as its new UK Marketing Director. Benjamin comes from Meta having held responsibility for its portfolio of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Business Messaging. In his role at Intuit, Benjamin will be focused on building a new vision for the company’s UK marketing, focused on customer obsession, data, insights and performance marketing – with AI at its heart. Prior to his time at Meta, where he was previously responsible for demand generation at Workplace from Facebook, Benjamin was Chief Marketing Officer at commercial office brokers Office Freedom. This followed a tenure as Marketing Director at online letting agency Upad, now part of Dexters, and roles at EasyRoommate and Rosetta Stone. 

Highsnobiety, the cultural consultancy and media platform, have just expanded the European arm of their cultural creative studio, HS+, with the addition of Munise Can as SVP & General Manager, HS+ Europe. Munise Can has worked in the creative industry for over ten years, strategizing on everything from hotel lounges to sneaker releases. Her experience has enabled her to develop a deep understanding of the industry and the strategies that work best for brands and the universes they wish to create. She has worked with some of the world’s most iconic names, including Nike, BMW, and H&M, as well as up-and-coming forces in the industry, such as Area NYC.

News UK has announced the appointment of Shelley Bishton as Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In her new role, Bishton will focus on furthering DEI strategy across News UK, which is home to brands including The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times, TalkTV, talkSPORT, Virgin Radio UK and Times Radio. Bishton will report into Sarah Gallo, EVP, Chief People Officer. With a career in media spanning 15 years, Bishton joined News UK in 2018 as Head of Brand Partnerships across The Times and The Sunday Times. In 2022, Bishton was named as a top role model by EMpower, a global list that honours leaders and future leaders who are driving the charge for inclusion in the workplace.

Aircall, the integrated phone and communication platform designed for sales and support teams, has announced the appointment of Mary Nelson as Chief Customer Officer and Greg Peel as Vice President of Sales for North America. Nelson brings over a decade of experience leading customer-focused teams. She most recently served as Chief Client Officer at cloud-based digital banking solutions provider Alkami Technology, where she successfully led a team of 250 customer-facing professionals to achieve $226M annual recurring revenue and scaled the company through its IPO and beyond. With nearly 30 years of experience, Peel hails from Paychex, where he built an award-winning sales organization with a track record of high-performance. Most recently, Peel led the sales team for Deluxe Corp, managing a team in the U.S. and Canada to earn triple digit growth in 2022. 

Global experience design company, Imagination, has announced the appointment of Sascha Uzzell as Managing Director of Imagination New York and Houston, and Jiri Bures as Executive Creative Director Imagination New York and Houston. With 20 years of extensive experience leading world class creative accounts and agencies, Uzzell joins Imagination from BBDO where she has led global business teams in the development of innovative and strategic programs for clients across both corporate and consumer markets. At Imagination, Uzzell will drive growth by developing leading B2C and B2B offerings that deliver standout engagement for brands. She will also expand Imagination’s technology offer, providing solutions for brands embracing new tech innovations looking to explore opportunities within immersive storytelling, measurable interactive content, virtual production, Web3 and the metaverse.

Wunderkind, the performance marketing solution that delivers guaranteed revenue and performance for brands, publishers and advertisers, has announced the appointment of Bill Ingram, a proven marketing technology leader, as Chief Executive Officer. Ingram brings over 30 years of experience scaling tech start-ups, leading enterprise SaaS organisation advancement, and driving product development and growth.  Before joining Wunderkind, Ingram served as President and Chief Product Officer at Cheetah Digital, driving the global innovation and advancement of next generation B2C marketing automation solutions.