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: Incubeta, Billion Dollar Boy,THE FIFTH ,Team ITG and more

International marketing leader, Incubeta, has announced a new addition to its team, with Marie-Anna Gurney being brought on as its new Global Director of Solutions. In this role, Gurney will be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of Incubeta’s digital marketing solutions, ensuring these are adopted across the business globally. For Gurney, this move is the next step in a varied and successful career, in which she has worked in traditional marketing, run her own online toy store, gained extensive experience in online retail working for one of the world’s largest health and beauty retailers and most recently offered her services as a consultant. With over 25 years of industry experience, Gurney is well-positioned to lead the agency’s efforts in rolling these solutions out across all of its markets and keeping ahead of its competitors.

Global creator marketing agency, Billion Dollar Boy (BDB), announces the appointment of Becky Owen as Chief Marketing Officer. Owen joins from Meta, where she was Head of Creator Innovation and Solutions, leading the Creators for Business strategy for the brand’s family of apps across the EMEA region, incorporating Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, AR and VR. Owen is considered one of Europe’s leading experts in influencer and creator marketing. Prior to joining Meta in August 2018, she held senior leadership roles at Maker Studios, the first global creator agency, and was Head Of Digital Partnerships and Branded Content at The Walt Disney Company. Through a partnership with the University of Oxford’s Future of Marketing Initiative, Owen hosts an online class for their MBA program. She also co-created the first academic research paper on the role of sound and Augmented Reality – and how this can be used for business effectiveness. In addition, she was named a Top Global Trailblazer by Refinery 29 and features in Talking Influence’s Global Top 50.

AVANTGARDE, the brand experience agency, has announced the promotion of two senior team members, as well as the hire of a new Global Business Development Director. Stuart Bradbury, who has held the role of MD of AVANTGARDE London for more than 13 years, has been promoted into the position of Executive Director of Strategic & Creative Chapters, where he will sit on the Management Board and oversee all international MDs. Having started to take a leading role across the international offices over the last year, the promotion to a global management level will now see Bradbury become responsible for overseeing them, as well as supporting AVANTGARDE Group growth and overall direction. He will report directly into AVANTGARDE Group’s CEO Marc Schumacher. Rachel Lewandowska, who has been Client Services Director of the London office since September 2022, has been promoted to Head of AVANTGARDE London. Taking on many of the responsibilities from Bradbury’s previous role, Lewandowska will also continue to be the client services team lead and will have oversight of all clients at AVANTGARDE London. George Perry has been appointed into the role of Global Business Development Director for AVANTGARDE Group, coming from his previous position as Business Development Director at Jack Morton, which he held for just under three years. Perry will be reporting into Stuart Bradbury and will be responsible for global new business, including group strategy. He will also be the business development team lead.

UK social creative agency THE FIFTH, a business owned by News UK and known for its viral creator marketing campaigns, has announced the appointment of Deborah Kerr as its first Non-Executive Chairman. Kerr is highly regarded in the marketing and advertising industry, having held CEO and other senior leadership positions at global network agencies including WPP, The&Partnership, JWT, AMV BBDO and TBWA. Within these roles, she has worked with numerous global and local clients ranging from Diageo, The Coca Cola Company and Vodafone to Sainsbury’s, Camelot/The National Lottery and News Corp. In this new role, Kerr will work closely with THE FIFTH CEO, Oliver Lewis and his management team to provide strategic guidance, as well as a deep knowledge of the marketing industry that will help set the pathway for continued success.

Experience design company, Imagination, has appointed Helen Bellringer as Associate Creative Director. Joining at a time of exceptional global growth for the business, she will champion the agency’s outstanding creative work and develop world-class ideas that build new business relationships and inspire the next generation of talent. Bellringer’s role is effective immediately and she reports to Steve Lidbury, Executive Creative Director UK and Europe. In her new role, Bellringer will be responsible for championing the digital creative output at Imagination UK, developing new business relationships and creating work that continues to challenge the status quo across Imagination’s core offers, Consulting, Destinations, Content and Live. She will ensure creative vision is implemented into all of Imagination’s work and ensure the output continues to be of the highest standard. Joining from Solarflare Studio, Bellringer has previously managed a team of creatives to deliver award-winning work for global brands including Lego, Lamborghini and Wimbledon Tennis. She has over ten years of experience in experiential creativity and launched the first immersive storytelling piece on the MelodyVR platform with Lewis Capaldi in 2019.

Valtech, has announced the appointment of John Cunningham as its global CTO. As an experienced strategic leader in servicing world-leading brands on their digital transformation journey, Cunningham will support Valtech in its mission to transform businesses into digital power houses driven by innovation and agility. He joins the company from UNLIMITED, where he held the position of Group CTO. In his role, Cunningham will work with Valtech’s executive team to ensure the company’s approach to its clients’ digital transformation remains first class in terms of meeting customer expectations and needs. From bolstering its technical partnerships and capabilities, to getting the best out of its people for better business outcomes, he’ll play a key part in the company’s growth.

Industry veterans Gerhard Arnhofer and Jase George have joined forces at Team ITG to spearhead the expansion of a dedicated Life Sciences division, leading high-impact technology transformation programs & marketing campaigns for major companies across the biopharma, medical devices & consumer care sectors including Bayer, Johnson & Johnson and Haleon. Arnhofer joins as the Head of Customer Strategy for Team ITG’s Life Science division, with two decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including Merck & Co. Inc., Bayer AG and most recently BioNTech SE, where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Customer Strategy, overseeing commercial activities within the Immunology, Oncology and Product & Services business units. Arnhofer joins Jase George, Managing Partner for Team ITG’s Life Science division, who has thirty years of experience across companies including Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG & Bayer AG. George took over Team ITG’s Lifescience portfolio at Team ITG in 2021 and will lead the division’s growth strategy through the deployment of its proprietary Storyteq marketing collaboration and creative automation platform, in addition to its suite of professional services.

Family-focused marketing agency Kids Industries (KI) has announced two exciting new hires for the business – including the appointment of BBC Children’s, Amy Macaulay. Macaulay, a highly experienced digital content producer, has worked at BBC Children’s for 10 years and joins KI as Creative Producer. No stranger to the family space, she has managed the digital marketing and launch strategies for both CBeebies and CBBC products, working on web game and app launches, audience acquisition, community management, performance analysis and content creation – including BAFTA nominated digital content. At KI, Macaulay will lead the line on bringing campaigns, activations, digital projects, content, live shows and more to life. She’ll work closely with KI’s Creative Director, in-house team and supporting production studios – essentially at the heart of some of KI’s most exciting work for kids and families. Marina Maurer, Junior Designer also joins the business. With an MA in Digital Media Design from the University of London and experience in digital marketing and design at toucanBox, Loop and Forge, Maurer has a young but impressive portfolio to draw upon. Her work at KI will involve designing exciting and innovative artwork and products – websites, apps, branding and games for clients and collaborating with the research, strategy and production team to deliver award-winning campaigns.

Webhelp, a global customer experience (CX) BPO player, has announced the appointment of CX industry leader Monti Becker Kelly as Senior VP, Global Accounts, to enable Webhelp’s clients to derive value from their CX initiatives, and support on strategy, innovation and cost optimization. Based in the US, Becker Kelly brings 25 years of expertise helping leading global brands across sectors including finance, retail, and technology to deliver BPO services including customer care, technical support, sales and digital transformation programs. Prior to joining Webhelp, Becker Kelly was Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement and Strategic Accounts at [24], after senior roles at Sitel, Teleperformance, and Convergys.

Sibling Rivalry, the brand studio and production company, has promoted three key people from across the business to Partners, joining Co-Founders Joe Wright and Mikon van Gastel at the company’s leadership table. Darren Foldes is now Partner, Managing Director on the films side of Sibling Rivalry. On the brand studio side of the business, Lauren Hartstone takes the role of Partner, Executive Creative Director and Joanna Fillie becomes Partner, Managing Director. Hartstone is an Emmy-nominated creative director and graphic designer with over two decades of experience spanning entertainment, tech, and lifestyle industries. She specializes in dynamic visual identities and a compelling approach to brand storytelling. Foldes, Executive Producer of the Emmy award winner (NIKE, “You Can’t Stop Us), is a firm believer that craft is king. Darren’s work has been Emmy nominated in 2020 for (APPLE, “Bounce”) and the aforementioned Emmy winner for NIKE. As Managing Director of Sibling Rivalry, Fillie oversees the operations and sales of the bi-coastal agency. Her expertise in production, branding, and strategy ensures the team is well-equipped to deliver successful outcomes for entertainment, tech, and luxury brands like Apple, NBC, and BVLGARI.

Lucky Generals has hired Gary McCreadie, former BBH board partner and Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Sydney as its Deputy ECD to help lead its creative efforts, and continue to build and grow the agency. McCreadie worked at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London for a decade, helping lead the agency’s largest and most creatively awarded accounts. This included sending a bloke down a waterslide to demonstrate the ease of contactless payment for Barclaycard, recruiting a crew of teenage NASA astronauts for Lynx/Axe, collaborating with Hugh Grant to promote Open Journalism for The Guardian and adding some screaming muscular intensity to Tango. He also worked as Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Sydney from 2014 – 2017, leading David Jones, M.J. Bale, Tourism New Zealand, Airbnb and Foxtel, as well as directing campaigns for Schick and TK Maxx. He joins from Larchmont in New Zealand, where he has been working as a director.