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: Clarity, SocialChain, Monumental and more

Clarity, the global digital marketing and strategic communications agency, has announced its Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sami McCabe has departed the company. After ten years of consistent growth organically and via acquisition, McCabe will now focus on other projects. Rachel Gilley has been appointed as new Chief Executive Officer. Gilley joined Clarity five years ago as UK Managing Director after 20 years with Bite Communications (now Archetype) where she rose to Managing Director, London. She was then promoted to lead Clarity EMEA before taking on the role of Global Chief Client Officer in 2022.  During that time, she has helped transform Clarity into a truly global integrated communications agency with a geographic footprint in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific and a team that has grown from 40 to 150.  

SocialChain has appointed Gemma Newton as Client Services Director. Reporting to Pete Metcalfe, CEO, she will be responsible for nurturing and growing existing client relationships across SocialChain and Brave Bison’s impressive portfolio of global clients including, General Mills, Holland & Barrett, TikTok, and Jameson. Working closely with the SocialChain leadership team and building on her ten years of experience at the forefront of influencer, social media and performance marketing, Newton will be the driving force behind enabling clients to tap into the power of social to connect with audiences and ensure constant impact. She will also collaborate with the wider Brave Bison team to build multi-disciplinary solutions that help clients further unlock potential opportunities for growth. With over 15 years of experience in scaling both B2C and B2B brands and agencies across EMEA and APAC, Newton joins SocialChain from Stein IAS, part of MSQ Group, where she held the role of Client Services Director.

London-based diversity-marketing agency, Monumental, has appointed Dan O’Gorman as its new Chief Commercial Officer. O’Gorman joins Monumental after holding positions as EMEA Brand Partnerships Director for user-generated-content giant Bazaarvoice, Commercial Director at Gay Times Group and Commercial Director at Pride in London. O’Gorman will lead the strategic growth and expansion of Monumental across its entire client portfolio in all major markets. He will report to Monumental’s Chief Executive, Jamie Love. For the last three years, O’Gorman led SMB Brand Partnership activity in EMEA at Bazaarvoice, the world’s largest UGC platform, activating major partnerships with brands including Charlotte Tilbury, KP Snacks, Spinmaster and Tangle Teezer.

SAP has appointed Emmanuel (Manos) Raptopoulos as the President for SAP’s newly created EMEA region. The new territory comprises Benelux, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the whole of the Middle East and Africa. In this capacity, Raptopoulos will be responsible for overseeing 14,000 employees across 53 offices, servicing customers in 90 countries. The region is significant to SAP’s business – the power of cloud technology, combined with the possibilities of AI, provides a unique opportunity to drive customer transformation and value. Prior to this appointment, Raptopoulos was the Regional President for SAP EMEA South, now a subset of the larger EMEA region. He joined SAP in 1998 and has held several leadership roles in General Management, Sales, Operations and Consulting in both Europe and the Middle East.

Auctane, the global delivery experience company that operates trusted brands such as ShipStation, Metapack, ShipEngine and, has named Matt Schurk as Chief Sales Officer and Sara Feulner as Chief Human Resources Officer. The addition of Schurk and Feulner to the team underscores Auctane’s commitment to driving the mailing and shipping industries forward through innovation and service to its customers. Matt Schurk is a distinguished sales leader with a history of implementing data-driven strategies to enhance team productivity and connect customers to solutions that meet their needs. His tenure at organisations like Top Hat and Bazaarvoice demonstrates his ability to lead sales teams through growth and acquisitions, while delivering exceptional results.

Interbrand, brand consultancy, has announced the promotion of Holmfridur Hardardottir to President, Interbrand New York. She will report to Interbrand’s Global CEO, Gonzalo Brujó. Hardardottir was previously Chief Operating Officer, Interbrand New York. She has co-managed the business for six years, overseeing finance, HR, operations, and the re-structuring of the business into four client centric business units. Since joining Interbrand in 2017, Hardardottir has also served as an Executive Director leading client programs and relationships including Verizon, Truist and American Express. Prior to Interbrand, Hardardottir served as General Manager and Executive Director at FutureBrand New York. As part of a new management team brought in to revitalize the business, she built new capabilities, innovated the offer and quadrupled the size of the business over a five-year period. She has also worked as a client and business leader at Siegel+Gale New York and Los Angeles. Alongside her role at Interbrand, Hardardottir is a founding member of Chief – a network for female leaders.

Thirst has appointed industry leaders Sam Cutler and Polly Lindsay as creative directors. The hires are part of a wider strategic move to continue bolstering specialist expertise at leadership level across the business. The specialist creative company has experienced 50% year-on-year business growth for the past four consecutive years and established a physical presence in New York in 2023. Industry-renowned brand specialist Cutler brings extensive experience in developing and guiding creative culture. Cutler joins after more than a decade at Design Bridge where he established its New York office before returning to its London studio as leadership creative director. Campaign and brand activation expert Lindsay joins Thirst from Hue & Cry where she was creative director. Her career spans advertising and branding, including past head of design roles at agencies Elvis and Pablo where she worked with household names including Adidas, Honda and Cadbury.

Stack Overflow has announced the appointment of Susan Walker as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and her addition to its senior leadership team. As a seasoned technology executive with more than 30 years of financial experience across the SaaS landscape, she will be responsible for leading the finance, accounting and corporate development functions. Most recently, she served as the CFO of Jumio where she led accounting, FP&A, business information, business development and operations. Prior to that, Walker served as CFO to leading technology companies including Digital Guardian, Telestream, Avention, Novell (Americas), and earned consulting experience across the portfolios of global leaders like JPMorgan Securities and The Boston Consulting Group.

Novus Capital, the R&D tax and innovation grants specialist, has appointed Amba Wilkes as Marketing and Events Manager to support the business as it embarks on a three-year growth strategy. Working her way up to become Content Manager at idhl Group, the North’s largest digital agency, Wilkes was responsible for managing content across its numerous brands. Taking the transferable skills she learned from this role, Wilkes will now take responsibility for developing the Novus Capital brand and establishing its presence within relevant markets, while also onboarding new prospects. In addition, Wilkes will support the Britain’s Got Start-Ups event series, which is delivered by Novus Capital. She will manage live funding rounds taking place throughout the country that encourage international, national and regional investment in start-up and scale-up businesses.

XR has announced the appointment of Jo Kinsella as Global President of SourceXR, the company’s platform to power creative storytelling globally. The appointment of Jo Kinsella demonstrates the commitment to drive value across the client base and she takes immediate responsibility for the company’s global growth strategy, revenue and execution with a strong near-term focus on offering data and insights that have never been previously available in support of creative performance. Kinsella is a 25-year software veteran with a proven track record of bringing to market innovative products and services across the adtech and fintech industries. Throughout her career, Kinsella has powered the success of brands worldwide, while helping the companies she’s led to achieve their full potential. Prior to her appointment, Kinsella most recently served as president of global ad delivery and measurement company Innovid, a role she took on after the acquisition of TVSquared, which Kinsella co-founded.

The education marketing company Candlefox has this week welcomed Natasha Bamuwayira as their Head of Social Media in Europe. She will have responsibility for their UK brand CoursesOnline and their Irish brand Allcourses. Bamuwayira has a wealth of social media experience, having previously worked with the Daily Mail, Cartamundi, Eat Club London, and Bloomberg Originals. With a strong creative mind, she is a very welcome addition to the team as they seek to diversify their lead sources.

Pizza Hut UK, Ireland & France has expanded its leadership team by appointing Jana Ulaite as its Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Ulaite brings a wealth of brand and marketing experience and will lead on ensuring brand strategy is at the forefront of marketing efforts to accelerate growth across the region. Prior to joining Pizza Hut, Ulaite spent 15+ years leading marketing efforts in tech, entertainment and gaming. She has worked with brands including TikTok, Apple, Electronic Arts, Square Enix, and was most recently the Vice President of Marketing at tech company Tempest. As CMO, Ulaite will play a pivotal role in identifying creative ways to deliver brand activity and drawing upon her tech expertise to enable a more modern experience for Pizza Hut customers across the region.

Brandon, an independent creative partnership proudly announces the opening of its new London studio to complement its Manchester business. To lead the London studio, Brandon welcomes two pivotal new appointments; Kate Zilio as Client Partner and Ian Watts as Creative Director, reinforcing Brandon’s dedication to delivering innovative and impactful creative strategies to its growing international partnerships. Kate Zilio, formerly Client Services Director at 1HQ, has an impressive track record in leading high-profile client partnerships and a keen understanding of driving commercial growth. Zilio joins Brandon with 18 years’ experience working in London and New York in some of the industry’s leading strategic brand and design consultancies. She has led brand initiatives for clients such as Tesco, ConAgra, Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company, Groupe Bel, KraftHeinz and Pfizer. Ian Watts also joins Brandon from 1HQ and brings with him over 15 years’ experience in the creative industry. Prior to this, Watts spent 10 years at Design Bridge in London and Singapore, where he led global design initiatives for the likes of Unilever, Friesland Campina, Lipton and Reckitt Benckiser. Watts’ passion lies in uncovering and articulating brand storytelling in distinctive and engaging ways, enabling brands to unleash the full potential of design.

CTI Digital has appointed Matt Davies into the role of Chief Commercial Officer to bolster the agency’s growth agenda. In his remit, Davies is charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive growth strategy as CTI eyes holistic growth across its organisation. His appointment is a key component of a larger growth initiative as the business gears up for a significant year, following a multi-million pound investment from private equity firm LDC. Davies joins the company this month, and will take immediate responsibility for CTI’s Sales, Marketing, Partnership and Client Service teams. He has been tasked with building out the Client Service function to ensure that the agency’s clients receive exceptional service and strategic advice and also with ramping up the Sales & Marketing activity as part of an ambitious growth agenda. Davies has over 25 years’ experience across a broad range of creative, martech and media capabilities. His trademark is the orchestration of expertise and capabilities so that brands can deliver profitable growth across the marketing ecosystem.  

Creative marketing agency, Live & Breathe, has announced the appointment of Rebecca Cook as its new Head of HR. Cook’s appointment marks a significant milestone for the agency, bringing with her a wealth of experience in human resources management, including Head of People at Charlton & Morris, and a keen understanding of fostering a vibrant and inclusive workplace culture. She joins the agency at an exciting juncture, as the company continues to expand its portfolio of clients and execute groundbreaking campaigns that push the boundaries of creativity and innovation. Her role will be pivotal in attracting top talent, developing existing teams, and fostering an environment where creativity and excellence thrive.