Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Talent Tracker: eBay Ads, Media Zoo, Specsavers and many more

eBay Ads has announced the appointment of Upasana Gupta as its new General Manager of Advertising in the UK. Heading up the eBay Ads UK team based in Richmond, London, Upasana will focus on driving adoption of advertising solutions to help sellers to thrive, brands to grow, and buyers to discover products on the eBay platform. Gupta joins from Microsoft Advertising, where she worked for 16 years, most recently as the EMEA Marketing Lead where she was responsible for building and evolving Microsoft’s advertising business to drive success and growth for its advertising customers.  

Media Zoo has further strengthened its management team with the appointment of Giles Smith as Managing Director, Neil Carter as Chief Financial Officer and Jason Gallucci as Global Creative Director. Smith, who was formerly at QA Ltd, has spent the last twelve months building Media Zoo’s sales team whilst Gallucci, former CEO of Lexis as well as MD of Edelman (Middle East) and TBWA Ketchum (Middle East), has been developing Media Zoo’s cross-divisional offer. Carter brings his private equity experience to help Media Zoo continue its fast growth story.

Specsavers has announced the appointment of Ian Maybank into the new role of Head of Media and Connections Planning, where he will lead media, insights and connections planning across the UK, Ireland and Spain. Prior to Specsavers Maybank led Media and Connections planning across Europe for PepsiCo Beverages and Snacks. He played a critical role in the growth of Pepsi Max and was integral to the turnaround of Walkers Crisps and digital transformation of snacks marketing. He’s also held senior positions in some of the most successful agencies including Grey London and Dentsu Aegis Network working on a range of global consumer brands.

Jargon PR has appointed Miranda Warmington Assoc CIPD as its first-ever Head of Talent. Warmington will support the agency’s team of more than 25 members who are spread across Jargon PR’s Reading, Manchester and London offices, as well as expanding Jargon PR’s pool of talent as the business continues to grow. Warmington has over 20 years of human resources experience and joins Jargon PR having previously held the position of Head of HR at a retailer for the nursery industry. In this role, Warmington will lead the company’s staff onboarding, remuneration, appraisals, training and employee engagement. The agency recently strengthened its team by appointing former Daily Mirror journalist Amanda Evans as Executive Director of Media Strategy at Jargon PR.

Nano Interactive has announced the appointment of Matthew Beck as VP, Partnerships. Beck will head up the company’s global efforts to expand on its SSP, DSP and publisher partnerships. In his new role, Beck will be responsible for creating strategic partnerships, as well as nurturing the company’s current relationship with Xandr, the advertising and analytics subsidiary of Microsoft, to ensure successful annual revenue goals and long-term growth are achieved. Beck joins the business from Prohaska, a boutique digital transformation consultancy. Prior to Prohaska, Beck worked as a Business Development Director at global digital marketing technology company Amobee.

Kurmi Software, the UC provisioning platform for enterprise collaboration, has announced the appointment of Dessi Schachne as Global Vice President of Marketing. Schachne, based in the New York office, is joining Kurmi North America’s growing team which has doubled over last year. She will support the company in its international expansion and raise its profile in the UC space. Schachne, who joins Kurmi’s Executive Committee, contributing to its globalization, will lead the company’s marketing initiatives and will be instrumental in promoting Kurmi’s brand. She will oversee global and regional planning, development, and execution of Kurmi’s strategic, product marketing and demand generation programs.

Digital health company Priority Digital Health welcomes former BSi and Trustpilot talent Josh Meadows as Head of Commercial, in a new role for the organisation. The new role is key to a substantial period of growth trajectory for Priority, which follows an exciting number of milestones and partnerships over the past year, including the delivery of the Essex Wellbeing Service.

Envoy, the workplace platform that helps teams manage hybrid work, welcomes former HubSpot and Salesforce executive David McNeil as Chief Revenue Officer. On July 18th, McNeil will take charge of the revenue and growth strategy for the company that is making hybrid work easier for all. He will oversee expansion efforts, which include breaking new ground in the commercial real estate market and positioning the company to operate in every workplace in the world. McNeil spent six years at HubSpot, where he plotted a path from $90M in annual recurring revenue to $1B. Before landing his role at HubSpot, he led North American business development at Salesforce where he drove over 30 percent new business growth. McNeil’s talent is building highly-effective go-to-market teams that speed growth and deliver unexpected value. Most recently, he was Chief Commercial Officer at Tebra.com, a merger of healthcare startups PatientPop and Kareo. 

The Miroma Group, the global independent marketing services group, has this week made two senior appointments for newly created roles, to spearhead business development and client partnerships for the Group’s sports and entertainment offering. Matt Highfield joins as Business Development Director and will be responsible for supporting and building out The Miroma Group’s client offering within its core industry verticals. Formerly the Director of Account Management & New Business at Dewynters, Highfield has built successful advertising campaigns for numerous award-winning live entertainment products across the UK. Velvett Stratford-Wright becomes Partnership Director, bringing extensive expertise and passion for sport to The Miroma Group as the Group looks to define the future of partnership marketing for its clients. Stratford-Wright has navigated both commercial media roles and worked in-house at high-profile brands constructing and activating high-profile partnerships as part of their broader marketing mix. She has worked on partnerships including Unilever’s Rexona global portfolio which included Chelsea F.C., Manchester City F.C., La Liga and CONMEBOL and Three UK’s front of shirt partnership with Chelsea F.C.

Brand communication consultancy Harbour has announced the appointment of Adipat Virdi to lead a new metaverse offering, Harbour Immersive. Virdi, who takes on the newly created role of Partner, Harbour Immersive, has more than 20 years’ experience of applying innovation thinking and knowledge to embed immersive strategy at the core of global organisations including Facebook (now Meta), Charlotte Tilbury, the BBC, Virgin Atlantic and HSBC. As Global Creative Product Lead for Immersive at Facebook, he led the Emerging Platforms team’s exploration of VR, XR and immersive experiences. In his new position, Virdi will work closely with Harbour’s Creative Partner, Mick Mahoney. Harbour’s Client Partner, M-L Robinson, who takes on the additional role of Immersive Client Partner, will be responsible for client leadership in the new business unit.

Aberfield Communications, the Leeds-based PR, social media and brand communications agency, has appointed Annie Hilditch as PR consultant to support the company’s growth following several new client account wins in 2022. Hilditch joins the team from the nonpartisan advocacy group Best for Britain, where she worked as a Social Media Officer, creating research-based social strategies, creative content and delivering digital campaigns promoting better democracy across multiple social media platforms. Hilditch also has a range of communications experience, having previously worked as Communications Assistant for Thackray Museum of Medicine during its nomination for Art Fund’s 2021 Museum of the Year award, and as a Digital Communications Assistant for Canal and River Trust.

Havas Media Group UK has promoted strategy partner Lucy Barnes and managing partner James Reddington to the newly-created joint-leadership position of General Manager to lead Havas Media Manchester. Barnes and Reddington have played a key role in building Havas Media Manchester into a significant player in the region following the retention of the BBC account April 2020 and with the addition of new clients including Stagecoach and Merseyside-headquartered Matalan, which has seen billings increase by 150 percent in a year. Both will also sit on the Havas Media Group UK leadership team. Barnes brings to the role twenty years’ experience in strategy and planning, joining Havas Media Group as strategy partner in November 2019 where she’s set the strategic direction across all clients. For the past ten years she’s worked out of Manchester. In her career, she has worked with the likes of Lexus, Pets At Home, L’Oreal, Oxfam, Thomas Cook, Arcadia Group and most recently BBC, Matalan and Stagecoach. She is a former winner of WACL ‘future leaders award’ fund in 2010. Reddington has thirty years’ experience working both agency and advertising sales side. Before joining Havas Media Group in December 2020, he’d spent 24 years with Carat Manchester. He was a shareholder in the then-start-up media agency Mediavest Manchester, which was acquired by Dentsu in 2011. During his time he led a number of accounts including Barratt Homes, Stagecoach, Greggs the Bakers, Manchester Airport Group and Coral. Barnes and Reddington also previously worked together at Dentsu Aegis Network.

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