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

Talent Tracker: Kantar, Imagination, Channel Factory and more

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Kantar, the marketing data and analytics company, has appointed Sam Curtis as head of its digital analytics practice to expand the business’s work with major brands. This latest hire marks a return for Sam to Kantar, where he spent 11 years between 2006 and 2017 working in both global and local consumer insight roles. He has since held senior positions across the digital data sector, including at Moment10 and Streetbees where he led client engagement and developed new technology products. He was most recently CEO of artificial intelligence video analytics firm Lifestream.

Global experience design company, Imagination, has announced the appointment of Tom Arendas as Executive Director in UK and Europe. Joining at a transformative time for the business, Arendas will champion the company’s outstanding work and push into new sectors such as tech, fashion, lifestyle and youth marketing expanding Imagination’s core offers, Consulting, Destinations, Content and Live. Arendas’ role is effective immediately and he reports into Richard Hannah, Managing Director, Imagination UK & Europe. During his nine-year tenure as the Chief Creative Officer of Shiraz Creative in New York and London, Arendas successfully built and led full external and in-house creative and strategy teams. He has worked with some of the world’s biggest and most successful brands on award-winning, high-impact projects, including American Express, Christian Louboutin, L’Oréal, to name a few. His talent for developing world-class creative executions and igniting movement, by blurring the boundaries between physical, digital and virtual, will support Imagination’s ongoing mission to push the boundaries of brand experiences. 

Channel Factory, the global brand suitability and contextual advertising platform, has appointed Bill Schild as GM, Americas. Bringing with him over two decades of ad-tech and programmatic advertising experience, Schild will continue to expand on Channel Factory’s impressive year while at the helm of their largest region. Over the past two decades, Schild has developed an unprecedented understanding of ad-tech, holding leadership roles within sales, customer success, marketing, business development and general management. These roles included running and advising numerous companies through hypergrowth and ultimately successful exits in both the private and public markets. Most recently Schild served as CRO of Beeswax, where he guided them to record growth and profitability leading to an acquisition by Freewheel, a Comcast company. Post-acquisition, he was responsible for setting the overall strategic vision to support growth and increased market share across Freewheel’s demand side. This experience will be invaluable as Channel Factory continues to scale.

Airship, the mobile app experience company, has announced Joe Russell has joined its executive leadership team as Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Russell will oversee Airship’s finance and business operations and report directly to CEO and president Brett Caine. Russell is a seasoned executive leader with deep expertise in enterprise SaaS. He has led new financial and operational management strategies that accelerated growth while balancing profitability. Russell previously served as CFO of Netbase Quid, an enterprise SaaS provider for data analytics. Prior to that, he held CFO roles at BrightEdge and TalentWave. Russell also worked at Piston Cloud Computing (acquired by Cisco), where he was VP of Finance and Business Operations. Earlier in his career, he led product and sales operations with VMware and Yahoo, and worked as an investment banker at GCA Savvian and Credit Suisse First Boston. 

Avalara, Inc., a provider of cloud-based tax compliance automation for businesses of all sizes, has announced the appointment of channel leader Meg Higgins as SVP of Global Partners. In her new expanded role, Higgins will be responsible for growing Avalara’s channel and technology partner business to deliver a best-in-class experience. Higgins has been at Avalara for four years and most recently served as VP and GM of Global Partner Business Development and Strategy at Avalara and oversaw the acquisition of new partners and commercial negotiations. Prior to that, she was the company’s VP and GM of Ecommerce and Global Marketplaces and expanded Avalara’s presence in the space by establishing partnerships with the world’s leading ecommerce and marketplace platforms. With more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector, Higgins has successfully led and scaled business development and channel programs for companies in the ecommerce and shipping industries. Her experience includes more than a decade of leadership roles at Pitney Bowes, where she co-founded the company’s global ecommerce business unit and served as SVP of client and partner management for North America. 

The UK price comparison site Broadband Genie has boosted its top team with the appointment of its first Chief Executive Officer. At Broadband Genie, Eliza Vlachou will lead a team from its headquarters in Cambridge. Genie Ventures moved to a tech hub in the city earlier this year. Vlachou was previously the marketing director of e-commerce fintech Kuva. She has more than 15 years of experience in the marketing and telecom sectors, with the majority spent in senior roles at TalkTalk, the UK’s fourth-largest broadband provider.

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