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: Leith, Workday, Inc., ABBYY and many more

Creative agency Leith, has bolstered its offer with the addition of a standalone full-service market research capability. The new practice will add to Leith’s existing strategic, creative and production capabilities in Edinburgh and Manchester and offer clients full end-to-end market research; from initial concept and commissioning through to analysing and interpreting data into actionable insights. Clients can either embed this as part of the wider creative process or commission a standalone piece of research. Industry heavyweight, Paul Drawbridge, has been appointed to head up the new practice in the newly created role of Research Director and joins the agency this month. Prior to joining Leith, Paul co-founded Ordinary Differences, a social research agency and Be Forward, an Africa-based research agency, where he executed research projects for clients including The Gates Foundation, Diageo and Coca Cola.

Workday, Inc. has announced the appointment of Daniel Pell as the new vice president and country manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland (UKI). Pell will lead the company’s continued growth in the region. He will report directly to Angelique de Vries-Schipperijn, president, EMEA, Workday. Pell brings over 20 years of experience in the software industry to the role. Before joining Workday, Pell spent 11 years at Salesforce, most recently as general manager of EMEA for Tableau, a Salesforce acquisition, covering strategy, sales, partners, and operations. Prior to that, Pell was senior vice president, Marketing Cloud EMEA, helping organisations transition to digital channels for customer engagement. He previously held sales management positions at Microsoft UK and Avid Technology.

ABBYY, a specialist in intelligent automation solutions, has announced it has appointed Neil Murphy to Chief Sales Officer (CSO). He will be focused on extending the company’s focus on helping global enterprises put their information to work and accelerate business value from their digital transformation initiatives. Murphy has been at the forefront of leading customer-centred strategies with direct sales and partners in EMEA and APAC in a broad spectrum of industries giving him deep insights into the challenges facing organisations today. He has a strong reputation for guiding customers to better understand and leverage intelligent document processing (IDP) and process mining solutions to make significant improvements to the user experience, workforce productivity, and cost efficiencies. 

MiQ, a global programmatic media partner, has proudly announced the appointment of esteemed media and technology leaders Zillah Byng-Thorne and Rob Norman as non-executive directors to its Global Statutory Board. With more than 20 years of experience in c-suite leadership roles, Byng-Thorne brings proven expertise in driving operational excellence for companies in online gaming, digital media and e-commerce to MiQ. Most recently, Byng-Thorne served as CEO of Future plc., a global platform for specialist media – a position she held for nearly a decade – which transformed under her leadership. Prior to Future, she held numerous CEO, CFO and non-executive director roles at companies including Trader Media Group, Fitness First Limited, Thresher Group and more. In addition to MiQ, Byng-Thorne also serves as Non-Executive Chair of TrustPilot Group plc. and Non-Executive Director of NCHL plc. A trusted advisor to MiQ’s board since 2019, Rob Norman is a highly respected and well-established luminary in the media technology sector. Most recently, Norman held executive leadership positions, including CEO North America, Global Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and advisory roles, at GroupM, the world’s leading media investment company. Norman currently serves on numerous boards in the media technology space, including, Piano, Nova and Barrington Media, and held prior board director roles with BBC Global News Limited and Comscore.

Homethings, an innovative challenger brand in sustainable home care, has appointed eco-brand guru, Pete Rosier, to join its team as Head of Brand. He joins following his role as Ecover + Method European Creative and Content Lead, where he worked for 15 years. Rosier will join forces with the founders of Homethings – Tim Keaveney, Matt Aubrey and their team – to further develop their challenger brand positioning and marketing strategy, as they move into the next stage of business growth. This will include unlocking some exciting new brand partnerships, as well as launching a series of limited editions and campaigns in 2023/24. Rosier began his career at Ecover in 2008 and quickly progressed to the roles of UK Brand Manager and European Digital Lead. In 2012, Ecover acquired San Francisco cleaning challenger brand method, which added to Rosier’s creative brand marketing remit across Europe. In 2017 SC Johnson acquired both brands. It was during this time as the European Creative and Content Lead he delivered some of their most memorable campaigns, including; Method Drag Cleans – which encouraged consumers to re-rethink ‘toxic gender stereotypes in cleaning’ and the Ecover Laundry Against Landfill & Refillution which looked to inspire positive consumer behavior. More recently, Rosier managed the Ecover x Mr Men. Little Miss partnership, designed to inspire the next generation of young eco-activists.

Bidstack, a specialist in in-game advertising technology company, has proudly announced the appointment of Chris Vincelli as VP of Enterprise Partnerships. He will work with existing gaming and programmatic advertising partners while also building new relationships with vendors looking to licence Bidstack’s technology. Prior to joining, Vincelli served as the Vice President of Publishing at Anzu, where he successfully led strategic initiatives and played a pivotal role in driving growth and innovation through strategic partnerships with AAA games companies. With a decade of mobile ad industry experience under his belt, Vincelli has a proven track record of developing and implementing successful publishing strategies, forging partnerships and driving revenue growth, having held roles at Vungle, Verizon Media and Yahoo.

CommerceHub has announced a strategic addition to its leadership team, as Aarthi Ramamurthy has joined the company as Chief Product Officer reporting directly to CEO Bryan Dove. Ramamurthy is responsible for product management and product design for the company’s SaaS solutions that deliver increased ecommerce agility, growth, and efficiency for customers across its network. Her career spans more than fifteen years leading product strategy and building software products and solutions that deliver exceptional experiences for companies including Clubhouse, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, Lumoid and other innovators. Additionally, she has excelled in roles as a founder, entrepreneur, angel investor and startup advisor, as well as co-host of The Aarthi & Sriram Show podcast that features builders and creators in tech and other fields.

Creative agency, Rankin Creative has announced the appointment of Warren Beeby as its new Chief Creative Officer. Beeby brings with him over 30 years of experience in the creative industry, having previously been a partner and co-creative director at independent design studio, SPIN, where he worked on global brands, such as Nike and Levi’s, before founding his own agency, BB/Saunders in 2004. Since 2015 Beeby has focused on the power of purpose and sustainability to transform brands at change agency Futerra. In his new role, Beeby will be responsible for leading the creative team and driving the agency’s vision and direction. He will work closely with Strategy & Development Partner, Nimi Raja, and Head of Account Management, Amy Claridge to continue to build brands through culturally relevant strategic ideas.

Seismic has announced it has appointed Paige O’Neill as Chief Marketing Officer. O’Neill will lead all marketing functions including corporate, product, field, partner, and customer marketing. She will focus on elevating Seismic’s efforts across the full customer journey and driving closer alignment across marketing, go-to-market, product, and engineering teams. Before joining Seismic, O’Neill served as chief marketing officer (CMO) at Sitecore for nearly five years where she led its global marketing team across product, partner, customer, and corporate marketing. She brings 30 years of marketing leadership experience to Seismic, serving as CMO at public and private software companies including Prysm, SDL, and Aravo Solutions. She also spent nearly a decade at Oracle in product marketing and public relations roles.  

World Book Day® is delighted to announce the appointment of Maya Maraj as Commercial Partnerships Manager reporting to Chief Executive, Cassie Chadderton. In a new role for the charity, Maraj will lead the development of commercial partnerships and licensing for World Book Day®, welcoming companies who share the charity’s commitment to changing lives through a love of reading. Maraj will work proactively to reach and engage those who would like to join the World Book Day® celebrations and support the charity to achieve its mission to promote reading for pleasure and offer every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. With over 30 years of experience across publishing and licensing industries, Maraj has managed a diverse portfolio of brands and artists both as a licensee and licensor. Her work includes leading the Film and TV Department for Penguin’s Disney portfolio, as well as managing licensing for a range of 19 Entertainment’s key talent and brands, and more recently roles at Scholastic and Sweet Cherry Publishing.

Muse Finance, a working capital business finance provider, has announced the appointment of Julie Ashmore as COO, to help achieve its ambition to reach 30,000 customers and provide £1.5bn of SME financing in the next three years. With over three decades of experience in fintech, Ashmore was previously CEO of NatWest Rapid Cash, where she led a 50-strong team which grew the client base more than 700x in just over two years. Whilst at the helm, Ashmore developed the leading digital working capital product at NatWest to include digitising the full end-to-end process, making working capital easy for clients to access as well as operationally efficient for the bank. Ashmore will use this experience and pedigree to lead Muse Finance into its next phase of growth. Spearheading the company’s sales, operations, user experience and risk functions, her appointment comes as Muse Finance continues to grow rapidly, having just launched BNPL for businesses as part of its Working Capital suite of embedded finance products and services.

Mapp, the international provider of insight-led customer experience, has announced the appointment of Eric Lubow to the position of Chief Product & Technology Officer. In this role, Lubow will lead all aspects of Mapp Cloud’s technologies, leveraging more than 20 years of executive engineering and technology leadership in MarTech. Lubow most recently served as the VP of Engineering for Thrasio, the fastest-growing acquirer of Amazon FBA businesses. Prior to that, he served as CTO/Co-founder at leading digital care and content data technology companies, including HealthHive, Mymee, and SimpleReach. In his new role, Lubow will spearhead Mapp’s engineering and product teams, fostering innovation and working on developing cutting-edge features, but will most importantly help facilitate Mapp into becoming a leading technology-driven MarTech platform in its space

Creative agency The Romans has named Vi Hazlerigg and Jordan Kavanagh as Associate Creative Directors. Hazlerigg joined the agency eight years ago in 2015 as an Intern. She was named one of PR Week’s 30 Under 30 three years later in 2018. The recipient of numerous honours including eight PR Week Awards, she was behind recent campaigns including ‘LIDL Fashion Week’, ‘Human Renaissance’ for eco razor brand Estrid, and the 2021 campaign for cyber security company Avast, which updated Orwell’s 1984 to speak to modern-day privacy threats. She reports into Creative Director, Dan Roberts, who was appointed last year by ad agencies Grey and Havas, to boost The Romans creative craft capabilities. Kavanagh joined The Romans from Freuds in 2020. He re-joins the agency after a two-month stint at BCW. His campaign work includes the award-winning Translated Into Tartan for Duolingo, the Faithless partnership with CBD brand OTO that reimagined dance anthem ‘Insomnia’ as a sleep track, and the healthcare campaign Miss Diagnosed for Livi. He will predominantly be working out of The Romans’ New York office with Sarah Jenkins who was appointed as Partner and EVP in 2022.

EssenceMediacomX, part of EssenceMediacom, GroupM’s newest and largest agency, further strengthens its senior leadership team by appointing Sue Unerman as Chief Transformation Officer (CTO). The appointment will see Unerman bring her experience in transformation to the top leadership team at EssenceMediacomX, drawing from her wealth of industry knowledge to develop new ways to drive breakthrough innovation for clients by combining creativity and data-driven excellence. She will continue in a dual role as Global Head of Relevance, Creative Futures at EssenceMediacom. Unerman joins EssenceMediacomX from MediaCom, where she has held several senior leadership positions, including six years as CTO and 11 years as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). With her career at the company spanning from its start-up in the 1990s through to its market leadership in recent years, this appointment represents her first move to another business in over two decades. Widely recognised as an industry pioneer, she has won numerous business and marketing awards, including Ten Most Extraordinary Business Women of 2022 and Top 100 Women Executives, and been honoured with a lifelong IPA fellowship. Unerman’s creative excellence has been acknowledged at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where she was part of the winning team in the Brief 2021 challenge. Unerman is also an author and has written several best-selling books on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and marketing in the age of complexity.

Immediate Media Co has announced the appointment of Sean Cornwell as its new CEO and Tom Bureau as Chairman. Cornwell joined Immediate in 2021 as Platforms CEO, with responsibility for Immediate’s digital businesses; including its market-leading gardening and food brands, award-winning podcast portfolio and Immediate’s Product & Tech, Audience Development, eCommerce and Affiliates teams. With over 20 years of experience in senior leadership positions, Cornwell’s previous roles include CEO of Direct Ferries, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer of Travelex and MD International at eHarmony, as well as other senior general management and marketing roles at Google and various start-ups. Immediate’s founding CEO, Tom Bureau, takes up the role of Chairman of Immediate, in addition to his role as CEO of Burda International, the international arm of Immediate’s parent company, Hubert Burda Media.

Global experience design company, Imagination, has promoted Stephanie Balme to UK Business Development Director. The promotion comes as Balme returns from maternity leave, and forms part of Imagination’s ambitious growth plans in the UK. Reporting to Global Growth Officer, Grace Wright, Balme will be responsible for attracting and converting new clients as Imagination continues to harness its momentum of growth seen in the last few years. Balme has worked for Imagination for over twelve years, working in both the Sydney and London offices, and delivered projects for Imagination on a global scale. Her career has spanned disciplines from creative production and logistics to later moving into a client services capacity. This has played a crucial role in leading teams, nurturing clients and delivering on projects across the full breadth of Imagination’s core offers. Most recently, as Senior Account Director Balme specialised in the luxury sector, delivering award-winning work and strategic consultancy for Rolls Royce Motor Cars. In addition to this, she has worked as account and project director on an array of strategic consultancy projects for Imagination’s clients, rooted in VIP & Guest Experience, including the launch of Saudi’s first music streaming channel Beast TV. In her new role, she will focus on expanding Imagination’s new business team and growing its impressive client roster across the UK. Balme’s role follows the recent hire of Chad Hines, US Business Development Director further bolstering the Growth team globally.