Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Talent Tracker: Olsam Group, Publicis Groupe France, Crowdstrike and more

Olsam Group, an ecommerce platform that acquires and scales category-leading e-commerce businesses, has hired Steven Wait as Director of eCommerce. Wait joins Olsam as Director of eCommerce after almost five years at Mountain Warehouse where he was their Head of UK eCommerce, leading all commercial and operational activities on 16 eCommerce marketplaces across three continents as well as their UK D2C channel. Wait joined Mountain Warehouse from Oliver Wyman, a top tier, cross-industry management consultancy.

Publicis Groupe France has announced the appointment of Marco Venturelli as Chief Creative Officer of Publicis in France, joining the ComEx of Publicis Groupe France. In the newly created role position, Venturelli will be responsible for further strengthening the creative excellence and collaboration across the Groupe in France to ensure end to end creative solutions for clients. Venturelli will lead creativity across all France’s agencies including Publicis Conseil, Marcel, Leo Burnett Paris, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Consultants, PublicisLive, Carré noir, Publicis Luxe, Publicis Health, Prodigious and Razorfish. His focus will be to drive business impact for clients through the Groupe’s dynamic and expansive creative offering. Most recently, he was President and Creative Director of Publicis Conseil a position he was appointed to in 2019. Venturelli helped to lead the agency to become the most creative within the market, positioning it 1st in the ranking of French agencies at the Cannes Lions awards, D&AD, and Eurobest in 2021.

CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. has announced that Michael Rogers has been elevated to Vice President of global business development, channel and alliances – the company’s highest ranking channel and alliances officer and its overall channel lead. Previously, Rogers was the global vice president, partner and alliance sales at CrowdStrike. Former CrowdStrike channel leader, Matthew Polly, will step into a new high-growth, partner-centric executive sales leadership role as Vice President of North America mid-market sales – a segment with critical ties to the channel – remaining focused on servicing and growing CrowdStrike’s channel partner program.

Yannis Simaiakis will be joining Waze as Chief Strategy & Insights Officer (CSO) to lead new capability around Waze-wide strategy and insights. Simaiakis joins most recently from Via where he was the General Manager of Paratransit, focused on making point-to-point travel easier for vulnerable populations. Previously, Simaiakis spent 7 years at McKinsey & Company where he quickly ascended to Associate Partner working with global clients ranging from automotive manufacturers to transport agencies to the public sector. In this work, Simaiakis helped to solve transportation and logistics challenges while using advanced analytics models to develop digestible insights and guide business decisions. 

Fintech scale-up Pleo, which offers simplified spend management and smart company cards, boosts its executive team with the induction of Mette Hindborg Gade, functioning as the company’s Chief People Officer. As a former Partner in McKinsey & Company with an educational background in Engineering, Mette is an experienced leader and problem-solver, with a specialism in driving people-first organisational transformations and rapid growth companies within the financial sector. Her position as Head of People for the consultancy firm’s Copenhagen outfit saw Mette nurturing a diverse range of high-performing talent. Mette’s arrival to Pleo is preceded by two other new C-level executives from February: James Keating (formerly Microsoft, Cognizant, Dropbox) as Chief Marketing Officer, and Anita Szarek (PayU, Cargill) as Chief Financial Officer.  

DocuSign has announced the appointment of Iesha Berry as its first Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer (CDEO). With more than 20 years of experience in diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIBs), Berry will focus on accelerating DocuSign’s DIBs strategy and continuing to evolve DocuSign’s IMPACT and sustainability efforts. Berry and her team will also be responsible for enhancing the employee experience at DocuSign, working to develop a more diverse and inclusive culture through supporting the impact of employee resource groups and overseeing inclusive talent development along with diverse pipeline sourcing and outreach. She will report directly to DocuSign chief people officer, Joan Burke.

M&C Saatchi London has announced the appointment of the highly awarded creative leader Guy Bradbury to the newly created role of Creative Partner, in the first of a number of upcoming creative hires. Bradbury was most recently Creative Partner at Atomic London, the creative agency he co-founded in 2012. Over the course of nine years, he led work including the ‘What are you made of’ campaign for Peperami, which picked up multiple gongs including seven IPM Awards, and helped the brand win Brand of the Year; and Royal Opera House ‘Feel something new’, which won a Graphite pencil at the D&AD Awards. Bradbury has more than 20 years’ experience in building highly effective creative teams and nurturing talent. He has held senior creative roles at some of the world’s most successful agencies, helping both DDB London and Saatchi & Saatchi win ‘Most awarded agency in the world’ for both creativity and effectiveness.

Receptional, the Bedford-based digital marketing agency, has appointed James Bennett to the Board as PR Director. Bennett brings 12 years of experience in the iGaming industry, as Editor of eGaming Review, Head of Communications at Playtech and Director at Square in the Air. In his new role, Bennett will bolster Receptional’s digital marketing services for sports betting and iGaming firms, with a focus on digital PR, brand and creative strategy, and paid and social media for B2B companies in the sector. He will also spearhead Receptional’s expansion into international markets, where changing regulations are creating new opportunities for sports betting and iGaming brands.

Brand-led business transformation compan FutureBrand has appointed Stephen Barber as its Chief Experience Officer. In his new role, Barber will be responsible for spearheading and expanding FutureBrand’s brand-led customer experience offering. This follows a growing interest the company has received from clients in connecting everyday customer experience to brand purpose – ultimately leading to business growth. Barber brings with him over 20 years of experience working across a range of brand, product and digital agencies, including the likes of PwC, Conran, Interbrand and Digitas. He’s also a familiar face to some of the team at FutureBrand, having collated passages at the London, New York, and Melbourne offices.

Chargebee, the subscription management platform, has announced the promotion of fintech industry veteran Tarmo van der Goot to VP EMEA to help scale regional operations. Ash Lomberg will be taking on van der Goot’s previous role of Senior Director, joining Chargebee’s fast-growing European team. Van der Goot is a seasoned business leader with over a decade of payments and e-commerce experience. He developed his passion for fintech during his two-year stint with buy-now-pay-later giant Klarna, where he was responsible for expanding the company’s partner ecosystem across the Netherlands, Germany and the Nordics. He has also held key leadership positions at 2Checkout, Cleverbridge and most recently at Chargify before he joined Chargebee in 2020. Lomberg steps into van der Goot’s previous role, bringing decades of business transformation and sales leadership experience, having previously worked for leading media and technology companies. Most recently, he was Chief Commercial Officer at marketing technology provider Spotzer Digital, where he established a strong track record of driving growth and diversifying product portfolios.

OpenPayd, a global payments and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform has announced the appointment of Barry O’Sullivan as its Head of Payments Infrastructure. Bringing over 19 years of experience in financial services and technology, O’Sullivan will be responsible for enhancing OpenPayd’s product offering, adding new payment capabilities that enable the business to reach its ambitious growth targets. Prior to OpenPayd, O’Sullivan has held senior positions across a number of payment and FX providers. O’Sullivan was Head of Global Payment Solutions at foreign exchange company, HiFX (now known as XE) and more recently, was responsible for building strategic relationships at Vitesse PSP Limited, where he served as Director of Corporate Payment Solutions and at SaaS company Kyriba, as Strategic Payments Director.

Technology company Exel Composites has appointed Francesco Ierullo to the role of regional head of sales for the Americas. As part of Exel’s global sales team, Ierullo will work closely with customers in the American composites market to coordinate all activities and provide a focal point for contact while supporting business growth in the region. Ierullo has worked in the composites market for the past decade and will bring his experience from working in the composites markets of Europe and Asia to the American composites market. His technical knowledge, obtained from working with composites across a wide range of market sectors and innovative applications, will be a great advantage for the US-based team and benefit the large composites market in the Americas.

One of the UK’s top neuroscientists is joining the advisory board of ProQuo AI, a London-based marketing technology firm seeking to shake up how marketing people manage brands. Sophie Scott is director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, and she researches human communication and the brain. Scott is joining an international advisory board of other neuroscience, customer behaviour, decision intelligence and brand marketing experts including Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon and a government adviser on national nutrition strategy.

Digital Agency Spike has promoted Steve Bailey to SEO Training Director from his previous role as Head of Technical SEO. Steve Bailey will be assessing the strengths and weaknesses of employees in the SEO team at Spike, with an intention to upskill staff to address the chronic shortage of SEO specialists throughout the UK. SEO is a broad industry, cross-discipline, with multiple factors and fast changing trends. By addressing the national skills shortages in SEO, Spike is confident this approach to training and development is an effective long-term strategy for the company and Bailey, who retrained in SEO 15 years ago after working as a primary school teacher, will also be working with graduates to help them develop a career in SEO.

Com Laude has announced the appointment of Heather Forrest as Head of Legal, effective April 1st 2022. Forrest will be responsible for overseeing the company’s overall legal mechanisms, ensuring it continues to maintain the highest standards of operational proficiency. In addition, Forrest will be actively contributing to CLG’s advisory services, especially in the field of internet governance in which she has considerable experience. A highly accomplished and recognised leader in the domain name & IP sphere, Forrest brings with her over 20 years of expertise in the sector. A well-known face in the ICANN community, from 2017-18 Forrest was the first female to chair ICANN’s generic Top-Level Domain policy development body, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) as the first Non-Contracted Parties House GNSO Chair.

Walr, the res-tech company behind the Walr data creation platform, has made two new senior appointments as its team approaches 50. Both US-based and remote, Emily Whiting joins from CBRE as Chief of Staff, and Keziah Wonstolen from Accenture becomes Non-Executive Director (NED). Emily Whiting joins from CBRE where she headed up the Change Management vertical for the US within the Global Workplace Consulting practice. There she led a team of seven seasoned consultants, leading enterprise transformations to implement hybrid working strategies for Fortune 500 companies, on a global scale. Keziah Wonstolen joins Walr following 14 years of experience at Accenture and as current CEO of Vannin Chief of Staff. At Accenture, she focused on high-tech sales transformations as a management consultant and then became Chief of Staff within the consulting business including managing strategic priorities, pricing and sales operations.