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: Ozone, Outbrain Inc., The Kite Factory and many more

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Ozone, the digital advertising platform built for brands, by publishers, has appointed Jhan Hancock-Rushton to the position of Client Director. Reporting directly to Craig Tuck, Chief Revenue Officer, Hancock-Rushton replaces outgoing client lead Sophie Raptis, who is relocating to Australia. He will be responsible for building and nurturing Ozone’s direct relationships with advertiser clients. Hancock-Rushton joins Ozone with a wealth of experience gained across two decades working in premium publishing, most recently as publisher at The Stylist Group. Prior to that, he held numerous senior advertising director roles at hugely influential media brands including British Vogue, Hearst and Time Inc. As Client Director, Hancock-Rushton will be responsible for driving revenue from direct advertiser partnerships. Through collaboration and consultation, he will lead strategic conversations with key advertisers, and their agencies, where applicable, to maximise the revenue opportunity on offer via our premium publisher portfolio. These will range from bespoke campaign activations to more in-depth data and strategic media integrations.

Outbrain Inc., a recommendation platform for the open web, has announced the appointment of Yonatan Maman as Chief Technology Officer and Andraz Tori in a newly created executive role as Chief Product Officer. Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, and General Manager, Israel, Ori Lahav, will transition his responsibilities and focus on cross-company strategic initiatives, while continuing his role as General Manager, Israel. Maman joined Outbrain in 2011 as a Senior Software Engineer and has served as Vice President of Engineering for the past five years. While leading Outbrain’s R&D team, he brought modern practices and new capabilities to the growing engineering organisation. Tori has served as Head of Recommendations and Data Science at Outbrain for the past four years, following Outbrain’s acquisition of Zemanta, of which he was a founder. 

Independent media agency The Kite Factory has appointed Emily Underhill as Head of Marketing and New Business to supercharge their growth plans and fulfil their ambition to be the UK’s top indie agency. Underhill, a former Group Marketing Director at Havas, boasts years of experience working in the media and creative agency sector across networks and independents. Most recently she has been acting as a consultant for a number of clients including The Kite Factory. Reporting to CEO Robin Trust, Underhill will help refine and expand the agency’s proposition built around its Heart, Art and Science pillars, and oversee the new business and marketing team to deliver impactful pitch solutions to achieve the agency’s growth objectives. She also joins the Senior Leadership team in running the day-to-day operations of the business.

Staffbase, a provider of employee communications platforms, has announced its impressive growth throughout 2022, driven by a strong demand for internal communications tools, new customer growth and a commitment to innovation and customer success. The company also announced the expansion of its executive team with three C-Suite level new hires. The company has appointed Bijal Patel as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Neil Morrison as Chief People Officer (CPO), and David Burnand as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), as the Company seeks to help more companies improve employee communication and engagement on a global level. Patel brings more than 24 years of financial leadership with public and privately backed companies in the technology sector. Morrison, who has more than 15 years of experience in human resources and talent management, will lead Staffbase’s efforts to ensure talent and culture become strategic drivers for its growth agenda. Finally, Burnand, who has over 25 years of experience developing successful tech marketing teams and SaaS brand building, will drive Staffbase’s global marketing and communications efforts.

McCann Worldgroup has announced it has appointed Nathan Brown as Global Chief Audience Architect, a new role for the company, effective May 1, and elevated Michelle Tang to Global Chief Growth Officer, McCann, effective immediately. Brown’s experience spans multiple disciplines across three continents. He moves to McCann Worldgroup from sibling IPG agency Universal McCann (UM), where he served for two years as the media company’s Global Chief Strategy Officer. His successful time at UM includes working closely with the agency’s global brands, including J&J and American Express, among others. Prior to UM, Brown spent six years as U.S. CEO of Omnicom media agency PHD. Since joining McCann as Chief Growth Officer, North America from Digitas in 2022, Tang has been a driving force behind McCann’s recent wins, including Smirnoff, Prudential and Post Consumer Brands. In her expanded role, she will serve as the central point of contact for the network’s global new business pitches and lead the new business function across McCann and McCann Worldgroup globally. Tang has a 15+ year track record of helping agencies grow, with experience across top holding companies and agencies including FCB, Organic, Wunderman Thompson and more.

Snapping up travel technology talent, UK hotel technology company Journey Hospitality embarks on a recruitment drive to further bolster its growing team as it seeks to revolutionise hotel ecommerce. The former Head of Engineering at Booking.com and most recently Director of Engineering at On The Beach, Craig Griffin has taken the role of Chief Technology Officer, tasked with delivering the technology vision for the company, leading the product development for the company’s all-in-one ecommerce platform onejourney® and spa management system Premier Software. Griffin has led teams of more than 120 software engineers with experience digitalising other sectors delivering ecommerce experiences including Yodel and Beazley Insurance. Griffin will join the C-Suite alongside CEO and Founder, Simon Bullingham, and COO Mark Reed, who will manage the company’s operations and lead product client services and agency services. 

Slalom, the purpose-led, global business and technology consulting company, has announced the appointment of ex-LinkedIn, ex-Accenture executive, Jane Dawson-Howe as Country Leader of Slalom Ireland. Dawson-Howe, who grew up in County Wicklow, and now resides by the seas in Shankill County Dublin, will be responsible for overseeing the launch and growth of Slalom’s new Dublin team and office, building relationships with clients across Ireland and Europe. With more than 30 years of experience working both within and outside consulting, Dawson-Howe has the modern leadership skills needed to lead large teams of sales and consulting professional across multiple markets, building deep client relationships and implementing new go-to-market solutions. Dawson-Howe will be bringing Slalom’s human-first approach to consulting to Ireland for the first time. Originally launched in Seattle in 2001, Slalom has since grown organically to 44 markets and now eight countries, with Ireland its latest target for international expansion.

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