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: Valtech, Anzu, Specsavers and many more

Valtech, the experience innovation company, has announced the appointment of Emma Charles in a newly created role to head up its growing public sector practice in the UK, which includes the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and OZEV (Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles). As its first Director of Public Sector Practice, Charles will drive meaningful, transformative work for government organisations, executing the agency’s mission to unlock better ways for people to experience the world. Charles brings over 25 years of experience in the design and management of digital change projects, specialising in digital maturity and transformation in central government departments both in-house and agency side. She joins from Kin + Carta, where she held the position of Director of Public Sector Delivery and Operations. Before this Charles held various senior positions, such as Public Sector Consulting lead at AND Digital, Director of Digital Services at the VOA (Valuation Office Agency), as well as Head of Digital Delivery at the Home Office where she set up the department’s first agile delivery team.  

Anzu, the most advanced intrinsic in-game advertising solution, has announced the appointment of Niv Nissenson as its new CFO. Nissenson, an experienced CFO specializing in fundraising, ERP implementation, public companies, M&As, and financial analysis, joins Anzu from AI and IoT-based solutions provider OMNIQ, which boasts over $100M in sales. With over 14 years of CFO experience in Israel and the United States across multiple industries, Nissenson brings a wealth of knowledge to Anzu as the company continues to expand.

Specsavers has bolstered its senior team with two significant hires across marketing: Lisa Lomax who joins as Marketing Director, UK Optics, and Philippa Middleton, who joins as Director of Growth Opportunities. As Marketing Director UK, ROI & Spain, Lomax will lead the strategy and field marketing teams across optics and domiciliary, working cross functionally with the wider marketing and UK leadership teams to drive continued growth for Specsavers. Lomax was previously VP Global Brand Strategy, Creative and Marketing at Weight Watchers, where she was responsible for leading global brand, creative, content and marketing strategy across global markets. From consumer insight to creative ideation through to in market implementation across all consumer touchpoints and channels. Prior to Weight Watchers, Lomax worked at Tesco for 10 years, most recently as Head of Brand Transformation – General Merchandise. In her new role as Director of Growth Opportunities, Middleton will lead the development and delivery of the strategic thinking on Specsavers’ customer proposition across the UK and ROI. Middleton was formerly Global Director – Customer Marketing (Acquisition & Retention) at The Body Shop, where she delivered Customer, Digital and Brand Marketing Strategy across UK, EMEA, NA and APAC. Prior to this, she was Head of Customer Marketing at Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, where she was responsible for the growth of the customer base and delivery of the customer sales target and P&L.

The Government Communication Service has confirmed the appointment of Kate Taylor Tett as the new Director of the GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign. Taylor Tett’s appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process led by Gatenby Sanderson with hundreds of applications from within Government and the private sector. As Director, Taylor Tett will be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the GREAT campaign which promotes the UK as a world-leading destination for business, tourism and education in over 150 countries. Central to Taylor Tett’s vision for GREAT is strengthening and expanding the campaign’s partnerships with organisations and individuals from across the private sector, to help promote the very best of the UK. The campaign has previously partnered with the likes of the BBC, British Airways, the Premier League, Universal Music and Darktrace as well as a host of small businesses and high profile individuals.

Dentsu announces a strategic senior global hire, with the appointment of Hamish Kinniburgh as Global Chief Strategy & Consultancy Officer, Media, dentsu. Based out of London, UK, Kinniburgh will join the global media executive leadership team, where he takes on the responsibility of elevating the strategic output of client teams worldwide through its network of global media agencies; Carat, iProspect and dentsu X. With a 20+ year track record of driving business outcomes for the world’s biggest and newest brands across USA, EMEA and the UK, Kinniburgh has proven himself as strategic marketing leader. Prior to joining dentsu, Kinniburgh held the Global Chief Consultancy Officer position at Mediabrands and also the Global Chief Strategy Officer at UM in New York.

Independent creative agency, Joint, has hired Sam Jones as its New Business & Marketing Director to help drive Joint’s new business goals and expand its portfolio of clients. Jones will be Joint’s first new business hire since the company started in 2012. He joins following a four-year tenure at Cheil Worldwide owned agency, BMB. He started in 2019 as a New Business & Marketing Manager, before being promoted to New Business & Marketing Director, overseeing key new business wins including: FREE NOW, LTA, Bonne Maman, Breast Cancer Now and Farrow & Ball. Prior to BMB, Jones worked at Wieden+Kennedy and as Marketing & Club Manager for Oystercatchers.

Yorkshire founded brand engagement agency, XSEM, has appointed Nick Burrows as head of experiential to enhance its service offering. This comes off the back of a raft of recent client successes. Although based in Yorkshire for 20 years, Burrows spent over a decade at London based TRO as client service and marketing board director, where he led on strategy, project management and client relations for experiential clients. Burrows joins the award-winning business to lead in developing its experiential offering, advising current XSEM brands including Molson Coors Beverage Company and Suntory (Lucozade, Ribena), on their experiential strategy.

Jellyfish, the global digital marketing business to some of the world’s biggest brands, has announced the appointment of Jo Wallace as its Global Executive Creative Director (ECD). Wallace will shape both client work and Jellyfish as a creative and inventive organisation in everything it does. As the Global ECD, Wallace will assume responsibility for overseeing content creation across all channels and play a vital role in shaping the company’s strategic direction. Additionally, she will serve as a creative champion for one of Jellyfish’s key global clients, Google. Wallace’s appointment addresses two significant gaps in the market. Firstly, the strategic gap, which exists between large holding companies with non-transparent media practices and smaller specialist firms focusing on tech, content, or media with  limited scale and capacity. Jellyfish uniquely combines platform expertise, martech capabilities and creative prowess across markets for progressive brands. Secondly, the cultural gap, where most content is pretty boring and most routes to market lack transparency. Jellyfish stands apart as an independent and disruptively positive force in the industry. 

Salad Money, a social enterprise and fintech for good launched in 2019 to provide an alternative to high-cost lending for NHS and public sector workers with poor, thin, or non-existent credit scores, has appointed Alex Marsh, formerly head of Klarna UK, to its Board as a non-executive director. Marsh will join the growing fintech, a community development finance institution, as it experiences exploding demand for affordable credit and surpasses £58 million in total lending to over 45,000 customers, based on an Open Banking only approach without reference to credit reference data. Marsh is also co-founder of Charterpath, which connects non-profits with volunteer financial skills; a member of the industry advisory board for The 93% Club, a social mobility charity tackling the state-private education divide and levelling the playing field for students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and an Independent Non Executive Director of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

SRVCD, the Leeds-based business that provides custom solutions for companies embracing digital transformation requiring a range of technology services, has appointed Gareth Huxall as Managing Director and Lewis Ham as Client Success Manager. Previously Head of Business Development at CloudCoCo Plc and with a career in the tech sector that spans more than 20 years, Huxall brings with him a wealth of experience and contacts. He will take responsibility for the strategic growth of SRVCD, ensuring projects that cover strategy and transformation, data and AI, managed services, cloud infrastructure, cyber security, software and technology engineering and project management are delivered for clients throughout the UK. With five years in tech recruitment roles, Ham is no stranger to account management and meeting with demanding briefs and timescales. He will work directly with the increasing number of clients at the business that all have their own bespoke challenges and ambitions.