Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Talent Tracker: Ve Global, Organic, MediaCom UK and more

Futr AI, a dynamic chatbot AI start-up with customers including the NHS, housing departments, several Police forces as well as major campaigning charities including CALM, recently recruited Hejab Azam to lead on marketing strategy and implementation. Hejab Azam is a senior marketer with a proven track record of growing highly engaged audiences and users across SaaS markets and verticals. Before Futr, Hejab worked at Patent Analytics SaaS Unicorn, PatSnap, AMT Auto, a Leeds based specialist car provider and at the Performance Management SaaS startup, Clear Review (acquired by Advanced in 2020).

John Straw, digital entrepreneur and IT marketing expert, has joined the board of leading ecommerce provider Ve Global as a Non Executive Director. An early stage martech investor and founder of multiple technology startups, Straw brings over 30 years of experience in IT and marketing to Ve Global at a time of significant growth and transformation for the business. Alongside his own entrepreneurial accolades, which include four consecutive exits and three institutional fundraises, Straw currently serves as a Senior Advisor at McKinsey and Co. Prior to this, he was the Chairman of Thomas Cook’s Digital Advisory Board, where he led the global travel brand’s digital transformation.

Dan Dowden-Brown joins digital product studio Potato as Delivery Director for its US operation. Dowden-Brown joins from AKQA Los Angeles where he was Delivery director and part of the senior leadership team for 5 years. He brings a wealth of client experience, having worked extensively with clients including Nike, Beats by Dre, Ford Motor Company and Johnson & Johnson. Prior to this, he worked at agencies including Wunderman.

Receptional, the Bedford-based digital marketing agency, which specialises in the finance, sports and gaming sectors, has appointed Robin Smith as its first Creative Director. Smith brings more than 35 years of experience across design and creative leadership roles in some of the world’s top agencies. His work for clients such as Audi, Ikea and Sprite has won more than 100 creative and effectiveness awards since 2008, including Cannes, Clio, D&AD and EFFIES. Smith was most recently Group ECD for Geometry and Ogilvy in Budapest, Hungary. Before that he spent 11 years in Dubai, establishing OgilvyAction and Geometry’s MENA presence.

Organic has announced several significant new hires and promotions in a move to cement its position as a market leader in all areas of film and television publicity and social media. Ryan Davies takes up the newly created role of Head of Television, further strengthening Organic’s specialism in full-service comms for the TV industry. Davies brings with him over 15 years of experience working across the creative industries, seven of which were spent at Channel 4 Television where he was responsible for the strategy and execution of publicity campaigns across Channel 4’s scripted portfolio. Ryan Davies will report to managing director Caragh Cook. The hire of Davies comes 18 months after the appointment of respected senior television publicity consultant Christina Joyce, previously of Premier PR and BBC Drama. In the new look leadership team, Joyce becomes Executive Director, overseeing the development of Organic’s broad television offering.

Across the Atlantic in Organic’s LA office, Kirsty Langsdale steps up to Senior Vice President, Global Publicity and Nida Karnani has been recruited as an Account Manager. Alice Taylor joins as Senior Account Director and oversees the London-based team which includes Senior Account Manager, Dheeraj Agnihotri. Becky Palmer, who recently celebrated 10 years of service at the agency, has been promoted to Head of Film responsible for leading the UK film publicity business. Working closely with Palmer, Gill Littler will step up into the role of Associate Director and will oversee much of the agency’s digital/influencer focussed work. has announced the appointment of Sarah Hiraki as its Creative Director. Prior to Ad-Lib, Hiraki was at Revolut, where she led the creative concepting and copywriting for some out-of-the-box ideas for marketing a fintech brand to business customers. In her previous role at global agency Essence, she concepted Project Pegasus for Google and The Guardian, which was aimed at deepening the link between context and personalisation without using consumer data to drive relevant messaging. 

MediaCom UK has announced the appointment of James Parnum as Managing Partner and Head of Planning, as it looks to deliver on its ‘Seeing the Bigger Picture’ vision. Parnum has over 15 years of media planning experience and has been at MediaCom since 2015, overseeing the Tesco Group account in helping transform the brand through successful long-term campaign planning. Under his leadership, the Tesco Group account won three Grands Prix in three years at Cannes Lions, Thinkbox and, most recently, IPA Effectiveness as well as Media Week & Campaign Media awards. Prior to his role at MediaCom, he helped to build some of Britain’s biggest brands including John Lewis and Waitrose at MGOMD.

Netskope has announced the appointment of Kimberly Alexy to the Netskope Board of Directors. With more than 25 years of experience in finance, accounting, capital markets, M&A, and investments, Alexy has served on more than a dozen pre-IPO and public company boards. She has chaired key board committees throughout her time as a board leader, including audit, compensation, nominating, governance, and other specialty committees. Earlier in her career, Alexy was a sell-side equity research analyst on Wall Street, specializing in technology stocks. Since then, she has been an active investor and board director, helping public and pre-IPO companies with board needs. Her current board memberships also include Alteryx, FireEye, Five9, and Western Digital.

Strategic brand design agency Bulletproof has hired Jim Hare, who joins the London Studio as Digital Creative Director. An award-winning brand experience designer, Hare brings decades of know-how to his new role where he will be leading the charge for Bulletproof’s digital output to create modern brands and services that are valuable, engaging and pioneering. Hare has worked with global clients and agencies, confidently guiding some of the world’s most well-known brands, such as Cadbury, Mastercard and Lipton, into an increasingly digital-first world.     

GBI (Gulf Bridge International), a global cloud, connectivity and content enabler has announced it has hired Brendan Press as Chief Commercial Officer and Karl Erik Broten as Chief Financial Officer. Press has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications across sales and business development, marketing and customer service. He joins from Orange Business Services, UK, where he was Global Lead Director, Business Development. There he led teams delivering digital transformation programmes to global companies in the areas of cloud, security and data management. Karl Erik Broten, GBI’s new CFO, similarly brings decades of extensive experience in the ICT sector. He previously worked for the Telenor Group for 23 years in various finance functions, 16 of which he was CFO, across six different markets in Europe and Asia. Most recently he was CFO for Digi Telecommunications in Malaysia, and for Grameenphone Ltd in Bangladesh.

ConnectWise, a provider of business automation software for technology solution providers (TSPs), has announced the appointment of Raffael Marty as Senior Vice President of product management for cybersecurity.  A respected and experienced voice in technology and cybersecurity, Marty brings more than 20 years of cybersecurity industry experience across engineering, analytics, research, and strategy to the company. Prior to ConnectWise, Marty was chief research and intelligence officer at Forcepoint and has had senior leadership and ownership roles at Sophos, PWC, Splunk, and PixlCloud.

Integrated marketing and communications agency The 10 Group has announced a series of new appointments across its content capability following a fourfold growth in production work. Former TVC Director Leon Schlesinger joins as Director of Production, spearheading the existing team. With over 17 years of experience working across content, Schlesinger will utilise his specialist knowledge of live streaming and digital broadcast to oversee the delivery of all key projects across production. He will be joined by BAFTA award-winning Executive Producer Tommy Panays, who will lead on creative direction and content development. With a background in TV working across programmes including Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, and later within AMV BBDO’s content arm Flare, Panays’s expertise in creating highly engaging content will be key in the agency’s continued delivery of award-winning content. The senior team will be supported by Editor Phillip Everett, who joins from market research agency Firefish where he previously led on video and graphics design, and Creative Producer Henry Scriven, a member of the BAFTA Crew talent programme and former creative at production agency Catch.

Digital performance marketing agency, ClickThrough Marketing, is welcoming Stefanie Keeling as their new Head of Content. Keeling joins the agency having worked in-house at industry-leading brands, along with multinational marketing agency, iProspect. Keeling has previously worked with ClickThrough as a client, and her specialism in working collaboratively between content and SEO will ensure the ongoing alignment of the two teams within the brand.

Contentsquare has announced the appointment of James McCormick to Vice President of Product Marketing and Product Strategy. Prior to joining Contentsquare, he was a principal analyst at Forrester Research since 2012. McCormick will report to Chief Product Officer Lucie Buisson, and assume responsibility for Contentsquare’s product innovation to capitalize on the growing market opportunity for AI-enabled digital experience.