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Talent Tracker: Imagination, iCrossing, Happy Finish and more

Imagination has announced Philomena Gray’s appointment as Chief People Officer, leading talent and HR strategy across the Imagination group, reporting to CEO, Patrick Reid. Gray joins Imagination from Photobox, where she was Human Resources Director of International Operations, across the UK, France, Germany and Spain. Her wealth of experience leading HR in advertising and media companies includes Chief People and Talent Officer at Publicis Communications UK, with responsibility for 1,500 people across brands such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, MSL & Fallon. She also spent time at Live Nation as HR Director for Europe. In this role, Gray will work across Imagination’s 14 global offices, focusing on developing talent, recruitment and retention, and building on the existing DE&I strategy to support the continuing growth of the business.

Digital marketing agency iCrossing has appointed Steve Teece, MoneySuperMarket’s SEO Insurance Lead and previous Head of Organic Performance, to the role of Head of Earned Media.Teece will lead the agency’s earned media team and be responsible for developing the agency’s earned media proposition and growing the practice, devising strategies for key clients and overseeing implementation, reporting into MD Jamie Clifford. He will be based at iCrossing headquarters in Brighton. At MoneySuperMarket, Teece was leading SEO across both MoneySuperMarket and MoneySavingExpert. Prior to this he spent over 10 years leading SEO teams agency side.

Creative technology and content production studio Happy Finish has announced the appointment of Jeremy Yates as Director of Strategic Partnerships. Yates will work closely with key Happy Finish accounts to formulate and deploy strategies that will reach audiences in ways that feel authentic, fresh and relevant using the various XR and creative tech solutions that push the boundaries of what’s possible. Previously, Yates worked as account director at Zappar, where he developed high profile accounts including Beiersdorf (NIVEA), Diageo, Pernod Ricard, ASOS, BMW, Accolade Wines Group, McDonald’s, Shazam and Whyte & Mackay.

Matterkind UK & Ireland, the addressable media marketing unit of IPG Mediabrands, has announced the appointment of James Trott to the role of Head of Product & Strategy and Nathan Taylor-Billings to the newly formed role of Head of Technology. Trott brings with him a decade’s worth of media agency experience and joins Matterkind from Dentsu Australia, where he was Head of Digital at Carat. Taylor-Billings joins Matterkind in November, leaving his role of Business Director at GroupM’s data and media measurement agency, Essence.

Integrated agency, Haygarth, has announced the appointment of two senior team members to its Commerce and Brand Experience teams. Haygarth has this month welcomed Rachel Cross as Director of Shopper & Commerce and Frankie Speakman as Head of Brand Experience to lead clients through the fast-moving digital commerce landscape. Cross will be leading the agency’s shopper and commerce division, and joins from Saatchi & Saatchi where she was previously Commerce & Shopper Business Director, responsible for heading up the P&G shopper marketing team. She joins newly hired Dan King (Head of Digital & eCommerce) who brings both media planning and client-side experience to Haygarth. Hot on Rachel’s heels, Frankie Speakman has joined Haygarth as the new Head of Brand Experience. Speakman comes from specialist experience shop, Hot Pickle, where she was Business Director.

Jaywing, has bolstered its creative team with ten new hires across the department. Taking up roles are Matt HarrisonRyan GilliesGareth Wright, Josh Eyre, Will Heldt, Harry Baker, Ellie Evans, Ariyan Savar, Josephine Steel and Catherine Spivey. This significant investment in the team’s copywriting, design and development skills, signifies Jaywing’s continued integrated creative approach, supporting clients in building brand equity, storytelling and elevating brands across multi-channel strategies. The team remain responsible for data-driven creativity across a variety of clients and the entire team aim to provide best in class outputs across offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Newbury. 

Strategic insights practice Canvas8 has appointed its first US-based Insights Director as it gears up for further Transatlantic expansion. Marian St Laurent, an award-winning lecturer and global brand strategist, joins Canvas8’s New York office and will lead the agency’s semiotics approach that will sit alongside its specialisms in cultural intelligence, data & analytics and social science. Laurent’s previous experience includes director of cultural insight roles at Truth Consulting in London and New York; Black Bamboo, New York, and collaborations with TODO Design in Turin, and We Manage Consulting in Milan for a roster of clients ranging including BMW, Reuters, Disney, Samsung, Singapore Airlines, Luxottica, Sony, IBM and PepsiCo. Laurent has also collaborated with several agencies and consultancies including Publicis (NY), and Wolf Ollins (NY).

Page & Page and Partners, an independent global creative communications agency specialising in health, wellness, empathy and imagination, is expanding with three new full-time hires. The new joiners are: Russell Dowling, as a new Creative Artworker who will be reporting to Paul Hayhow, Partner and Creative Services Director. Emily Sweet, an additional Medical Writer, who will be joining the content team and reporting to Clare Bates, Partner and Content Director, and Joseph Norman, in a newly created Marketing Manager role reporting to Lisa Lishman, Partner and Commercial Director.

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