Movers and Shakers: Comcast, Instacart, Deloitte, Sitecore, and more

The mobile marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our regular feature following the hottest hires in the industry, so you can keep track of who’s joined which company, and what they’re doing there.

Top (L-R): Pooja Midha, Frank Slootman, Leslie Sims
Bottom (L-R): Nasos Topakas, Emma Cranston, James Robinson


Comcast brings in Midha as CGO of ad division
Pooja Midha has taken up the role of Chief Growth Officer at Comcast Advertising, the division of Comcast which houses Effectv and FreeWheel.

She will oversee global marketing across Comcast Advertising, Effectv and FreeWheel, as well as Effectv’s newly launched sales development function. Midha and her team will build awareness for each company’s differentiated value and accelerate growth for local, regional, and national market opportunities. In addition, she will oversee and expand Comcast Advertising’s brand offerings, with the goal of enhancing products and solutions for the rapidly changing video marketplace.

Midha has over 20 years of experience in the media and advertising sector, most recently serving as President of True[X]. Here, she led the long-term corporate strategy for the company, daily operations, P&L management, and product vision. Prior to True[X], Midha was Senior Vice President of Digital Ad Sales and Operations at ABC Television Network and, before that, held a variety of senior sales and marketing roles at Viacom.

“I’m thrilled to join the Comcast family at such an exciting time for the company and the industry. The work that Comcast Advertising is doing across Effectv and FreeWheel to more effectively connect brands with their audiences and drive measurable results is industry-leading and inspiring,” said Midha. “I look forward to helping to propel this work and the company to the next level.”

Slootman takes seat on board at Instacart
Online grocery platform Instacart has welcomed Frank Slootman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Snowflake, to its Board of Directors.

Slootman, who boasts more than 25 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and executive in the enterprise software industry, joined Snowflake in May 2019. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of ServiceNow, where he helped grow the organisation from around $100m in revenue through an IPO, increasing its annual revenue to $1.4bn. Earlier, he was President of the Backup Recovery Systems Division at EMC and CEO and President at Data Domain.

“Over the past year, Instacart has changed the way our world thinks about ordering groceries. Today, it is a brand with a massive opportunity to build the future of online grocery for millions of consumers,” said Slootman. “I look forward to joining the Board and supporting the Instacart team as they enter the next chapter of growth.”

Deloitte hires Sims as digital CCO
Leslie Sims has joined Deloitte Digital, Deloitte’s creative digital consultancy, as its US Chief Creative Officer. She will also serve as Managing Director of Deloitte Consulting. Sims will work across the entire business to integrate creative capabilities, teaming with Deloitte Digital’s business strategy, design, technology, and data talent to help clients across industries explore the breadth of possibilities and value creative can engender.

Sims started her career as a Copywriter before working her way up to be CCO, first for Y&R, and then for Ogilvy, where she led the national creative vision for both agencies. In these roles, she created award-winning, transformative client work and was also named ‘Advertising Working Mother of the Year’ by She Runs It.

“I’m a long-time admirer of Deloitte Digital and feel fortunate to be joining such a purpose-driven, strategic and immensely talented group. The flexibility and richness of Deloitte Digital’s business opens the aperture for creativity to have an impact across every aspect of our clients’ businesses, from supply chain integrity to digital data management to a reimagined consumer experience,” said Sims. “Creatives are always the most excited when working on something that’s never been done before — and if there’s any place with the capabilities and relationships to do that, it’s Deloitte Digital.”

Topakas and O’Flanagan join Sitecore leadership team
Sitecore, a digital experience platform, has brought in Nasos Topakas as Chief Engineering Officer and Dave O’Flanagan as Chief Product Officer.

Topakas will oversee all engineering aspects of the company’s current and future products, including development, architecture, quality assurance, cloud engineering and shared services. Prior to Sitecore, he was the CTO at Prosper Marketplace. He also previously served as CTO for Art.com and StubHub and held positions with Kodak and Charles Schwab.

O’Flanagan will transition from his role as CEO of Boxever, following the close of Sitecore’s acquisition of the company. He will be responsible for defining and delivering Sitecore’s product roadmap and optimising user experience.

“Sitecore’s award winning platform along with our definitive agreements to acquire Boxever Ltd. and Four51 announced earlier this month, puts us in a position of great strength to accelerate our growth in the market,” said Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore CEO. “Nasos’ engineering background will position us well to deliver on our ambitious product development goals quickly. This, combined with Dave’s experience in data and personalization, will be essential as we look to accelerate our product roadmap and consolidate recent acquisitions to further enhance our market leading DXP and provide seamless solutions for our customers.”

Ozone hires Cranston to lead client services
Emma Cranston has been appointed Head of Client Services at digital advertising platform The Ozone Project. Effective 23 March, she will take responsibility for Ozone’s client services approach and lead the team who manage ongoing relationships and live campaigns with both media agency and advertiser customers.

Prior to this appointment, Cranston was Head of Display Activation at Manning Gottlieb OMD, one of many senior roles she held – including Head of Publishing and Investment Director – in a near 15-year career at the agency. Before Manning Gottlieb OMD, she worked for Carat.

“Having watched the evolution of Ozone from an agency perspective, I am incredibly excited to be joining a business that offers a really distinct, fully-scaled platform alternative for its customers,” said Cranston. “Ozone has been rightly applauded by the industry for challenging the status quo and I look forward to being part of the team that is creating new and better ways to approach digital advertising.”

Robinson and Chamberlain promoted at Momentum
Momentum Worldwide, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, has elevated James Robinson to the position of Chief Creative officer and David Chamberlain to Chief Experience Design Officer of its North American organisations.

Robinson will establish a single point of leadership for all North American creative team, with a shared focus and vision to deliver cutting-edge creative and best-in-class work. He joined Momentum New York in 2018 as Executive Creative Director and, since then, has led on creative work for clients including American Express, General Motors, Verizon, and Walmart.

Chamberlain will be responsible for shaping a new era of engagement for consumers and brands through ground-breaking digital experiences. Over the past five years, he has successfully built and elevated the agency’s Experience Design (XD) practice. He’s also played an integral role in the creative leadership of the agency, as well as building out Momentum’s Digital Experience Design practice (DXD).

“James and David bring such a refreshing approach to creative vision, leadership and excellence,” commented Donnalyn Smith, President for North America at Momentum Worldwide. “They continuously create outstanding and award-winning work for our clients, and there is no doubt they will make their mark on the creative teams across North America.”

Opera recruits Hu as fintech EVP
Allen Hu has been named as Executive Vice President of Opera’s fintech arm, Dify. He will lead the Dify business following its recent launch in Europe.

Hu spent nearly 10 years at PayPal, where he was Regional Head of Global Core Payments. He gained expertise in fintech as a Venture Partner in Sequoia Capital China. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Baidu Pay, the COO of Ping An FinTech, and Deputy General Manager of TenPay, where he launched WeChat Pay.

“I am delighted to join Opera and truly excited about the opportunity Dify has to become a leader in fintech,” said Hu. “Opera’s approach to initially offer its 50m monthly active users in Europe an online in-browser cashback service as well as the Dify wallet app marks the start of many innovative financial services Dify will offer. Just as PayPal captured the fintech world initially with its online payment solutions, I see huge potential for Opera to similarly disrupt financial services and become a key fintech player through Dify.”

Langford to direct strategy at Jaywing
Integrated agency Jaywing has appointed Adrian Langford as Director of Strategy and Planning for its retail offering. He will utilise his experience to head up strategy and planning for the agency’s retail clients such as Asda, Castrol, and Studio.

Langford was formerly Associate Strategy Director at McCann Central, where he successfully led pitches for HSBC Retail and Comic Relief. Alongside leading planning for clients such SC Johnson at Ogilvy & Mather, he has held Director roles at Boase Massimi Pollitt and J. Walter Thompson.

“I’m delighted to be joining such a well-established agency, especially at such an interesting time,” said Langford. “What drew me to Jaywing was the palpable ambition and enthusiasm of everybody I’ve spoken to and I’m looking forward to be able to join the team and help make those ambitions a reality.”

GainShare appoints Kelley as CX SVP
Matt Kelley has been hired as Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at performance marketing agency GainShare. He will lead consumer integration efforts across various digital channels and UX working to optimise client marketing programmes.

Kelley previously held SVP of consumer experience positions at Dentsu’s iProspect and Leapfrog Online.

“GainShare’s legacy in DRTV and video, combined with digital performance marketing underscores GainShare’s holistic understanding of the consumer to provide a truly connected customer journey – which is something many agencies struggle to activate across traditional and digital marketing efforts,” said Kelley. “I’m excited to enhance the work GainShare is already doing and to continue to deliver the integrated results GainShare is known for.”

Bousquet-Chavanne takes to the ESW Americas helm
eShopWorld, a cross-border eCommerce company, has appointed Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne as President and Chief Executive Officer, Americas. He will have overall responsibility for ESW’s Americas business and growth strategy as well as worldwide marketing. In addition, he will lead ESW’s new consulting division, The Reach Advisory.

Prior to joining ESW, Bousquet-Chavanne was CEO of Emaar Malls, owner of The Dubai Mall. He previously served as Executive Director, Customer, Marketing and M&S.com, for Marks & Spencer, helping drive the company’s digital acceleration. Prior to that, Bousquet-Chavanne was Group President at The Estée Lauder Companies, where he oversaw some of the company’s largest brands, including Estée Lauder and MAC, as well as the Designer Fragrances division. Bousquet-Chavanne presently serves as an Independent Director of Brown-Forman Corporation and was previously a member of ESW’s Retail Advisory Council.

“Brands today have unprecedented access to growth outside their home markets, but many don’t have the digital capabilities and local expertise they need to fully leverage international opportunities,” said Bousquet-Chavanne. “As a member of the ESW Advisory Board, I had the opportunity to get to know this skilled leadership team and help enable brands to quickly and cost-effectively scale their businesses. So, I’m very pleased to join ESW at this moment, when we see such substantial opportunity for further growth in the Americas and other regions, particularly in the fashion, luxury and beauty segments.”

Merkle selects Mayor as Salesforce lead
Michel Mayor has been chosen as Salesforce Practice Lead for Merkle EMEA and Dentsu’s CXM service line. He will lead and evolve Merkle’s Salesforce practice to help clients achieve the maximum value from their investment, across implementation, integration with their existing tech stack, and ongoing management to deliver and accelerate their customer experience transformation programmes.

Mayor moves to Merkle from his role as Chief Marketing Technology Officer for Dentsu across EMEA. In this role, he was responsible for advising clients on deriving value from martech business practices and technical solutions, and for accelerating Dentsu’s martech and CRM readiness across the region. Prior to this, he built digital transformation and CRM practices at Dentsu agencies Blue Infinity and Isobar Switzerland. He previously spent eight years at DuPont in CRM and Salesforce Practice Lead roles.

“It is an incredibly exciting time to be leading Merkle’s Salesforce practice in EMEA, which now has 500 consultants in one regional team,” Mayor commented. “We’re uniquely positioned to help clients get the most value from Salesforce’s cloud capabilities, across Marketing, Commerce, and Core Cloud for both well-known B2C brands and B2B leaders.”

Bowman to head up TV at Altair
Altair Media, a digitally-led media agency, has hired Phil Bowman as AV Director to head up its new TV department, which is aimed at brands which are new to TV or feel poorly served by what’s currently available to them.

Bowman joins Altair from Publicis-owned Spark Foundry, where he was Senior Group Trading Director.

“There has never been a more exciting time to launch a TV/AV offer to the market. Disruption and upheaval such as we have seen over the last 12 months, always bring major opportunity and that’s why we believe there is scope to redefine how TV media planning and buying is done,” said Bowman.

“Many brands are including TV in their ad plans for the first time. That includes a wide range of B2B brands who have seized the opportunity to target business customers working from home. And in our newly health-obsessed society, healthcare brands are increasingly eyeing up TV. These new entrants to the market require a different kind of offer. The trading approach that’s typical of many of the incumbents is unlikely to suit these first-time advertisers.”

Rokt adds Yaw as CPO
Hunter Yaw has been brought in as Chief Product Officer at eCommerce technology firm Rokt. He will lead Rokt’s product development and play a central role in Rokt’s product strategy and roadmap evolution.

Prior to Rokt, Yaw built and led the product and partnerships teams at Loadsmart and held several positions in the product team at Shapeways. He entered the tech space at a travel startup in Moscow where he ran their partnership with Airbnb, and subsequently built and sold his own startup providing data for restuarants.

“I am thrilled to be at Rokt and to be driving a cutting-edge, disruptive e-commerce product,” said Yaw. “The culture at Rokt is clearly focused on solving clients’ problems with versatile technology solutions. My passion for, and deep experience in, product development will allow me to enhance Rokt’s already strong product portfolio. I am looking forward to working with the team to help drive the company to the next stage of growth.”

Greenberg takes charge of sales at Audioburst
Audioburst, an audio search and delivery platform, has announced Andrew Greenberg as its Head of Publisher Sales. He will enable publishers to tap into talk-audio content.

Greenberg joins the company with 15 years of experience in digital advertising and publisher sales. He previously served as the Director of Publisher Development at Ogury and held prior leadership positions at companies like Content.ad and InterClick, which was later acquired by Yahoo! For $270m.

Audience Town turns to Green on sales
Andrew Green has been appointed Vice President of Sales at Audience Town, an advertising platform for real estate, moving, and home. He will spearhead Audience Town’s business development as the company prepares for a busy real estate season and broad economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Green joins Audience Town after serving in business development leadership roles at both PubMatic and Rubicon Project, where he worked with Fortune 500 advertising brands and major agencies on digital marketing strategies.

“There’s no place I’d rather be than Audience Town as the advertising and real estate markets continue to rebound from the disruption of 2020,” Green said. “The real estate industry has never fully embraced what’s possible with digital advertising, and Audience Town is poised to capitalize on an exciting market at a very exciting time.”

Sale joins P&P client services team
Page & Page and Partners, a communications agency specialising in health, wellness, and lifestyle, has hired Charlotte Sale as Senior Account Director. She will join a growing client services team to lead and manage continued delivery across both new and existing clients including Align Technology, Novartis, L&R, and Boston Scientific.

Sale has worked for both major pharmaceutical and dental manufacturers for over 14 years, including launching two world-leading products to the UK and Ireland. Her experience also includes Clinical Affairs, a role in which she deepened her knowledge of clinical research and created content for educational programmes.

“We are thrilled to welcome Charlotte to the Page & Page team,” said Lisa Lishman, Partner and Commercial Director at Page & Page and Partners. “With her enthusiasm and experience, we are sure she will be a real asset to the team. We know Charlotte is excited to help us further support healthcare professionals and patients through Page & Page’s work with our clients. Page & Page has had a successful six months in terms of growth and we’re pleased to be continuing this momentum with Charlotte’s appointment.”  

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