MM Awards

Movers & Shakers: Starcom UK, Aki, 360i, Index Exchange and Gyro

Tim Maytom

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.

(Clockwise from top left) Elliott Millard, Kay Martin, Todd Benedict, Piper Hickman, Laura Bell, Paul Hutt, Will Doherty, Alex Gardner


Starcom UK refreshes senior leadership team with a promotion and an appointment

Starcom Worldwide has announced that Elliott Millard is being promoted to managing partner and head of planning for its UK team, and that Kay Martin will be joining to take on his previous role as managing partner for clients. The two additions come following 12 months of rapid growth for Starcom UK, which has made major client wins including Visa, Puig, Kraft-Heinz and FCA.

Millard has spent six years at Starcom, successfully developing long-term business and communication strategies for key clients including Lidl, Airbnb, Fiat Chrysler and Samsung. In his new role, he will be responsible for all of UK planning, as well as ensuring that strategies are actionable, directive and translated into effective activation plans.

Martin re-joins the Publicis Groupe, having previously spent five years at Havas, and brings 13 years of media experience spanning sectors including finance, entertainment, food, telco, FMCG and leisure. She most recently led a team supporting marketing efforts at Domino’s Pizza, and has been involved in campaigns that have won industry awards from various sources including Cannes Lions, Brand Republic and Media Week.

“As Starcom continues its focus on creating experiences people love and actions brands need, we felt it was important to invest in the art of planning,” said Jodie Stranger, UK group chief executive and president of global network clients at Starcom. “Connecting our insights to smart strategies through to seamless activation, via instrumental planning, will lead to effective investment of our clients’ budgets. I am thrilled to have a talent such as Elliott focus on this craft within the agency, and to welcome Kay into our senior leadership team to lead our clients and teams with the credibility she brings.”

Todd Benedict tapped as chief revenue officer at Aki Technologies
‘Moment marketing’ company Aki Technologies is bringing Todd Benedict, formerly of Tapad, on board to serve as chief revenue officer for the firm. The appointment follows rapid growth at Aki, which has seen revenues triple from 2016 to 2017, recently appointed Orr Orenstein as chief operating officer and is currently expanding its sales team.

Benedict brings two decades of digital advertising leadership to his role, having previously served as chief revenue officer at Tapad, where he was responsible for leading data sales, media sales, customer success and ad operations. Prior to that, he was executive vice president at PlaceIQ, overseeing both customer success and sales teams. As chief revenue officer at Aki, he will be instrumental in helping brands and agencies realise the full potential of their mobile marketing investments through Aki’s AI-powered moment targeting and audience intelligence.

“At a time when brands are struggling to find the best way to approach mobile consumers, Aki’s moment marketing science offers a measurable competitive edge,” said Benedict. “With thoughtful and powerful technology, plus incredible grit and vision, there is simply no company better positioned to deliver the full value of mobile marketing right now that Aki Technologies. I’m thrilled to be in a position where I can help grow this company.”

360i names Piper Hickman as group creative director
Industry veteran Piper Hickman has been recruited by digital marketing agency 360i to serve as its group creative director. Alongside existing group creative director Alex Shulhafer, Hickman will lead creative for agency clients including Hanes and Champion, a firm she recently worked with to develop its ‘Dare To Be Champion’ brand campaign.

She joins 360i following an extensive freelance career that has included work at companies including Ogilvy, Havas Worldwide, JWT, McCann, The Barbarian Group and Wolf & Wilhelmine. Before her seven-year stint as a freelancer, she worked for a number of creative agencies including Spike/DDB, DDB New York, Mcgarrybowen and Saatchi & Saatchi.

“360i is consistently recognised as an agency that can adapt and stay ahead of the curve, so it’s great to be joining at this time,” said Hickman. “There’s a lot of momentum and potential right now. Alex is a tour de fource, and Menno [Kluin, chief creative officer at 360i] is someone who constantly pushes creative to the next level. I can’t wait to work with them.”

Series of executive promotions at Index Exchange aims to support growth
Global ad marketplace Index Exchange has unveiled a number of promotions among its executive team members designed to support the firm’s rapid expansion and projected growth for 2018. Alex Gardner, former senior vice president for partner development and long-time leader at Index is set to become chief revenue officer, while Will Doherty will move from vice president of business development to senior vice president of global marketplace development.

“Index has experienced incredible momentum over the past year, and our new leadership structure strategically positions our team to meet and exceed the needs of publishers,” said Andrew Casale, president and CEO of Index Exchange. “Over 200 new employees will join us globally over the course of 2018, and these promotions will allow our team to provide greater global insight and the highest level of service. Alex and Will’s combined experience and breadth of knowledge will continue to positively impact our publisher and buyer partners along with the industry at large.”

In addition to the promotions of Gardner and Doherty, James Prudhomme has been promoted from managing director for EMEA to head of international, where he’ll over see the scaling of Index operations outside of North America, including its newest offices in Sydney and Dusseldorf. Gardner, Doherty and Prudhomme, along with the newly appointed sales and services leaders, will all oversee the success and growth of Index’s global publisher and buyer partnerships.

Hutt and Bell promoted to new roles at Gyro
Dentsu Aegis-owned B2B creative agency Gyro has elevated Paul Hutt and Laura Bell to new leadership roles at the firm, with Hutt taking on the position of chief growth officer, and Bell becoming client services director for Gyro APAC. Hutt most recently served as head of media and client services for Gyro APAC, while Bell has held various positions at Gyro APAC since joining five years ago.

“Laura has proven that she has a powerful ability to team with clients to help them reach all of their goals while at the same time strengthening the relationship,” said Kieran Vye, managing director of Gyro APAC. “Her positive attitude in the face of challenges is a valuable asset to have in the team as she continues to find emotionally relevant solutions for our clients.

“Paul proved during his time as client service director that he can work across the full scope of services that we, as a fully integrated B2B business, provide for our clients – working with media, channel, creative and digital capabilities across the region. He is ready to succeed at a much higher level.”