Movers and Shakers: Dice, AO Mobile, Uber Advertising, Square and more

David Murphy

The mobile and digital marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our monthly round-up of the hottest hires in the industry…

(Clockwise from top left:) Katie Soo, Simon Bailey, Scott Hooton, Samina Hussain-Letch, Paul Wright, Alexis Faulkner

Soo takes up Chief Business Officer role at Dice
Music ticketing firm, Dice, has appointed Katie Soo as its Chief Business Officer. She will be responsible for driving forward Dice’s strategic growth role propositions and marketing, helping build the Dice brand globally and supporting the company’s ambitions to disrupt and lead a fairer live entertainment industry. 

With over 16 years’ experience spanning media, entertainment and tech, Soo has held leadership roles at some of the most recognised, celebrated and disruptive brands globally. Most recently, she served as Chief Marketing Officer at education and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) learning subscription platform, KiwiCo, overseeing consumer marketing in over 40 countries. Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President of Growth Marketing at HBO Max. She has also held executive roles at Warner Bros. Digital Networks, DC Universe, Hulu, and Dollar Shave Club.

She joins Dice at a pivotal moment in its growth phase, as it continues to scale globally and increase its presence in the US market. 2022 was the biggest year in the firm’s history, with over 55,000 artists and 10,000 venues and promoters using Dice to sell tickets to their shows. Soo will play a critical role in building on Dice’s upward trajectory, as the company looks to increase its global fanbase, acquire new partnerships, and deliver fan-first experiences. Her role will oversee Consumer Marketing, B2B Marketing, Fan Experience, Brand and Creative, New Growth Initiatives, Social and Communications teams globally.

“Katie understands how to build global brands,” said Dice CEO and Founder, Phil Hutcheon. Dice has grown quickly in the past two years and this role consolidates the business initiatives and marketing efforts. It’s huge, and I’m very excited to work closely with Katie to achieve the big ambitions we have ahead of us.”

Hooton to head up AO Mobile
Online electricals retailer, AO, has appointed mobile industry veteran, Scott Hooton, to lead AO Mobile including Mobile Phones Direct. Hooton brings to the role 30 years’ experience of the mobile industry, from a range of senior roles and consultancy with retailers and distributors, including Phones4U Netherlands, Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse. He has been working closely with AO since it acquired Mobile Phones Direct in 2019 to build the right foundations for growth.

He said: “AO and Mobile Phones Direct are now well placed to bring fantastic value, range and five star service to customers. I’m thrilled to be joining the AO team and excited to release the full potential of Mobile Phones Direct.”

Mobile Phones Direct offers connections with Vodafone, 02 and Three, alongside a full range of handsets from all major manufacturers. It was named USwitch Reseller of the Year in 2022.

Wright to head up Uber Advertising

Uber has appointed Paul Wright as Head of Uber Advertising in the UK. He will be responsible for building and developing the new advertising offering across Uber’s UK platform.

He joins Uber from Amazon, and has over three decades’ experience working in advertising and media. He has also worked at Apple, BSkyB and Omnicom, with global experience across APAC, EMEA, LatAm and the US.

Uber said its advertising offering will help brands access a direct communication channel with consumers across both the Uber (mobility) and Uber Eats (delivery) platforms. It brings together location and shopping data with closed loop attribution across its Mobility and Delivery channels for performance and brand campaigns, enabling advertisers to engage with consumers through Uber’s marketing funnel. With millions of app users engaging with Uber’s platform every day, Uber said it can connect advertisers to its consumers without sharing any personal information.

In the US, more than 40 major brands have already partnered with Uber to run Journey Ads, including NBCUniversal, Heineken and United Artists Releasing. During Uber’s Q422 earnings call the company stated that it is seeing clickthrough rates above 3 per cent for Journey Ads, with an average global view time of over 100 seconds.

Wright said: “The UK is one of the world’s most creative and largest advertising markets, providing a prime opportunity for brands to lean into Uber’s suite of unique advertising services and connect with a variety of target audiences. This is also a dynamic time for the advertising industry with the impending changes to cookies, the focus on attention metrics and the role of context. I’m excited to be spearheading Uber’s role in helping brands to engage with some of the most highly-engaged ad consumers in the industry.”

Hussain-Letch to head up Industry Relations and Operations UK at Square
Payments firm, Square, has hired Samina Hussain-Letch as Head of Industry Relations and Operations UK. She will support the company’s operations and strategic direction, as Square continues in its quest to deliver the best ecosystem of tools and commerce solutions for sellers of all sizes to run and grow their businesses.

Prior to this role, Hussain-Letch led Industry Relations and Operations for Square’s Australia market. She brings decades of industry experience, having worked in product leadership roles at Visa, as well as managing debit, prepaid, and credit portfolios. She is also passionate about Inclusion and Diversity initiatives, and is looking to make an impact at Square UK. While at Visa, she founded the Women in Leadership Too Programme, to support women growing into leadership positions at the company.

She said: “Providing incredible experiences for our customers is something I’ve always been passionate about, and I’m excited to continue this work at Square UK. We have several projects underway already with the aim to provide growth opportunities for UK sellers of all sizes, which is critical in today’s trading environment. It’s a brilliant time to join the UK team, and I’m excited to work together to make Square the defining partner for businesses of all sizes in the UK”.

Square’s hardware and software ecosystem includes payments hardware as well as loyalty, marketing, and business management tools.

Kantar hires Bailey as Senior Partner
Marketing data and analytics firm, Kantar, has appointed Simon Bailey as Senior Partner to its consulting practice to help clients solve their biggest brand challenges and grow their businesses.

Bailey will manage Kantar’s relationships with major firms to help them navigate market fluctuation amid the current period of high inflation and changing customer behaviour. This will include advising on all aspects of commercial and creative strategy, including areas such as forecasting product and service demand, product positioning, innovation and new product development.

Bailey has been a senior brand and strategy consultant for than more 25 years, working with some of the world’s largest businesses, including Orange, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever. Hehas extensive advisory experience as a former European CEO of Interbrand and CEO of WPPs Brand Union, where he supported the global rebrand of Vodafone.

“Simon brings a wealth of experience in partnering with clients to define and execute a vision for brands to deliver growth, and we’re pleased to have him on board,” said Natalie Vander Vorst, Managing Partner, Kantar Consulting, UK & Ireland. “It’s a tough time for many consumer businesses, as high inflation puts pressure on costs and recasts consumer behaviour. Clients are trying to understand how to cut through this change and succeed commercially, and they are turning to our data-driven, actionable insight for answers.”

GroupM promotes Davies
GroupM has promoted Akama Davies to the role of VP of Global Solutions and Operations for Xaxis. In his new role, Davies will lead global solutions and operations for Xaxis, which is part of GroupM Nexus, in collaboration with regional and market counterparts, and also lead product strategy communication, roadmap formulation, and product testing. Additionally, he will prioritise the technical requirements across GroupM Nexus to drive differentiation, support both regional and global growth, and ensure solutions are tailored to the needs of clients.

For the past 18 months, Davies has served as Global Practice Lead for Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) at Xaxis, where his passion for innovation and strategic mindset enabled the growth of GroupM’s flagship programme of DOOH solutions from one to 17 markets. Throughout his time with the company, he has been a core supporter of Xaxis’ internal innovation initiative, Xcellerate, mentoring winning teams from ideation to delivery across the globe. Further, in testament to his strong leadership skills, Davies co-founded the diversity and inclusion consultancy, We Are Stripes,.

Mindshare creates two new roles, promotes from within to fill them
Mindshare UK has appointed Alexis Faulkner and Richard Kelly to the new roles of Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Solutions Officer, respectively.

Faulkner joined Mindshare in 2018 and has been the agency’s Chief Digital Officer since 2021. Prior to Mindshare, she worked in a variety of senior roles at GroupM and ITV. Her new role will focus on three core areas: ensuring Mindshare’s operating model is fit for the future; supporting Mindshare clients in the way they are transforming their businesses, based on customer needs; and leading incubation areas for future-facing areas of growth, including customer experience and eCommerce.

Kelly joined Mindshare UK as Head of AV in 2010 and has most recently been Chief Revenue Officer since February 2021. In his new role, he will continue to oversee Mindshare’s investment teams, and will now also take the responsibility of delivering solutions that bring together the agency’s capabilities to help solve business problems for its clients. He will do this working in partnership with Faulkner, and Alan Weetch, Chief Strategy, Planning and Innovation Officer. 

“We believe to be a partner of Good Growth we need not only to deliver excellence in our current business but work with our clients on where they will be in five years’ time,” said Mindshare UK Managing Director, Fleur Stoppani. “These newly-created roles underline Mindshare’s commitment to having the right technology, the right systems, and the right skills in place to meet the needs of our clients both now and in the future. To do this, we need to transform our own business to be more efficient, more effective and increase our knowledge and capabilities in developing areas. The fact these are both internal appointments is a testament to the enormous skill and talent we currently have at Mindshare UK, and I’m looking forward to working with Alexis and Richard as we transform our business to continue to deliver outstanding results for our clients.

Hochberg appointed Creative Director at Adam&EveDDB
Adam&EveDDB has hired aula Hochberg, previously Creative Director at TikTok Brand & Creative Studio, as its Creative Director.

Prior to working at TikTok, Hochberg was Creative Lead at Sid Lee London. She has worked across a number of high-profile brands, including TikTok, SKYN, Ubisoft, H&M, Moët&Chandon, Prime Video, Honda and Coca-Cola.

Her work has won several awards. The ‘Hope’ & ‘Decisions’ campaigns for the International Committee of the Red Cross picked up a Cannes Lions Grand Prix (Film Craft), a Gold Lion Film Craft (Script) and a Bronze Lion (Film) in 2018, alongside D&AD Wood and Graphite Pencils.

Hochberg will join the agency this month and will report to Adam&EveDDB Chief Creative Officer Richard Brim. He said: “We’re very happy to welcome Paula on board as we expand our creative department. She has produced stellar, award-winning work for high-profile clients and we can’t wait to see some of the exciting work she will be producing for the agency.” 

Owen takes up CMO role at Billion Dollar Boy
Creator marketing agency, Billion Dollar Boy, has hired Becky Owen as its Chief Marketing Officer. 
She joins from Meta, where she was Head of Creator Innovation and Solutions, leading the Creators for Business strategy for the brand’s family of apps across the EMEA region, incorporating Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, AR and VR.

Prior to joining Meta in August 2018, she held senior leadership roles at global creator agency, Maker Studios, and was Head Of Digital Partnerships and Branded Content at The Walt Disney Company.

Through a partnership with the University of Oxford's Future of Marketing Initiative, she co-created the first academic research paper on the role of sound and augmented reality, and how this can be used for business effectiveness.  

Reporting directly into Global CEO and co-founder, Ed East, Owen’ hire will support the agency’s growth objectives, including growing profitability and expanding the business to 1,000 people within five years, opening offices in California, Berlin and Copenhagen.

She said: “I’m deeply excited to join Billion Dollar Boy. In almost five years of leading creator Marketing for Meta EMEA, developing innovative strategies and producing best-in-class campaigns with global brands, Billion Dollar Boy became my most trusted partner. Working as their client was always a pleasure and I’ve been continually impressed with their unique approach to the creator marketing industry, including some eye-catching and progressive brand campaigns that push the boundaries of the industry.”

Naumann to evangelise anti-fraud at AppsFlyer
AppsFlyer has named Andreas Naumann as its anti-fraud evangelist. Naumann is one of the most internationally renowned and knowledgeable experts in the field of mobile ad fraud and security, and brings over a decade of industry experience to AppsFlyer as it continues expanding its capabilities to prevent and protect against fraud. 

In his new role, Naumann will work to effectively combat ad fraud and continuously educate the industry on threats and solutions, in addition to contributing to the further development of AppsFlyer's Protect360 product suite. Naumann's appointment comes at a crucial time for the mobile advertising industry, which is facing increasing challenges from heightened ad fraud activity, especially during the current economic conditions. As a pioneer in the fight against ad fraud, AppsFlyer provides cutting-edge tools and the latest insights to protect businesses’ marketing investments. Naumann’s appointment underscores AppsFlyer's commitment to providing the most advanced measurement and marketing analytics solutions and ensuring a more fraud-free advertising ecosystem.

Naumann has more than 10 years’ experience in the field of fraud prevention at companies such as Zanox, Trademob and Glispa, among others. Until October 2022, he headed the anti-fraud department at Adjust, a mobile measurement provider that was acquired by Applovin in February 2021. Naumann also serves as head and co-founder of the Coalition against Ad Fraud (CAAF).  

"Mobile ad fraud devours marketing budgets, contaminates performance data and can turn successful campaigns into losses,” said Naumann. “AppsFlyer has an effective antidote on the market with Protect360, which combines real-time fraud protection with post-attribution detection. I look forward to working with the team to make a great product even better."

Eagle and Hodge to run Accenture Song creative business
Accenture Song has appointed Zoe Eagle and Will Hodge as Co-chiefs of the Accenture Song creative business in London. This includes a range of talent originally from Karmarama and Creative Drive, boosted by digital marketing specialists from the wider Accenture Song group, in order to offer a fully integrated offering including brand, digital engagement and activation, production studios and media. Eagle and Hodge will jointly lead the team responsible for solving problems and driving business growth for clients including The Army, Confused.com, Honda, Lidl and Plusnet.

They replace James Denton-Clark, and will report to Bill Scott, who has overall responsibility for all of Accenture Song’s Communications practice in the UK and Ireland, including Droga5. Eagle and Hodge have made their first appointment in Laura Brown previously at Engine Group, to lead growth and marketing.

SharpEnd / io.tt hires two
SharpEnd / io.tt, an IoT solutions partner for consumer brands, has expanded its leadership with two new senior hires. James Greening joins as Creative Partner, and Jessica Markowitz joins as Client Director for North America. 
The pair will support the firm’s unique service offering and strategic partnerships worldwide. Their roles will also see the integration of cutting-edge creativity at the heart of every IoT rollout, largely focused on connected packaging and immersive retail experiences.

As the new Client Director for North America, Markowitz is the firm’s first leadership appointment in the region. She will oversee the growth of the North American team to support its US clients, which include Estée Lauder Companies, Rabble Wine Co., PepsiCo and Levi’s. Her role involves securing new strategic partnerships for the io.tt platform.

Prior to this role, she spent 10 years in the spirits industry across a variety of marketing and commercial roles, and was a founding member of Halo Hydration, where she oversaw every aspect of the business from formulation, brand identity and packaging, to the go-to-market strategy.

Greening’s role is to ensure that creativity remains the top focus for all IoT rollouts globally. Creativity is one of the company’s key tenets, and Greening will be tasked with evolving the creative offer further with the unconventional thinking that has seen him ascend to the top of a number of top advertising agencies, including Engine (now known as House 337), Wieden and Kennedy and R/GA.

Other moves:
Performance marketing firm, Tinuiti, has appointed Jeremy Cornfeldt as its first-ever President. Cornfeldt – who brings over two decades of brand, media and performance marketing experience to the role– will focus on creating total cohesion across the agency’s brand and performance offerings to help enhance its go-to-market solution for clients. Cornfeldt previously served as US CEO of Brainlabs, a global, digital-first media agency, where he was responsible for direction and growth in the US market. Prior to joining Brainlabs, Cornfeldt oversaw iProspect, a Dentsu agency, where he spent nearly a decade building out iProspect’s footprint and core offerings to drive global growth. He was also responsible for the launch of AMNET, Dentsu's media trading desk in the US market, which established customized automated trade offerings for Fortune 500 clients.

Digital marketing firm, Incubeta, has hired Marie-Anna Gurney as its Global Director of Solutions. It’s  the next step in a varied and successful career, in which she has worked in traditional marketing, run her own online toy store, gained extensive experience in online retail working for one of the world’s largest health and beauty retailers.

Affiliate marketing platform, Awin, has appointed Gisele Mast as its Chief Product and Technology Officer. She will lead the company’s Product and Technology efforts, ensuring the platform and products remain at the heart of the company’s business throughout its martech transformation. She joins Awin with a wealth of industry experience, having most recently served as the Chief Product Officer at Kiwi.com. Her other previous roles include Vice President at Priceline.com, Director at Booking.com, and Director at TripAdvisor. She brings industry expertise in the B2B and B2B2C digital platform space, driving technology modernisation efforts, and delivering an integrated product vision and strategies.

Ad tech firm, Quantcast, has appointed Andrew Double as Vice President of Commercial, North America. He has a proven record of entering new markets and expanding Quantcast’s presence and revenue. Having served at the company in several different roles for over a decade, he has brought his strategic thinking to the company, in key regions, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In his new role, he will lead the development of the North American sales organization, focused on helping Quantcast’s customers across top-tier agencies and brands to achieve their marketing and advertising goals.

Supply Side Platform, PubMatic, has appointed Sandro Catanzaro as VP of Product Management for CTV and Video. Catanzaro will be responsible for the product vision and roadmap for the company’s fast-growing CTV and video businesses. He will lead a team of seasoned product managers to further develop and execute product plans, ensuring that the company continues to drive innovation for an increasingly sophisticated and diverse CTV and video market. He joins PubMatic from Roku, where he was Head of Publisher Media Strategy, leading the product team by providing automated solutions for publishers, including self-service header bidding. Previously, he was Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at DataXu, which was acquired by Roku. Prior to his tenure at DataXu, Catanzaro was a consultant at Bain & Company.

Experiential media company, Mood Media has appointed Barry McPhilips as International Head of Creative and Mathew Wilde as Business Development & UK Sales Director. Both roles were created as part of a company-wide strategy to help its global customer base of over half a million businesses to deliver meaningful in-store experiences that drive sales via advanced digital technology; curated and original creative content such as music and messaging; digital signage and scent. Wilde comes to Mood Media from Pixel Inspiration, where he was Head of Business Development. McPhilips brings 30 years’ expertise in developing innovative and engaging campaigns across a range of industries to the team. He has worked on creatives for clients including Carlsberg, JP Morgan and Unilever.

Programmatic advertising platform, Adform, has appointed Annabelle Dudman to the role of SVP Commercial Excellence, and Paul Confrey as VP Global Agency Partnerships. Dudman joins Adform from Sony PlayStation, where she spearheaded the company’s digital planning and forecasting as VP Global Sales Planning, after previous senior leadership roles with Spotify and Microsoft. She brings a wealth of experience in sales operations, client services, finance and business planning. Confrey comes to Adform with a rich background, including roles at global agencies, in-house, and entrepreneurial experience. He was GM, Wunderman and Young & Rubicam, and, co-founder of Blue Hive, latterly becoming European CEO of WPP agency GTB. Most recently, Confrey started as non-exec marketing lead at Prometheus Space Technologies, an environmental, deep-space tech start-up.

Programmatic media platform, Dataseat, has hired Ben Robin as VP of Sales for EMEA, and Mark Menery as VP of Sales, Americas. They will play a critical role in driving Dataseat’s next stage of growth in mobile in-app campaigns. Robin joins Dataseat, having spent the last two years as EMEA Senior Sales Director at DSP Moloco. Menery has built a career helping companies grow revenue in both SaaS and digital advertising, specifically in the app space. He joins Dataseat after serving as Senior Director of Revenue Growth at Apptopia. Prior to that, he was head of revenue at PCH Media and Jumptap.

Digital agency, Hallam, has promoted Molly Watters and Alex Jackson to the role of Paid Media Team Lead. The promotion sees both move from their previous roles leading individual specialisms in Paid Social and Programmatic and Affiliate Advertising. They will lead two teams of specialists, progressing, planning and exploring how to grow their clients’ businesses.

Video creation platform, Screencastify, has hired Paul Ray as its CTO and promoted Alex Stepien from CRO to President & CRO. Ray has almost two decades’ software development experience, including senior roles at Chicago Booth, LearnCore and, until recently, Amazon. Stepien has led revenue operations and held senior leadership roles including as the former CEO at Cappex. He joined Screencastify in 2021 as CRO.

TV ad tech firm, Madhive, has appointed tech veteran Darien Ford as its Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Ford will oversee Madhive’s engineering practice to build on the market adoption of the company’s next-generation TV advertising software infrastructure, which powers billions of local and regional streaming ad placements for its clients each week. Most recently, Ford was at Affirm where he led the Credit Engineering organization and was responsible for building and managing all underwriting models and decisioning systems that processed every financial transaction. Prior to that, he spent more than five years at Capital One Software, where he developed products that streamlined workflows and enhanced productivity for the company’s 10,000+ engineers.

Online visibility management SaaS platform, SEMrush, has appointed Brian Mulroy to the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mulroy has more than 20 years’ finance leadership experience at market-leading technology companies. His prior role was SVP of Finance at Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, he spent 10 years at Nuance Communications and 12 years at Progress Software. At Nuance, Mulroy built and scaled a world class finance organization that provided financial, analytical and operational leadership for multiple sales and finance system implementations, led over 30 acquisitions, more than $1bn in business segment divestitures and restructurings, and multiple initiatives to launch new products to market and transition businesses to the cloud.