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Movers and Shakers: HTC, UM, YouAppi, Yext, and more

Tyrone Stewart

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.

Movers and Shakers: HTC, UM, YouAppi, Yext, Sprinklr, Beeswax, Ebiquity, Journey Further, Amp, VidMob, and Rokt
(Clockwise from left to right) Yves Maitre; Anthony Plant; Sawato (Stephan) Yoshii; Jide Sobo; Charlotte Seagers, Flora Evans, Hannah Cooper, Cadi Jones, and Gemma Coffee; Deepika Rayala


HTC opts for Maitre as new CEO

Yves Maitre has become chief executive officer at consumer electronics business HTC. The move sees Cher Wang continue as chairwoman of the HTC board.

Maitre joins the Taiwanese company from Orange, where he held senior executive positions for over 14 years, most recently as EVP of consumer equipment and partnerships. Prior to joining Orange, Yves spent six years working for consumer electronics company Thomson Multimedia where he served in senior positions in the US and Singapore. He has also held roles across supply chain and product management.

“HTC has long been a bellwether for new technology innovation and I'm honoured to be selected by the Board of Directors to lead the next phase of HTC,” said Yves Maitre, CEO at HTC. “Across the world, HTC is recognised for its firsts across the mobile and XR space. I am incredibly energised to grow the future of both 5G and XR alongside HTC employees, customers and investors.  We will set out immediately to continue the transition from building the worlds' best consumer hardware to also building complete services around them to make them easy to manage and deploy.”

Plant named president of UM unit

UM, IPG Mediabrands’ full-service marketing and media agency network, has appointed Anthony Plant as executive vice president, global president of J3 – UM’s dedicated media unit for Johnson & Johnson. Succeeding Eileen Kiernan, who was recently elevated to global chief executive officer at UM, Plant will oversee the agency's largest global client, with a focus on advancing Johnson & Johnson's goals, plans and ambitions and implementing best-in-class media planning at the global, regional and local levels.

Plant brings more than 25 years of integrated communications experience. While leading IPG Mediabrands Japan, he established the complete suite of media disciplines, driving new client partnerships with BMW, Hachette, Benesse, Coach and Skechers. Prior to his five years in Japan, Plant was stationed in China and Southeast Asia for nine years where he worked with clients including P&G and Mead Johnson, in addition to launching a shopper marketing agency. Before Asia, he worked in London managing Disney, Visa and Burger King accounts across EMEA.

“Global perspective is critical to delivering the highest form of innovation and collaboration, and I am excited by the challenge to lead J3 into the future,” said Plant. “Johnson & Johnson has been innovating in the healthcare space for over a century, making it the leader it is today, and I look forward to partnering with our clients and teams to translate J&J's global ambitions into excellence, through better science, better art and better outcomes.”

YouAppi chooses Yoshii to lead Japan

Sawato (Stephan) Yoshii has been hired as country manager for Japan at in-app advertising platform YouAppi. Based in Tokyo, he will lead a team of 12 (including himself) which supports YouAppi’s Japanese clients and partners.

Yoshii joins YouAppi from InMobi where he was head of sales in Japan. Before InMobi, he was country manager for Xaxis, WPP’s programmatic media company, in Japan. And prior to that, he was director of global business development for Opt, a digital ad agency within Dentsu.

“I’m excited by YouAppi’s mobile-first technology which offers marketers, agencies, developers, and publishers a comprehensive and proven solution – from user acquisition through re-engagement – for achieving their goals for revenue and monetization,” said Yoshii. “With Japan both a strategic market in terms of marketers and publishers targeting Japanese users and for Japanese brands and developers seeking global reach and revenue, I’m motivated to grow Japan’s share of YouAppi’s revenue.”

Rayala takes charge of information at Yext

Digital knowledge management platform Yext has turned to Deepika Rayala to take up the role of chief information officer. She will spearhead Yext's global IT organisation, driving the enterprise applications and analytics, infrastructure, and operations roadmap that enable Yext to deliver its platform to businesses around the world.

Boasting more than 20 years of IT experience, Rayala previously drove IT application delivery as the vice president of enterprise applications and project management office at Apttus. Prior to Apttus, she led and worked on large IT transformation programs at Broadcom and Genentech, executing strategies to modernise and align the IT application landscape with the companies' business goals.

“It is such an exciting time to join Yext as it disrupts the search world with brand-verified answers and expands globally,” said Rayala. “I am looking forward to working with Yext's executive team and a remarkable IT team to deliver the right balance of optimal and innovative solutions, with the goal of enabling operational efficiencies and increasing customer and employee satisfaction.”

Sprinklr appoints Haley as general counsel

Dan Haley has been hired as the first general counsel and corporate secretary at enterprise social media management software firm Sprinklr. He will bring his government and private sector experience to overseeing the company’s global legal functions.

Haley joins Sprinklr after almost seven years at AthenaHealth, where he served as general counsel and later chief legal and administrative officer. He was responsible for ensuring the company followed comprehensive regulations around how medical records are stored, transmitted, used, and safeguarded. Before AthenaHealth, he was a partner at the McDermott Will and Emery law firm. Haley has also held senior positions in state-wide political campaigns, in the Massachusetts state government, and at federal political committees.

“I’m excited to take on this role at a crucial time in Sprinklr’s history, as we plan for the next decade of the company’s story,” said Haley. “Starting with an existing strong foundation put in place by the existing team, we are going to build a first-class legal function to enable accelerated innovation, sustained growth, and continued customer delight.”

Four new faces arrive at Beeswax

Programmatic buying platform Beeswax has added Charlotte Seagers as enterprise account manager, Hannah Cooper as EMEA programmatic trading specialist, Gemma Coffee as EMEA sales director, and Flora Evans as EMEA solutions consultant. Based in the London office, the new recruits will all report to EMEA commercial director Cadi Jones.

Seagers joins from Rezonance, where she was vice president of platform. Her role is to develop executive relationships with Beeswax customers, consulting on strategic opportunities to grow their business trough custom algorithms using their first party data, and transparent reporting and analytics.

Cooper will work with clients on customised algorithms and create bespoke advanced mathematical scripts to optimise their results from Beeswax's Bidder-as-a-Service, while Coffee arrives from her job as partnerships director at GroundTruth with more than 10 years of sales and business development experience.

Last but not least, Evans brings six years of EMEA experience from Rubicon Project, where she worked prior to her most recent gig as account and product manager at AI-powered food discovery platform Spoon Guru. She also spent some time at Amazon.

“These additional team members will help grow our business in EMEA and improve results for customers. Gemma Coffee brings more than a decade of solid experience to the existing sales team at Beeswax and will reach more next-generation marketers looking to optimise the in-housing of their programmatic activity and media companies taking a more strategic approach to programmatic advertising,” said Jones.

“Flora Evans uses her advanced technical knowledge drawn from years of experience in the advertising industry supporting premium publishers to ensure brands and media companies seeking to transition from legacy Demand-Side Platforms to Beeswax can do so swiftly to maximise their returns.

“Charlotte Seagers’s excellent strategic consultative skills and technical experience will help support customers in growing their businesses, alongside Hannah Cooper’s brilliant combination of practical and academic mathematical knowledge to optimise the performance customers see from Beeswax’s platform on an ongoing basis.”

Ebiquity selects Sobo to direct strategy

Jide Sobo has been given the newly created role of director of strategy and innovation at Ebiquity, an independent media and marketing consultancy, progressing from his previous role as director of digital.

Sobo has worked in digital marketing for the last 15 years advising clients such as J&J, Danone, Kingfisher, Morrisons, Burger King, Tesco and partnering with mobile operators where he helped develop early mobile advertising propositions. Before joining Ebiquity, he was head of mobile for MEC.

“Clients are dealing with a myriad of challenges as a result of a quickly evolving media landscape and are turning to Ebiquity for independent analysis and advice,” said Sobo. “Ebiquity is in a unique position to help brands drive greater business impact through robust, independent, data-driven solutions. I’m excited to build on Ebiquity’s existing digital leadership to help clients solve marketing challenges at the frontier of change, such as search and ecommerce, influencer marketing, and voice.”

Renfrew and Carvajal hired at Journey Further

Performance marketing agency Journey Further has recruited Sam Renfrew and Magnolia Carvajal to its conversion team. Renfrew has been hired as lead optimisation developer, while Carvajal has been appointed as conversion specialist.

Renfrew, who joins Journey Further from Asda, will be responsible for building onsite experiments and then helping clients implement winning tests into production environments.

Previously of Travelopia and Tesco, Carvajal will manage the end-to-end research and experimentation process, conducting analysis, forming hypotheses and ensuring smooth transition to testing and implementation.

“It’s been great to welcome Sam and Magnolia to the team. Their client-side experience in particular will help in delivering our more consultative and transformative approach to CRO,” said Jonny Longden, conversion director at Journey Further.

“We’re looking to redefine how the discipline is understood, moving away from the idea of ‘hacking’ conversion rates to data-driven web development. We want to help our clients use conversion optimisation as the sole process for improving their website, ultimately embedding a culture of experimentation in their businesses.”

Amp makes appoints in US and Germany

Vijay Iyer has been hired by Amp, a Germany-based sound branding agency, to lead its first US office in the New York. He will be tasked with strengthening the company’s relationships with current US headquartered global clients across FMCG, finance and consultancy, as well as building Amp’s influence across the market.

Iyer, who has 20 years' experience in global marketing and communications, moves to amp from General Motors’ (GM) international communications team, where he led business planning and future talent strategy. Prior to this, he held multiple international communications, brand and product marketing, executive roles, including leading global communications for GM’s connected car and OnStar business, overseeing the marketing and PR efforts of Cadillac and Chevrolet Europe, and serving as one of the founding members of GM’s car sharing start-up Maven.

Amp has also moved to strengthen its leadership team at its Munich home, hiring Anselm Büchler as head of strategy. He will lead the agency’s efforts in research, design thinking, and forward-looking strategy development across its portfolio of clients.

Büchler, who previously served as a design thinking coach and communications lecturer at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, brings with him a wealth of experience in innovative brand communication and eco-friendly customer experience design. Prior to joining Amp, he held multiple international leadership roles at design and brand communications agencies consulting clients such as Fresenius, Ride Snowboards, Colani and Dachser.

“Expanding our team to New York will help us improve the service we offer current clients based in the region, whilst helping us meet the additional demand generated by our landmark research into audio branding, the Best Audio Brands Ranking 2019”, said Michele Arnese, CEO and head of creativity and strategy at Amp. “With a growing number of European clients also seeking Amp’s support in developing and rolling out their sonic brand strategies, further strengthening our team in Munich was also critical. We are therefore delighted to have Vijay and Anselm join us at this important inflection point for our agency.’’ 

Chen takes charge of product at VidMob

VidMob, a video advertising company, has picked Humphrey Chen as its chief product officer. He will oversee the development of VidMob's core product, the Agile Creative Studio, as well as the advancement of the company's external facing API's, as it continues its work to build an open API for creativity.

Chen, who will also oversee VidMob’s collaboration with MIT to advance its machine learning-based recommender systems, previously served as head of Amazon’s Rekognition computer vision service. VidMob’s Agile Creative Studio has been working with Rekognition for almost two years, leveraging its computer vision solution and proprietary technology to help marketers tag creative attributes.

“Since the early days of working with VidMob, I've been fascinated by the powerful implications of their creative data platform,” said Chen. “Their fundamental respect for the irreplaceable power of human creativity, coupled with their belief that a technology platform can be built to enhance it and make it smarter has the power to change industries. I'm thrilled to join the team and help advance their mission.”

Rokt looks to Lim to lead financial

Holly Lim has become the first chief financial officer at eCommerce martech company Rokt. Based in Rokt’s New York office and reporting to chief executive officer Bruce Buchanan, she will lead global financial strategy with corporate development, business analytics, finance and legal teams reporting into the new CFO org.

Lim joins Rokt from CFO positions at TuneIn and SoundCloud, and previously served as group finance lead/operations and strategy at Google's Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) group. At TuneIn, she was responsible for revamping business processes and systems to help the company execute at speed and on strategic planning initiatives that shaped the company's late-stage vision and core internal investment strategy.

“The Rokt team has developed a unique opportunity in the martech space and I'm excited to work across the company's global organisation and partner with teams to drive continued growth and profitability,” said Lim. “I'm looking forward to joining Rokt's executive team and certified Rokt'stars in driving the business forward and breaking new ground with our enterprise customers.”

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