Movers and Shakers: The Independent, Shutterstock, BMB, Starcom, 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.

(Clockwise from left) Zach Leonard, Jarrod Yahes, Claudia Wallace, Dan Plant, Ian Reynolds, Bill Bodin, Jean-Philippe Baert, Mark Giblin

The Independent names Leonard first CEO
Zach Leonard has been promoted to the newly created role of chief executive officer at The Independent. Working closely with Independent Digital News & Media Ltd (IDNML) chairman John Paton, he will focus on the continued expansion of the digital title, particularly amongst its growing North American audience.

Leonard joined The Independent and The Evening Standard in 2010 as managing director of digital and has since driven record audience and revenue growth for both titles. In 2016, he led the business transformation of IDNML, following the closure of The Independent newspaper and sale of the I newspaper to Johnston Press.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to lead The Independent’s digital transformation so far,” Leonard commented. “I look forward to extending the brand’s influence and commercial success in new territories, languages and channels in years to come.” 

Yahes set to lead financial at Shutterstock
Shutterstock has hired Jarrod Yahes as its chief financial officer, effective 9 December. Reporting to founder and chief executive officer Jon Oringer, he will lead Shutterstock’s finance, investor relations, and accounting functions.

Yahes arrives at Shutterstock with more than 20 years of financial experience. Since October 2016, he has served as CFO at Zeta Global. Previously, he was CFO at Jackson Hewitt services and he has served in multiple capacities at ExlService Holdings, where he advanced to senior vice president, controller. Earlier in his career, he worked at Citi and started his career at Ernst & Young.

“Shutterstock’s vibrant business and sustained growth over the last 16 years is commendable,” said Yahes. “I look forward to implementing additional efficiencies and strategies to solidify its position for long-term success and further its vision of being the leading creative platform in the market.”

BMB brings in Wallace as MD
Claudia Wallace has been appointed managing director at advertising agency BMB. She will focus on the day-to-day running of the agency, taking responsibility for client growth, both organic and new business, and report to chief executive officer Jason Cobbold. She will also work closely alongside founder David Bain, chief creative officer Matt Lever, and head of strategy Melanie Arrow.

Wallace joins from BBH London, where she was business lead on Samsung global and European campaigns. Before BBH, she was head of marketing and new business and business director at Y&R, where she ran the Chanel, Home Office, and Oxfam accounts, as well as working on Lloyds Bank and Marks & Spencer. Wallace has also worked at Mediacom in Singapore and at Possible in New York, both in strategy roles on the regional accounts of Coca-Cola, Pringles and Revlon.

“I am so excited to be joining the team at BMB,” said Wallace. “Just walking through the doors, you are struck by the fantastic culture and energy. This is an agency that is on the up and I can’t wait to get stuck in and help us move to the next level.”

Plant chosen to lead strategy at Starcom
Publicis Groupe-owned Starcom has hired Dan Plant as executive head of strategy. Reporting directly to chief executive officer Mark Howley, he will be responsible for developing Starcom’s overall strategic product and driving Starcom’s business proposition in the UK. He will also have a focus on attracting and continuing to grow talent across the business.

Plant will have the lead strategy role on Samsung and will work closely with managing director Nadine Young, data and tech managing partner Isabelle Baas, and global head of creativity and innovation Amy Kean.

In his almost 20 years’ experience, Plant has worked with brands including Netflix, Vodafone, Nestlé and Compare the Market. His previous positions include global strategy partner at Wavemaker, group strategy director at MEC UK, and head of integrated planning at Vizeum.

“I joined Starcom because its ‘Human Experiences’ philosophy directly aligns with my own vision for how media agencies can make a real difference to our client’s relationship with consumers,” Plant said. “In this exciting, dynamic, technology-driven media world, we must never lose sight of the human impact of what we do. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help drive this mission forward, and Starcom have the tools and people to do it.”

Telaria selects Giblin to head up demand
Mark Giblin has joined Telaria, a video management platform, as head of demand. Based in the London office, he will work closely with more than 45 plugged-in video demand partners that count on Telaria’s premium inventory.

Giblin was most recently vice president of business development at News Corp’s Unruly. In this role, he was responsible for growing the Unruly exchange business and led the team’s managing relationships with programmatic demand partners across both the US and EMEA. Prior to that, he held a variety of roles at companies including PubMatic, The Financial Times and The Telegraph.

“As video consumption diversifies across multiple platforms and devices, advertisers are keen to reach engaged audiences in quality, brand-safe environments and Telaria is a highly trusted source for premium video inventory,” said Giblin. “Joining the company at a time of accelerated growth provides exciting opportunities to deliver the desirable audiences advertisers require and maximise the performance of ad campaigns as the digital video and CTV ecosystem evolves.”

Baert becomes Mention CEO
Media monitoring firm Mention, owned by NHST Media Group subsidiary Mynewsdesk, has named Jean-Philippe Baert as its chief executive officer.

Baert arrives with over 30 years of experience in the martech and software industry across companies in France, the UK, and the US. He was previously chief operations officer at Arago and has also held positions including vice president of Marketing Cloud South EMEA at Salesforce, executive vice president at Cheetah digital, and general manager at QAD Europe.

“I am extremely excited to join a start-up equipped with fresh talent, a global mindset and innovative tech. What attracted me most about the business is our firm footing in the US market as a European SaaS company. I want to accelerate our growth to become a global market leader and build off the momentum established by our Paris and New York offices,” commented Baert.

RewardStyle opts for Bodin as CTO
Bill Bodin has been recruited as chief technology officer at influencer marketing monetisation platform RewardStyle. He will play a key role in leading the company’s innovation endeavours and shape its technological vision and future product roadmap, while working to grow the platform’s base of influencers, retailers, and consumers.

Boasting more than 30 years of technology industry experience, Bodin was most recently CTO at Kony. Here, he chaired the Reference Architecture Council, led technology and strategy assessments, led the company’s intellectual property efforts, enhanced Kony’s Quantum platform, and filed 11 patents relating to artificial intelligence. Before Kony, he was CTO for IBM’s mobile computing CIO group.

“RewardStyle is both incredibly relevant and well positioned for lateral and vertical expansion," said Bodin, “I'm excited to be a part of the RewardStyle family, focusing on massive platform scalability and the infusion of amazing digital technologies throughout our brand, influencer and customer experiences.”

Reynolds to direct on product delivery at Potato
Potato, a digital product development studio owned by WPP’s AKQA, has chosen Ian Reynolds as product delivery director of its London studio. Reporting to group product delivery director Cat Wildman, his specific remit is to drive progressive product delivery approaches throughout the business, mentoring and growing the team’s product leads and agile coaches.

Reynolds, who most recently headed up delivery for Havas-owned Ekino, brings more than 15 years’ experience in facilitation, agile delivery and client engagement to his latest role. He was part of the Effie award-winning team that produced Britain’s Beer Alliance website, which looked to showcase the struggles of pubs in the face of an impending rise in beer tax.

AccuWeather adds three to its board
Laura Lang, Lisa M. Shalett, and Sean Cohan will all be joining the AccuWeather board of directors, subject to approval by shareholders.

Lang is the founder and managing director of Narragansett Ventures. She previously served as chief executive officer of Time Inc., where she led the digital transformation of their publishing business prior to its launch as an independent publicly traded company, and was also previously global CEO of Digitas. She holds board positions at VF Corporation, Steiner Leisure, ICX Media and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and is an advisor to L Catterton.

Shalett is a retired Goldman Sachs partner who now advises and invests in growth companies and serves on public and private boards. In her over 20 years at Goldman Sachs, she held a number of leadership roles, ranging from head of international equities to chief operating officer of global compliance, legal and internal audit. Most recently, she was global head of brand marketing and digital strategy. Since leaving Goldman, Shalett served as chief marketing officer of a fast-growing millennials-focused media company, and head of strategic innovation at Brookfield Asset Management. She currently serves on the board of Bully Pulpit Interactive.

Cohan serves as president of Wheelhouse Entertainment, where he is responsible for driving content and marketing opportunities across multiple businesses and platforms, including talent, brand, and other strategic, corporate partnerships for the company. Prior to Wheelhouse, he spent nearly 15 years at A+E Networks, most recently serving as president of international and digital media. He also previously held roles at Primeida, Morgan Stanley, NBC, and A.T. Kearney. Cohan is director/trustee on the boards of The Opportunity Network, Parrish Art Museum, the Banff World Media Festival, and 2btube.

“We are delighted to welcome Laura, Lisa and Sean to our now 11-member Board of Directors,” said Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather founder, CEO and chairman. “As a growing, global brand trusted everywhere around the world, AccuWeather is thrilled to welcome to our Board this distinguished and diverse cadre of accomplished leaders, who will best represent all who work here as well as the more than 1.5bn people worldwide who use and depend on our products and services for the protection of life and property.”

Andretta picks up role at Alliance Data helm
Alliance Data Systems Corporation, a provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, has selected Ralph Andretta as its president and chief executive officer, effective 3 February 2020. Succeeding a Melisa miller, who served in the role following the retirement of Ed Heffernan, he will also join Alliance Data’s board of directors.

Andretta will join Alliance Data Citigroup, where he most recently served as managing director and head of its US cards business. Before his time at Citi, he was a global affinity products and international card executive at Bank of America and, prior to that, he spent 18 years with American Express.

“I am both excited and honoured to take on this new role with Alliance Data,” said Ralph Andretta. “Having worked in many capacities across major financial institutions, I recognise the uniqueness of Alliance Data's business model, data-driven centricity and go-to-market approach.  I appreciate the board's confidence in my abilities to lead the business, particularly during such an exciting, transformative time, and I look forward to working alongside the Company's talented associates across its lines of business to return to consistent, sustainable earnings growth.”

Button makes four exec changes
Ken Stelzer, Stephanie Mardell, and Jonathan Shottan have all been added to the executive team at mobile commerce optimisation platform Button, with co-founder Chris Maddern shifting into the newly created role of chief innovation officer.

Stelzer, who brings nearly 20 years of experience to Button, has been appointed chief financial officer. He will build a strategic finance function at the company to accelerate revenue and profit growth. He was, most recently, CFO at Zocdoc and, prior to that, CFO at Bankrate and Integreon.

Mardell has been promoted to the role of chief people officer, having previously served as vice president of people. Prior to arriving at Button, she spent more than a decade scaling teams during periods of significant growth while establishing operational best practices such as compensation and recognition programs, management training and development, and diversity and inclusion initiatives at Square, Airtime, and Isaacson Miller.

Shottan succeeds Maddern as chief product officer. He will lead all aspects of Button’s product organisation, which includes product management, design, and partner engineering. Before Button, he was general manager and head of global growth at Pinterest. He also previously led a product division within Facebook Ads, and has held product and operations roles at companies including Turn and SideStep.

“As Button advances into its next phase of growth, we’re excited to welcome Ken, Stephanie, and Jonathan to our executive team as we pave the way for 2020 and beyond,” said Michael Jaconi, co-founder and CEO of Button. "With this executive team in place to drive Button’s innovation and performance, we’ll be able to build faster and change the way companies think about monetisation – moving from the ‘advertising only’ approach of yesterday to one that’s laser-focused on actions and building experiences that add value for all parties. This approach is the foundation of a revenue story companies can and will be proud of.”

Cruz promoted at Tinuiti
Digital marketing agency Tinuiti has elevated Hiram Cruz to associate director of creative from his role as manager of graphic design. Reporting to vice president of creative Tom Olivieri, he will manage the agency’s Amazon-focused design services division and its growing team of creative professionals.

Cruz has worked in graphic design for eight years, He was the first graphic designer at CPC Strategy, where he helped to establish one of the industry’s first dedicated Amazon creative practices. He continued to grow the creative team following CPC Strategy’s acquisition by Elite SEM and later rebrand to Tinuiti.

“In the past few years there’s been an explosion of new brands advertising across a multitude of platforms, leading to an incredibly competitive marketplace to attract the consumer’s attention and inspire them to act,” said Cruz. “Creative is what sets a brand apart and gives a brand a unique voice in a sea of competition. We’re excited to be at the point where creative work is what’s now driving strategy, and it’s the most effective tool for driving conversions. I’m excited to be part of an agency that values creative work as the key to performance, and proud to work with some of the best people in the industry to provide a holistic approach that gets results for our clients.”

OpenSlate looks to Hill as APAC MD
Poppy Hill has been picked by video measurement and analytics firm OpenSlate as its APAC managing director. Based in the company’s Sydney office, she is responsible for driving regional business development efforts, and the greater adoption of the OpenSlate brand safety solution across the region.

Hill has spent the last seven years developing programmatic marketplaces and commercial strategies in senior positions at InMobi, Multi-Channel Network, and Network 10. Most recently, she was the head of programmatic at InMobi, where she was responsible for the Australia and New Zealand marketplace.

“I’m excited to be joining OpenSlate to steer the APAC business to its next level of growth,” Hill commented. “The recent Nielsen alliance ensures that our buyers have access to more control over their video inventory, which is imperative. Brands are becoming increasingly focused on content suitability and contextual relevance to ensure video inventory is a good fit for their brand.”

Three join PreciseTarget exec team
PreciseTarget, a retail-focused data management company, has hired Mitch Paletz as senior vice president of channel partnerships, Andrew McCasker as chief technology officer, and Brian Gaziano as vice president of marketing.

Paletz will oversee strategic partnerships and raise awareness for the company’s taste-based retail audience segments. He most recently served as vice president of partnerships & channels at Mobilewalla, where he oversaw partnership and channel distribution relationships with technology platforms. He also served as vice president at InMobi.

McCasker will lead the data science and technology teams at PreciseTarget. He takes on the role after serving as CTO at DynAgility, where he provided technology leadership on multiple client engagements. Prior, he served as CTO at Fishbowl.

Graziano will lead the development and implementation of the company’s overall marketing initiatives. He joins from Alarm.com, where, as director of consumer marketing, he built and led the company’s consumer marketing team and was responsible for brand and performance marketing efforts. Before that, he developed B2B marketing programmes for strategic partners at Gannett and oversaw digital marketing strategies for various clients at LM&O Advertising.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mitch, Andrew, and Brian to PreciseTarget's senior leadership team,” said Rob McGovern, CEO of PreciseTarget. “Retailers are in rapid transition to an e-commerce-focused strategy. The higher-velocity online channel requires data solutions addressing their changing channel mix. Mitch, Andrew and Brian bring valuable expertise to PreciseTarget as we deliver the industry's first data solution that understands the product and brand tastes of consumers.”

Organic opts for Burley to head up client services
Tim Burley has been appointed as the first-ever head of client services at digital agency Organic. Reporting to managing director Ben Scoggins, he will oversee the agency’s client service and commercial function.

Burley joins Organic from Believe In, where he was strategic director. He has also previously been managing director at Design Stable and a director at Red Rocket. Clients he has worked with include Fontsmith, Eden Project, Greenwich Peninsula, UKHO, and Pinnacle Group.

“Having known of Organic for a while now, I’ve recently become aware of their evolved and sophisticated offering,” said Burley. “I’m really looking forward to strengthening the experiences that their clients enjoy and working with a great team to deliver real value. From a personal perspective the company’s commitment to ‘Digital for Good’ and their recently acquired B Corps status have both added to the appeal.”