Movers & Shakers: Kind, BHSF, Genie Shopping, SmartNews 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…

Kind North America Chief Marketing Officer, Osher Hoberman

Kind names Hoberman CMO for North America
Osher Hoberman has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer for Kind North America, reporting into Kind CEO, Russell Stokes. As Chief Marketing Officer, Osher will serve as brand steward, safeguard Kind’s purpose and lead the business’ portfolio strategy, while upholding and expanding upon the brand’s mission of creating a kinder and healthier world – one act, one snack at a time.

In his most recent role, Osher served as Vice President of Business Development at Mars Snacking. He was a key architect in the Mars acquisition of Kind in 2020. Prior to his role in Business Development, Osher was the Global Head of Strategy and a brand-builder and business leader at Mars Wrigley North America. During this time, Osher led the marketing, planning and execution on the multi-brand portfolio consisting of Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, 3Musketeers and Skittles.

He is widely recognized for developing and launching Snickers’ ‘You’re Not You When You Are Hungry,’ campaign, which was the #1 Super Bowl ad in 2010 and is regarded as one of the most enduring and iconic campaigns in the category over the past decade.

Osher said: “Kind has always believed that when it comes to snacking, people don’t need to choose between nutritious and delicious. I’m thrilled to join the Kind North America business as Chief Marketing Officer, to bring our Kind promise and Kind Snacks to even more households.”

Fisher takes Sales and Marketing Director role at BHSF
Health and wellbeing service provider, BHSF, has appointed Neil Fisher to the role of Sales and Marketing Director. Fisher, who joins the business after 12 years with AXA Health, will be working closely with Group CEO, Heidi Stewart and the executive team to stimulate growth for good within the business, as well as ensuring that BHSF remains a customer-centric organisation.

He said: “I am excited to be joining the team at BHSF at such a pivotal point for the business. The business has an exciting future ahead of it and stimulating growth for good within the sales and marketing function will be a crucial part of my role. It’s a pleasure to join such a purpose-led business with such a strong culture. I'm excited to do my bit for our customers and BHSF as a business.”

Lambert returns to Genie Shopping as CEO
UK retail price comparison engine, Genie Shopping, has announced the appointment of its first Chief Executive Officer, who is returning to the business after 12 years.

Performance marketing specialist, Warrick Lambert, is taking the helm, as Genie Shopping looks to build upon impressive growth, including year-on-year revenue growth of 172 per cent in 2023 to date. This has been fuelled by the rise in online shopping, a pivot towards a Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) model, and partnerships with Google and well-known retailers, including eBay, Currys and Schuh.

Lambert joins from social media publisher, Redu Group, where he spent eight years rising to become CEO in 2022. Previously, he had been the Managing Director of gift card provider MBL Solutions. He also previously worked for Genie Shopping’s parent company, Genie Ventures, as a Business Development Director before leaving in 2011. On his return, he is set to spearhead a team operating from the group’s Cambridge headquarters.

He said: "I'm excited to join the Genie Shopping team at a pivotal time in its journey. We're already driving huge boosts in sales for our clients and with the continuing development of our technologies we'll see this accelerate into 2024. The growth of the business over the last few years has been phenomenal, and with the talented team we have in place we're on track to become Europe's leading CSS partner.”

Originally known as Crowdstorm, the business emerged in 2006 as a consumer-focused shopping website. However, since 2017, following a move by Google to open up its platform to shopping aggregators, Genie Shopping switched focus to capitalise on the new opportunities in online retail marketing. This has included developing its own shopping campaign management technology, which helps retailer ads appear at the top of shopping results searches. Today, Genie Shopping sends more than 5m customers to retailer websites every month, resulting in over £10 million in sales for partners like Dyson, Dell, Lookfantastic, Waterstones, and Mamas & Papas.

SmartNews Co-founder Hamamoto takes CEO role
News discovery platform, SmartNews, has appointed Co-founder, Kaisei Hamamoto, to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In his new role, Hamamoto will provide strategic direction, oversee operations, and lead the company’s continued expansion in a fast-paced media landscape.

Outgoing CEO, Ken Suzuki, will continue in his role as Executive Chair of the Board. Suzuki will provide valuable guidance and support to the executive team and the company’s broader strategic direction. 

Cory Ondrejka, assuming the role of SmartNews’ new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has a long history of creating groundbreaking and innovative products, including co-creating the pioneering virtual world, Second Life; leading Meta’s mobile transformation and subsequent product growth; and reinventing the Android experience with Material You at Google. As CTO, Ondrejka will be responsible for driving SmartNews’ technology and user experience, ensuring it remains at the forefront of the digital news discovery vertical. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Kaisei Hamamoto and Cory Ondrejka to their new roles on our executive team,” said Suzuki. “Their leadership will be pivotal in steering SmartNews through its next phase of growth and innovation.” 

Lawson takes up bizdev and partnerships role at Songtradr
B2B music platform, Songtradr, has appointed Richard Lawson as SVP, Global Partnerships & Business Development. Reporting directly to Songtradr's Chief Revenue Officer, Paul Langworthy, Lawson will spearhead the identification, development, and closure of strategic partnerships with brands and creative agencies across the globe. 

Lawson brings a wealth of experience from his tenure as Managing Partner at Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), where he played pivotal roles in shaping the success of brands such as British Airways, Axe, Johnnie Walker, and Barclays. More recently, he completed a successful tenure as Director of Commercial Production at London-headquartered broadcast media and distribution company, ITN, where he was responsible for its branded content, corporate video, education, and hybrid event businesses.

His appointment comes amid a period of significant global expansion for Songtradr. In addition to its acquisitions of Bandcamp and 7Digital, the company has also secured critical partnership expansions with TikTok and Twitch.

Langworthy said: "Richard's unmatched record of accomplishment at BBH, Anomaly, and FCB Inferno marked a significant era in the advertising world. His addition to the Songtradr team exemplifies our commitment to working with the industry's brightest minds to lead us into a future filled with innovation and success. We eagerly anticipate the impact he will make."

EssenceMediacom hires Wigley
Media agency, EssenceMediacom, has hired Tom Wigley as its new Chief Media Solutions Officer for the UK. Wigley will be responsible for GroupM Nexus embedded staff within the agency. Nexus is a community of performance marketing experts from GroupM's addressable content and TV, AI technology, and omnichannel divisions. Wigley will ensure that the agency can optimise Nexus’s resources, tools and solutions and that EssenceMediacom continues to deliver best-in-class digital activation.

He joins from his role as Chief Digital Data and Technology Officer at Spark Foundry, the latest in his 12 years in leadership roles at Publicis Media. He led Spark Foundry’s approach to all aspects of digital, including digital media, measurement, data and performance, working with clients including Asda, Elsevier, and Micron. Prior to this, he headed Spark Foundry's embedded Performance Marketing team as a part of the Performics practice.

He brings a wealth of experience in building high-performing digital teams and a thorough understanding of how brands should connect their digital, data and technology capabilities to achieve greater business outcomes.

He said: “EssenceMediacom is on a mission to find brand new answers to the challenges of the fast-evolving consumer and media landscape. This is critical to brand performance in the future; AI and privacy changes look set to disrupt the digital ecosystem and brands must adapt quickly. EssenceMediacom is ideally placed to guide them through this transition and provide unique solutions that help unlock new value in their campaigns." 

Ogury names Samir Chabab as Vice President of Marketing
Personified advertising firm, Ogury, has appointed Samir Chabab to the role of Vice President of Marketing. In his new role, Chabab will be in charge of elevating Ogury’s local and regional presence by driving brand awareness, recognition, and business growth. 

Chabab is an accomplished marketing leader, with significant experience across the ad tech industry, where he has led the development and implementation of global marketing and communication strategies for both B2B and B2C companies. He brings with him significant experience, connections, and a deep knowledge of the digital advertising industry, both from a publisher and advertiser perspective.

Prior to joining Ogury, Chabab was Head of International, Marketing & Communications at Index Exchange, where he was pivotal in elevating the company’s brand presence and expanding its business partnerships across the globe.  

At Ogury, Chabab will lead the company’s global field marketing efforts, and will be responsible for all Americas, EMEA, and APAC activations. Originally from France, Chabab will work in Ogury’s London office and report to Chief Marketing Officer. Emily Barfuss.  

He said: "As Ogury continues to expand, I’m looking forward to building and enhancing its vision for brand equity, for both new and mature markets. Ogury is committed to educating an industry that is constantly evolving, and I’m keen to play my part in this promising business trajectory. The company’s focus on DE&I and its commitment to sustainability also resonate with me, and I’m eager to help them advance these causes.”

Goode takes up strategic position at OpenX
Supply-side platform, OpenX, has appointed Andrew Goode as Vice President, Strategy. In his new role, Goode will be responsible for evolving OpenX’s global buyer development strategy in partnership with Matt Sattel, SVP of Buyer Development. Additionally, Goode will focus on expanding the organisation's buyer development function in both APAC and EMEA. In this role, Goode and his team will act as an innovation layer between buyers and product development, focusing on global buyer development strategy and operations. Goode will report to John Gentry, CEO.

Goode’s background, including his experience leading programmatic and social at Havas Media Group, will enable him to work closely with agency partners and marketers to identify their most pressing needs and deliver solutions that will amplify their existing investments, including first-party data. He will also be responsible for commercial partnership strategies and bespoke partnership agreements with agency teams.

"I’m thrilled to be joining a company with such established commitments to addressability, transparency, and sustainability," he said. "OpenX’s status as the leading innovator on the supply-side makes this a unique and exciting opportunity as the industry prepares for major shifts in programmatic buying.”

Goode brings more than 20 years of global digital media experience to OpenX. Most recently, he founded Goode Media Consulting, where he offered brands strategic consultation, ad tech growth solutions, and go-to-market strategies. Prior to that, he held senior executive roles at Havas Media Group, leading all biddable functions. He was an early pioneer of ad verification technologies and defining agency supply path optimization (SPO) standards.

Hallam expands Paid Media team
Strategic full-service digital agency, Hallam, has expanded its Paid Media team, welcoming a mixture of new hires and internal promotions. 
The expansion sees the promotion of Simran Harichand and Amani Majed to Senior Paid Media Consultant roles and welcomes new hire, Maria Paschalidou.

Jack Brown, Head of Paid Media at Hallam, said: “We're thrilled to welcome Maria to the team as a Senior Paid Media Consultant. With a remarkable track record of success in the digital marketing space and five years of omnichannel paid advertising experience, she's already delivering award-winning results for our largest clients across Paid Search and Social. Similarly, both Amani and Simran have delivered consistently impressive results for our clients and are both thoroughly deserving of their promotions. 

Sergeant to head up Operations and Delivery at Wavemaker UK
Wavemaker UK has appointed Emmie Sergeant as its first Head of Operations and Delivery. In this role, she will oversee the Project Management team (PMO) to deliver complex, multi-platform media, content, data and technology projects, and will also have a broader operations remit to deliver strategic transformation projects across the agency. She will report to Katie Lee, Chief Operating Officer. 

She joins Wavemaker with 18 years’ experience in media planning and client management. Her most recent role as Executive Director of Operations at OMD involved supporting over 450 employees across multiple locations. She was appointed for her deep experience in delivering results in organisational change and projects, and her demonstrable ability to lead, inspire and motivate multiple teams and stakeholders. 

"Emmie’s professional journey has cultivated a profound understanding of operational excellence, strategic planning and change management,” said Wavemaker COO, Katie Lee. “However, what truly sets her apart is her love for working with teams and her ability to foster collaboration – injecting energy and warmth into her projects. Emmie’s expertise and dedication will continue to propel Wavemaker to greater success and I’m excited to be working with her.”

Webb to lead MENA at Incubeta
Digital marketing firm, Incubeta, has announced the appointment of Victoria Webb as the new Managing Director of its MENA region. Webb joined the agency (then NMPi) in 2017.

In her new role, she will focus on delivering tangible business benefits to clients and partners through seamlessly integrated marketing strategies. This will be accomplished by increasing investment in four critical areas: innovation, talent, client relationships, and partnerships. Incubeta's strategy also involves diversifying its current service offerings to align with market demand and emerging technologies, with a particular focus on leveraging Incubeta's Cloud solution.

She said: “I’m deeply honoured to be stepping into the role of Managing Director for Incubeta MENA. “Over the years, I’ve been privileged to witness and contribute to our dynamic growth and evolution, and I am incredibly excited to be leading our team as we strive to further innovation, nurture new talent and foster stronger, long-lasting client relationships that will shape the digital landscape of the MENA region.”

Atkinson adds UK to Canada brief at MiQ
Programmatic media firm, MiQ, has announced several strategic hires. It has appointed Alfie Atkinson as CEO of UK, which he’ll serve in addition to his current role as CEO of Canada. Having launched and rapidly grown the Canadian business to what it is today, Atkinson’s new role will be integral to driving innovation for the UK. He will also work with the UK leadership team to continue to foster a client-first approach, helping partners achieve their business objectives in the ever-changing programmatic space.

He said: "I'm incredibly excited to lead our UK business, which is so core to MiQ's identity and legacy. Our team continues to be laser-focused on making MiQ the leader in all-things programmatic, and double down on what makes us so invaluable to our clients – purpose-built technology, underpinned by the sharpest data insights, and executed by the industry’s most proficient traders, analysts, and data scientists. I’m excited to work alongside the incredibly talented team here, and build upon our amazing culture while being bold and fearless in our quest to make the programmatic industry better.” 

MiQ has also hired three new senior executives to join its global leadership team. Suzanne Strasser Grant joins as EVP, Global Head of Agencies & Partnerships, based in New York. With more than 25 years’ experience in sales and business development, and previous leadership roles at notable TV, print, and tech companies, including Google, Snap, NBCU and Uber, Strasser Grant will play a crucial role in enhancing MiQ's partnerships, especially with major holding companies and brands across the globe. 

Danny Hopwood joins as Global Chief Commercial Strategy Officer, based in London. He brings more than 15 years’ experience in the digital media industry – having previously worked at WPP, Publicis, and OMG – and is a seasoned strategist in implementing innovative and effective media solutions that enable growth in both commercial output and capability development. He will use his extensive digital media, marketing, programmatic and ad tech expertise to drive integrated technology and product partnerships with MiQ’s biggest customers. 

Mauricio Leon joins as Global Chief Commercial Trading Officer, based in London. As a longtime executive of global trading for companies like Spotify and Omnicom Group, Leon will be integral to MiQ’s global commercial trading relationships with holding companies and independent agency partners.

Other moves
Digital experience analytics platform, Contentsquare, has appointed Jean-Christophe Pitié as Chief Marketing & Partnerships Officer. In this dual role, he will lead the company’s global marketing organization and oversee strategic partnerships. He brings a solid track record of leading global companies through their digital growth and transformation journeys, while building scalable and world-class demand generation strategies. Prior to joining Contentsquare, he spent more than two decades at Microsoft, playing a key role in Microsoft’s journey to cloud-based solutions, and helping to launch Office 365 for consumers and Microsoft 365 for businesses. He also led Microsoft’s Digital Stores division at the company’s global headquarters in Seattle. More recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Microsoft France, where he was responsible for executing Microsoft’s go to market and strategy within the French market.

Marketing consultancy, Kepler, has launched Kepler Creative, an integrated, AI-driven creative platform, and appointed Camm Rowland as Chief Creative Officer to run it. Rowland, who joined Kepler in August 2023, worked with Kepler’s Product and Engineering teams to successfully launch Kepler Creative earlier this month. The service is now live with inaugural clients. The Kepler Intelligence Platform (KIP) – which intakes an average of 200 million data points per minute and enables Kepler team members to surface deeper marketplace insights, activate AI-enhanced audience personas, and manage full funnel campaigns at high speed – now jointly powers Kepler Creative’s suite of creative planning, generation and optimization tools.

Gaming marketing firm, Livewire, has opened an office in London, and appointed Tom Simpson as Global CEO to run in. Simpson will head up Livewire’s global growth and business development as the company continues to expand internationally. He will oversee team development and expansion across the company globally. Simpson was previously Non-executive Chair at Totally Awesome and SVP, APAC for AdColony. He brings 20 years’ experience in tech, growth, marketing and startups, and has been a founder and angel investor across ad tech, eCommerce, big data, gaming and eSports. He will lead a newly-expanded London team, with Jack Woodcock also appointed as Head of Creative Strategy and John Crozier joining as General Manager. Woodcock joins from Twitch where he was Creative Strategy Lead, EMEA for the past five years, while Crozier was formerly Business Development Director at We Are Social.

Digital agency, Impression, has opened a third office in Manchester and announced the  appointment of three new senior hires. Michael Weir joins as Head of Behavioural Science. His experience collaborating with brands such as PrettyLittleThing, Fragrance Direct, Studio and Autotrader will feed into new client relationships and help build on Impression’s new Digital Experience offering. The new service will have a greater focus on behavioural science, consumer psychology, marketing automation and market research, intertwining CRO, CRM and Media Solutions. Also joining the agency is Nick Handley as Head of PPC Performance, formerly Director of Performance at Rise at Seven. Finally, Jamie Pollard, formerly of Journey Further, joins the agency as a Growth Consultant, utilising his 10+ years of experience to navigate the complexities of commercial challenges that businesses face. 

Commerce-marketing practice, The Mars Agency, has announced the appointment of Kellie Moran as Executive Vice President of Operations. In the role, she will be responsible for overseeing agency operations, resource management, and project management across the US and internationally. Moran previously served as SVP, Global Operations Lead for Omnicom Health Group. Her other experience includes operations positions at W20 Group, Geometry Global, and Arnold Worldwide, among others. 

Parry Jones has been appointed CEO of media agency, The Specialist Works, and parent company, What’s Possible Group. Jones began his career at Haymarket Publishing before joining The Specialist Works as a media buyer in 2006. He was a part of the team that successfully led The Specialist Works' management buyout in 2018 and the formation of the new parent company, What’s Possible Group, three years later. Over the years, Parry has been a key architect in shaping the business and its services and capabilities. He has spearheaded the development and launch of new products, played a crucial part in business acquisitions, and served as the Deputy CEO for over two years.  

Making Science, a digital acceleration company specialising in eCommerce, cloud and digital transformation, has appointed Rodney Perry as Head of Data and Analytics. The appointment will further expand Making Science’s data consultancy provision and expertise to help clients to unlock the true potential of their data and digitally transform their business. Perry will focus on supporting Making Science's UK clients, with input on a global level where required. His remit will include building a team of analytics consultants to help clients develop strategies to measure, analyse and activate their data for optimal success. He has 15 years of digital and data analytics experience at companies including iCrossing and Media.Monks, where he led and oversaw GA4 implementations.

AI creative performance platform, VidMob, has appointed Mainardo de Nardis as Executive Chairman. In this role, he will support the executive team in setting the company’s growth strategy. An acclaimed global agency leader, de Nardis also brings deep and relevant experience that will support VidMob’s strategic agency relationships. de Nardis is an investor, Board Member and advisor to a number of innovative private companies. He has served on the Board of Directors for VidMob for three years. Previously, he was a successful ad agency executive, serving from NY and previously in London as Executive Vice Chairman of Omnicom Media Group, CEO of OMD Worldwide and CEO Worldwide of Aegis Media and MEC Global.

Identity verification tech firm, Mitek, has hired Gillian Channer as Vice President of Identity Product Management. Prior to joining Mitek, Channer served as Chief Product Officer for Capita, a consulting, transformation and digital services business. In this capacity, she led a customer-centric approach to product management across multiple business lines, and held the position of Division Product Architecture Director, responsible for defining the company's technical product roadmap for both public and private sectors. In her role at Mitek, she will play a strategic part in shaping and delivering the company's roadmap of innovative consumer identity solutions. She will lead a global team of technologists and business experts, driving innovation to protect the global fintech, financial services, and shared economy sectors from the growing threats of fraud and other financial crimes.

IP law firm, Finnegan, has hired Jennifer Fried as a Partner in its Washington, DC, office. She will lead the firm’s advertising practice, focusing on challenging and defending advertising claims; counselling on compliance with consumer protection laws, regulations, and industry guidelines; conducting risk analyses; and guiding clients on the development of claim substantiation. Prior to entering private practice, Fried served as the Assistant Director of the National Advertising Division (NAD). During her time at NAD, she resolved competitive disputes as part of the advertising industry’s self-regulatory program; assessed claim support by applying regulatory, self-regulatory, and legal precedent; represented NAD in cases before the National Advertising Review Board (NARB); and developed long-standing, ongoing relationships within the self-regulatory organization

Digital marketing agency, Precis, has appointed Jess Dickenson, former COO, as Managing Director of ita UK office. Dickenson replaces Rhys Cater, who is moving to a global role to lead and develop the agency's offering in analytics, marketing science, and technology. Dickenson will be responsible for leading the agency's growth in the UK market and delivering innovative and integrated marketing solutions to clients. In his new role, Cater will focus on building a strong Analytics and Marketing Science team and investing heavily in tech development. The agency offers advanced data consulting services, delivers custom solutions for marketing data storage and activation through Google Cloud Platform, and develops its own tech platform to deliver marketing automation and data activation at scale.

Creative and media agency, Cutwater, has appointed Amy Su as Creative Director and Justin Juul as Director of Social. A multidisciplinary artist and storyteller, Su has spearheaded fully integrated, 360-degree marketing campaigns both agency-side and brand-side. Prior to joining Cutwater, she served at Meta, DiMassimo Goldstein, Wunderman Thompson, Dentsu, and 215 McCann. During her storied career, she has collaborated with some of the world’s leading brands, such as Shutterstock, Oscar Mayer, LinkedIn, and the Bronx Zoo. Juul has helmed high-impact, award-winning social activations across the tech and entertainment spaces. His strategic approach is informed by his background in journalism, as well as lifelong interests in pop culture, music, art, and skateboarding. With experience building out social media programs for iconic institutions like Google, Coinbase, and YouTube, he’s no stranger to developing and launching campaigns that drive growth across multiple channels.