Marketing Gazette Movers & Shakers, August 2020

August's edition of Marketing Gazette’s Movers & Shakers column rounds up the latest appointments and hires from companies including Adverttu, Selligent and Organic.

Marketing Gazette Movers & Shakers, August 2020 Marketing Gazette Movers & Shakers, August 2020


Adverty, a platform for advertisers, agencies and game publishers, has expanded its UK team with three senior hires.

The in-game advertising platform has hired Tobias Knutsson as chief commercial officer, Christian Atack as senior director of business development, and Nicola Halpin as senior director of sales.

Knutsson will be based in Adverty’s HQ in Stockholm, Sweden, and will be responsible for overseeing sales in the US, EMEA and APAC. He has previously worked in senior positions at the Schibsted Group, and most recently as Swedish CEO of native advertising company Strossle.

Three images of Adverty's new senior hires, from left Nicola Halpin, Christian Atack, Tobias Knutsson

Adverty’s new senior hires, from left: Nicola Halpin, Christian Atack and Tobias Knutsson.

New senior director of sales, Nicola Halpin, will work on agency and brand sales for the EMEA market, reporting to Knutsson. She previously worked as the head of agency sales at mobile advertising technology company Taptica.

Previously head of publisher business development for EMEA at global mobile advertising platform, Mintegral, Christian Atack will be responsible for the continued global growth of publishers using Adverty’s in-game ad platform for monetisation.

Niklas Bakos, CEO and founder of Adverty, said: “We’re delighted to welcome not one but three industry heavyweights into Adverty. Tobias is a well known and respected C-suite leader who has exceptional experience of overseeing successful commercial teams. Nicola is a strategic business professional at the forefront of industry developments. I have no doubt that her strong agency background will help drive growth even further.

“Meanwhile, almost every game developer knows Christian, and his broad international sales experience, account management expertise and business development acumen also make him a highly-prized new member of the team.”


Vladi Shlesman has been appointed as EMEA MD for e-commerce platform ChannelAdvisor.

In his role, Shlesman will be responsible for business strategy and the company’s EMEA operations, overseeing customer acquisition, expansion, and retention. Since 2018 he has been leading the company’s EMEA and APAC Client Services.

Shlesman has previously worked in senior positions for CA Technologies, Automic Software and BMC Software. 

ChannelAdvisor recently surveyed senior decision makers from 100 retailers and brands. 41% said their biggest challenge when selling online was there were too many digital marketplaces to choose from. Other challenges included managing online inventories (28%) and achieving sales conversions (22%). 

Shlesman said: “Channel overload is the greatest risk to e-commerce growth post-COVID, as it’s causing chronic indecision at the highest levels of many brands and retailers. There’s a real gap in understanding how to navigate this overabundance of digital channels, from marketplaces to social media. Unfortunately many have concluded that it’s safer to either try one or two big name platforms or simply wait for the landscape to become less complex, which just isn’t going to happen.

“There’s a huge post-COVID e-commerce opportunity, but a failure to move quickly and adopt an agile digital strategy could see many brands and retailers suffer a similar fate to the high street. At a time when consumers have never been more eager to buy online, brands who aren’t agile enough to test and try the many varied digital shop fronts on offer will watch competitors snap up sales. I’m tremendously excited to lead ChannelAdvisor’s EMEA operations at such a transformative time  for retailers and brands.”

LAB Group

LAB Group has announced a new leadership line-up following the addition of Studio BLUP to its portfolio.

The group has promoted its current finance director, Rachel Howe, to the role of group chief financial officer. Priya Unwith, the group’s talent and HR manager, will be promoted to the role of group head of people.

Three images side by side of the new LAB Group leadership team. From left to right Chief Financial Officer Rachel Howe, Head of People Priya Unwith and Chief Growth Officer Harpreet Bushell

LAB Group’s new leadership team, from left: Rachel Howe, Priya Unwith and Harpreet Bushell.

Howe will be responsible for LAB Group’s finance team, and will support the financial growth of LAB Group companies. Unwith will oversee people and talent for the group, including onboarding new starters and rolling out HR initiatives.

Harpreet Bushell also recently joined LAB Group from digital agency Valtech, and will be part of the new leadership line-up alongside Howe and Unwith. Bushell will take on the role of group chief growth officer, with responsibility for the overall revenue growth of LAB Group’s agencies.

LAB Group recently announced that creative agency Studio BLUP would be joining the group. The group also owns digital agencies LAB and Reflect Digital.

Jonny Tooze, CEO, LAB Group, said: “I’m delighted to announce our new leadership team at LAB Group. Harpreet, Priya and Rachel are outstanding leaders and represent our focus on what we view as the three key areas for agency success: great work, people first, and commerciality. This move will give all three of them greater ownership of their specialisms while enabling me to further focus my attention on LAB Group acquisitions and IP development, as we continue to grow both organically and in-organically.”

Montieth & Company

Communications consultancy Montieth & Company has appointed Cameron Penny as a director in its London office. Penny will oversee operations in EMEA and will play a critical role in liaising with the company’s offices in Hong Kong and New York. He will also join M&Co’s Global Management Team.

Image of Cameron Penny, new director at Montieth & Company's London office

New director at Montieth & Company’s London office, Cameron Penny.

Montieth M. Illingworth, CEO and global managing partner of Montieth & Company, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Cameron to our integrated global team, Cameron’s expertise in leading PR teams and working with enterprise organisations will expand our foothold in EMEA, maximising the impact of our global PR model for clients in that region.”

Penny previously worked for Peregrine Communications, where he worked as a director and led an agency team with clients including Willis Towers Watson, CA Ventures and the State Bank of India. He has also worked for the Bank of England and Hanover Communications.

“Over 70% of our business is cross-border; the vast majority are communications programs in no fewer than three global media markets,” said Illingworth, “The Covid-19 pandemic has created even more demand for our flexible, integrated, budget-efficient global model. We need to rely on remote work, effective communication, focused time management and adaptability more than ever. 

“Cameron’s depth of experience leading agency teams and cultivating key stakeholder relationships will help our teams generate value for our clients and empower our clients navigate key challenges.”

Cameron Penny said: “This year continues to be one of significant change and challenge for people and businesses globally. It has also shown the need for collaborative and high-quality communication. In M&Co I believe we have an agency that can meet fast-changing client needs and do so in multi-national markets.”

GT3 Architects

Architecture practice GT3 Architects has appointed Katie Forrest as its head of marketing.

Image of Katie Forrest, head of marketing for GT3 Architects

Head of marketing for GT3 Architects, Katie Forrest.

Forrest will be based in the firm’s Newcastle office, and will be responsible for driving the company’s strategic growth and outreach programmes.

Forrest said: “I’m thrilled to be joining GT3. The team has a fantastic reputation and its exceptional portfolio of people and community focused projects speaks for itself.

“GT3’s ongoing commitment to social research and its ethos of placing people at the heart of every design is extremely refreshing. It will be crucial as the industry navigates the next few years of placemaking and project design, so I’m looking forward to supporting future growth and working on some exciting new projects.”

Forrest has worked in London since 2012, and has previously worked for companies including construction consultancy Stace LLP and home technology designer Inspired Dwellings.

Forrest said she was looking forward to moving back to the North East and her hometown of Whitley Bay.

“It’s an interesting time, particularly with the background of potential social changes across the country,” said Forrest, “I’m therefore eager to be re-introduced to the North East and Midlands business circles and see what the future holds.”

Simon Dunstan, director at GT3 Architects, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Katie to the team. She has extensive experience within the property and construction industry, which will be a great asset as we take the next steps into a post-lockdown world.


Amazon marketing agency Molzi has appointed Gonzalo de la Mata as its head of global agency development.

Image of Gonzalo de la Mata, head of global agency development for Molzi

Gonzalo de la Mata, head of global agency development for Molzi.

The former Adglow UK MD will be responsible for building relationships with media agencies. In his previous role at Adglow, de la Mata oversaw the Amazon sales performance of the agency’s consumer clients. In the past he also worked for Glow Digital Media as group commercial operations director.

“Covid-19 has reinforced to brands that if they’re not performing well on Amazon, they are missing out,” said de la Mata. “Media agencies are reacting to the trend and supporting clients on the platform but are quickly realising that deep expertise and knowledge about the Amazon ecosystem is needed to succeed and accelerate growth quickly.

“Advertising on Amazon has recently become a sophisticated weapon for marketers. It has proven successful for upper funnel campaigns with PPC and now the advanced programmatic DSP is giving brands more choice for conversions. Amazon’s latest results show marketers are investing heavily here.

“But generating Amazon sales is much more complicated than simply writing creative copy for ads. It requires a specialised and diverse team capable of executing on everything from the operational backoffice to retargeting campaigns. This is where Molzi’s experts can integrate with media agency teams to support clients at every possible step on Amazon.”

Chris Mole, CEO of Molzi, said: “Gonzalo’s network and track-record is exactly what we are looking for as Molzi’s international expansion continues. If anyone can keep evolving our unique offering to media agencies, it’s him.”


Conversational advertising platform Cavai has appointed Karol Smith as global head of advertiser experiences.

Image of global head of advertiser experiences for Cavai, Karol Smith

Global head of advertiser experiences for Cavai, Karol Smith.

Smith, who formerly worked as global digital marketing lead for HSBC, will be responsible for service delivery and the overall experience of Cavai’s client base, from onboarding its ad cloud technology to campaign delivery and oversight.

Cavai helps marketers deliver chatbots in programmatic buys, similar to the delivery of banner and video ads.

Smith said: “I can’t wait to get Cavai’s ground-breaking service out to more industry partners, brands and agencies. Conversational advertising is one of the new frontiers of advertising; as yet largely untapped and at times misunderstood. There is so much potential for brands to boost engagement and connections with their audiences and Cavai’s technology enables advertisers to do just that.”

Founder of Cavai, Tommy Torjesen, said: “Karol’s expertise in retail and finance – two key sectors for conversational advertising – mean that she will be a trusted source of advice for our growing client base. I have no doubt that she will help us to deliver optimal experiences that boost personalisation and engagement within one of the most innovative advertising formats currently on the market. She is a passionate and thorough digital leader, with an ability to plan, execute and optimise across markets, whilst maintaining an awareness of those all-important local nuances.”


Former Adobe and Epsilon leader, Dean Brown, has been appointed as VP of agency partnerships by cloud technology company Selligent.

Image of Dean Brown, VP of agency partnerships for Selligent

Dean Brown, VP of agency partnerships for Selligent.

Brown will be responsible for overseeing the company’s channel partner strategy, and developing partnerships with digital agencies and marketing service providers in North America.

Troy Smith, general manager of Selligent in North America, said: “Dean’s intimate knowledge and experience with strengthening key agency and service provider partnerships aimed to drive business and customer value is unparalleled, we’re excited to welcome him as Selligent continues to grow and establish important channel partnerships dedicated to delivering top-notch customer experiences.”

Brown previously worked for marketing service provider Epsilon, where he was senior director of partner sales. He also worked as VP of strategic alliances at Neolane, later acquired by Adobe.

“Businesses today are facing a novel and challenging time, with brands leaning on digital marketing solutions in a way we’ve never seen before,” said Brown. “Selligent’s platform and partner go-to-market model is a perfect fit for marketing service providers and agencies that need to innovate and provide measurable impact for their clients while realising value from their technology investment. I am excited to be part of a company that has a true partner culture and is committed to building impactful relationships that nurture joint success and unlock new revenue channels.”


Image of Kate Allen, digital project manager for Organic

Kate Allen, digital project manager for Organic.

Digital agency Organic has appointed Kate Allen as its new Digital Project Manager.

Allen has previously worked as a project manager for EdTech company Sparx, and as operations & projects manager at technology company City Science.

At Organic, Allen will be working with operations director, Charlie Lycett-Smith, on multiple digital marketing and website development projects.

“Organic’s focus on ‘Digital for Good’ attracted me to the agency,” said Allen, “as I have always chosen to work for companies that focus on using technology to make a positive impact. I am really looking forward to joining the PMO team and seeing where my new role takes me.”  

Charlie Lycett-Smith, Organic’s operations director, added: “At Organic we place a lot of importance on our Project Management framework. The creation of a new project management office will take us to the next level in terms of digital delivery, and Kate will play a vital part in getting us there.”  


Out Of Home (OOH) advertising company Adverttu has appointed Nejc Skoberne and Rob Atkinson to its advisory board.

Former COO and managing director of advertising company Clear Channel Outdoor, Rob Atkinson, will also be advising two other non-competing startups while on the advisory board for Adverttu. 

Atkinson was previously the CEO of Australian Radio Network, before he left to pursue advisory and consulting roles for OOH and audio content companies. 

“Adverttu’s impressive AdTech and performance capabilities excite me,” said Atkinson. “The leadership team’s smart thinking, diverse skillset and ambition have clearly produced a thriving, progressive and highly relevant media company.

“With data and insights at the heart of Adverttu’s proposition, as well as plenty of creativity, personality and a bold tone running through everything the team does, I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the team to further accelerate growth.”

Nejc Skoberne has previously held senior marketing and growth positions at companies including Uber, Coinbase and Transferwise. He will also be working as head of product growth at esports entertainment brand Fnatic alongside advising Adverttu. 

Skoberne said: “I look out for companies that identify an existing need in the market and build a platform that can capture that need at scale. I believe Adverttu is on the verge of becoming the first true real-world performance marketing channel, with unrivalled data and a near-instant result feedback loop. That is something to be very excited about.”

CEO and founder of Adverttu, Artjom Jekimtsev, said: “Rob and Nejc are proven leaders with exceptional credentials and their decision to join Adverttu’s advisory board reinforces the value of our data, technology and creativity. Their expertise will be put to great use as we continue scaling rapidly across the UK.”


Image of Client services director for True, Andreas Olbach

Client services director for True, Andreas Olbach.

B2B advertising agency True has appointed Andreas Ohlbach as its new client services director.

Olbach has previously worked for clients like Fiat Group, Suzuki, Sky and Virgin Mobile.

“I am excited to join True, which I think is genuinely blurring the lines between business and consumer marketing,” he said. “I admired how the agency tells stories that entertain and educate to build brands, working hard to establish them as different rather than merely fixing short term problems with lead generation. B2B brands are slowly catching up with the B2C sector and I’m looking forward to helping True – an agency that’s really pushing creative boundaries in B2B – on this journey.”

Co-founder of True, Richard Parsons, added: “We welcome Andreas and look forward to working together to build on our foundation, expand our agency and make more memorable campaigns for clients that truly deliver unignorable results. Our win at the Global Ace Awards last month is a sign of things to come at True and will help us continue on our growth trajectory.”

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