Movers and Shakers: Amplifi, Brainlabs, Lucky Generals, Olympics, Ozone Project

Welcome to Campaign's weekly round-up of the hires, departures and promotions across the industry.

Clockwise from top left: Buscemi, Jamz, Billing, Lyall, Lee, MacLennan, Crump
Clockwise from top left: Buscemi, Jamz, Billing, Lyall, Lee, MacLennan, Crump

Brainlabs has hired Jo Lyall, the former UK managing director of Mindshare, to be the digital media agency’s first UK chief executive. Lyall joins from Freeda Media, where she is country manager, having moved there from WPP’s Mindshare in 2019.

Katie Lee is leaving Lucky Generals as chief executive to join mental wellbeing app Clementine in the same role. She departs the agency that she joined at the beginning of 2019 this week. Lee was Lucky Generals' first CEO and focused on running the UK office while the agency set up in New York.

David Billing, founding partner and group chief creative officer of The Beyond Collective, is leaving the group after eight years. Billing co-founded creative ad agency Above & Beyond in 2012 and retained a significant equity stake in The Beyond Collective, the “micro-network” of marketing service companies that the business became part of in 2018. The company said Billing is leaving to "pursue other opportunities".

The International Olympic Committee has appointed former Lego executive Lars Silberbauer as global head of brand, marketing and digital. Silberbauer spent almost eight years at the toy company from 2011 to 2018, becoming senior global director of digital in his last two years there. In late 2018 he was poached by Viacom for the newly created role of senior vice-president of MTV Digital Studios.

The Ozone Project, the advertising alliance of newsbrand publishers, has opened a regional hub based in Manchester to improve the group’s connections to advertisers and media agencies based in the North. It has appointed Bill Dennett, previously a senior agency sales manager at News UK, to lead the new unit as senior agency partner.

Steven Ballinger has been named president of Amplifi, the UK arm of Dentsu's media investment division. He takes on the newly formed role in addition to his current remit as managing director of commercial and trading at Dentsu from 1 January. Ballinger takes over from Matthew Platts, who was executive director for media and performance until January 2020. 

Accenture Interactive-owned creative agency Karmarama has appointed James Denton-Clark as its first chief client officer as it looks to deliver client satisfaction. He will retain his existing position as managing partner. Denton-Clark has worked at Karmarama since 2010.

MDC Partners and Stagwell Group have reached an agreement to combine, after MDC’s board approved the transaction. The combined holding company will have 8,600 employees in 23 countries. Mark Penn, chairman and CEO of MDC and managing partner of Stagwell, will serve as chairman and CEO of the combined company, with a management team consisting of executives from the two networks.

Rob Leathern, who led Facebook's business integrity division, including the enforcement of political advertising policies and its handling of misinformation, has departed the tech giant. Leathern, whose job title was director of product management, left the company on 30 December, according to his Twitter posts.

Salesforce chief marketing officer Stephanie Buscemi is exiting after nearly seven years with the cloud-based software company. Buscemi, who has been CMO for two-and-a-half years, announced her departure on Twitter. She will be replaced by Sarah Franklin, who is currently general manager of platform.

Five industry figures have teamed up to launch a creative production agency, Jamz, which will specialise in live music, fashion and travel projects. Zac Hancock, Jodie Horne and Matt Pitman previously worked at Social Chain, while Josh Stockdale and Alex Boulton work together at Dream Beach Media.

Brand experience agency Invnt has appointed Neil Mason to the newly created role of executive creative director EMEA. Mason joins from Identity Group where he spent less than a year as executive creative director. He was executive creative director for George P Johnson from 2015 to 2020, joining after three years as global creative director for Jack Morton Worldwide. Mason will report to managing director Claudia Stephenson.

Data and analytics company Powered by Data has hired Anna Blackwell as chief operating officer. She has spent more than a decade at Dentsu, where she has been client managing director since 2017.

AML Group has hired Philippe Crump as head of content. He joins from Omnicom content marketing agency Specialist, where he has spent the past 10 years – the last five as chief marketing officer. 

Moneysupermarket Group’s marketing director Lloyd Page has left the price comparison company. He joined in 2018 from Virgin Media and succeeded Darren Bentley in March 2019. 

Moray MacLennan has formally started as chief executive of M&C Saatchi PLC and joined the board on 1 January. He was previously worldwide CEO of the M&C Saatchi agency operation and news of his promotion was first announced in November. Gareth Davis has assumed the role of independent non-executive chairman. Jeremy Sinclair and David Kershaw, two of the co-founders, who were respectively chairman and chief executive, have left the company.

Boldspace has appointed Matt Weston as creative director. He was associate creative director for Iris Worldwide for six years leaving the agency in July 2020. His previous roles have included associate creative director at Soap Creative, BBDO Paris and senior copywriter at M&C Saatchi Australia. 

Leagas Delaney has promoted Gareth Davies to chief executive of its London office. Davies joined the agency as managing director last January, after 12 years at Havas, where he was most recently group managing partner.

Andy Hutchinson, founder and former executive chairman of digital agency Delete, has joined Leeds-based shop Incredible. He will lead Incredible alongside founder Sam Parish. Hutchinson stepped down from Delete (which was set up as fuse8 in 2000) after it was sold to Kagool last year. 

KFC UK & Ireland has promoted Kate Wall from head of advertising, retail and home delivery to strategy and innovation director. She joined the fast-food brand in 2019 from Mondelez.

Phillips 66, the energy company that owns Jet filling stations in the UK, has appointed Renee Semiz as managing director, UK marketing. She has worked for the business since 2012, and was previously based in Houston as manager, brand.

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