Movers and shakers: Fallon, Havas, Virgin Holidays, Octagon, JWT, VML, Kinetic and more

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

Creative leader Nick Bell has exited Fallon, Chaka Sobhani is taking on his duties
Creative leader Nick Bell has exited Fallon, Chaka Sobhani is taking on his duties

Nick Bell has left Fallon London after three years as executive creative director, following the agency's realignment into Leo Burnett Group, and will not be replaced. Chaka Sobhani, Leo Burnett’s chief creative officer, will assume lead creative responsibility across both agencies but Fallon will remain as its own agency brand within Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett. Bell joined Fallon in 2014 after stints at 180 Amsterdam and The Brooklyn Brothers. He also worked at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett.

Virgin Holidays has appointed former Procter & Gamble marketer Amber Kirby as marketing and customer experience director. Kirby will begin in the role on 12 March, reporting to Virgin Holidays managing director Joe Thompson, and will lead a 35-strong marketing team. She fills the vacancy left by Claire Cronin, who left to become senior vice-president of marketing at sister brand Virgin Atlantic last July.

Dominic Williams has been promoted to deputy chief revenue officer of DMG's unified advertising division, Mail Metro Media. He will also retain his current chief investment officer responsibilities.

Octagon, the global sports and entertainment marketing agency, has announced a newly structured European leadership team. Executive vice president Sebastian Smith will now lead all marketing and business development across the European region, and 11-year agency veteran Joel Seymour-Hyde will head the agency’s UK business.

VML promoted Jason Xenopoulos to global chief vision officer and chief creative officer of VML EMEA. He was previously chief executive and chief creative officer of VML South Africa.

J Walter Thompson London has promoted Kate Muir, its head of new business, to marketing director, joining the management team.

Claire Spencer, previously head of insight, has been promoted to managing director, insight & analytics - a role in which she will oversee data and technology for IPG Mediabrands UK. The role will report directly into EMEA chief executive Caroline Foster Kenny and sit on the executive leadership team. IPG Mediabrands has also invested in a team of data scientists within the agency group led by Geoff Copps, who has been promoted from head of research and data to managing partner, head of data.

BlowUP media UK has made Simon Russell managing director sales (previously sales director) and Howard Staines, the former group head, to head of sales in a double promotion.

Kinetic, the UK’s out-of-home agency, has appointed Nicole Lonsdale to the newly-created role of chief planning officer. Previously, head of activation and client development, she steps up to become chief planning officer with immediate effect.

Passion Animation Studios London has hired Katie Grayson as head of experience to lead the new Passion Experience division. Grayson joins from Inition, where she produced immersive and experiential campaigns for brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and Adidas.

Havas SO, a marketing communications agency focused on health, well-being and lifestyle, has hired James March as director. March joins the agency from Hive where he was the client services director.

Ian Ayre, the former chief executive of Liverpool Football Club, has become executive chairman of Cardiff-based marketing and creative agency, the Ubiquity Group. Ayre has also become an investor in the company.

Wesleyan Bank has appointed Simon Welling as director of sales marketing. Welling joins from Paragon Asset Finance, where he was sales director.

Adtech company Act-On has named Kevin Williams as its new senior vice president of customer success. He joins Act-On from Aurea where he held the same position.