Movers and Shakers: MRM, Sky Media, GoFundMe, Wavemaker, Pizza Express

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

Clockwise from top left: Patel, Pearson, Cartwright, Garry, Tariq, Bullard, Halliwell
Clockwise from top left: Patel, Pearson, Cartwright, Garry, Tariq, Bullard, Halliwell

Sky Media has hired OMD Group chief executive Tim Pearson as its new managing director, replacing John Litster. In his new role, Pearson will run Sky Media’s UK operations and will report to chief business officer Patrick Béhar. Litster will continue working for the business until the end of the year. OMD Group recently appointed separate CEOs for its two agencies, and will not replace Pearson directly. 

Sky Media has also hired Ruth Cartwright, managing partner, delivery at Dentsu Aegis Network, to the role of director of investment. She replaces Duncan Wynn, currently director at Sky Media, who will leave the broadcaster later this year. 

Adam & Eve/DDB has appointed Bukola Garry as its first head of diversity, equality and inclusion. She has joined the agency from Havas, where she had been diversity and inclusion manager since 2018.

Former Ford and Airbnb marketer Musa Tariq has joined fundraising platform GoFundMe as chief marketing officer. Tariq has held a series of advisory roles since last August when he left Airbnb, where he had been global head of marketing for Airbnb experiences since 2018. Before that, he spent just over a year as chief brand officer at Ford. Tariq, who is British, has also held senior marketing roles at Burberry, Nike and Apple.

Wavemaker UK has appointed Kelly Parker as its new chief operating officer. She joins from OMD EMEA, where she was chief client officer, and replaces Anna Hickey, who is now global client president for Wavemaker Global. Parker joins on 18 January and will report to Paul Hutchison, the agency's UK chief executive. She will also join Wavemaker’s UK executive team.

Lars Lehne has been appointed group chief executive of Incubeta, the indie digital marketing services group. The former Syzygy AG chief executive is taking over from the founder Alan Lipschitz, whose company Interface made the reverse acquisition of IncuBeta Holdings in 2011. Lipschitz will be moving into the role of chairperson of the board of directors of Incubeta. Prior to his four-year stint at WPP's Syzygy, Lehne spent seven years at Google as country director agency (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), and has also held senior management positions at Group M and Carat. 

VMLY&R has hired Emma Storer as executive director of growth, Europe. She will work closely with EMEA chief executive Andrew Dimitriou, and UK CEO Justin Pahl, to enable growth across VMLY&R in Europe. Storer is also tasked with developing a  "catalyst for collaboration and change" across the region and connect the WPP network’s wider service offerings. She joins from PHD Worldwide where she was worldwide business development director.  

Pizza Express has recruited former Three CMO Shadi Halliwell as chief customer officer. Halliwell, who left her role at the mobile network last year after three years, joins the restaurant chain later this month.

Now TV has appointed Jamie Schwartz as director of brand, marketing and merchandise. He joins from Universal Pictures International, where he served as executive vice-president of marketing for Focus Features. 

McCann Worldgroup has promoted Nicky Bullard, chairwoman and chief creative officer MRM UK, to the newly created role of chairwoman for MRM Europe. In addition to her UK-based role – which Bullard has held since leaving Lida as executive creative director in 2016 – Bullard will be responsible for building a closer collaboration between MRM offices across Europe, with a focus on key markets in France and Germany.

Comic Relief has appointed Samir Patel as chief executive. He joins from strategic communications and marketing agency Blue State, where he has worked for more than eight years, including a three-year stint as its UK managing director. Comic Relief’s previous permanent chief executive, Alex Reid, stepped down in March after just three weeks in the role so she could return to be with her family during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dominic Smales, the founder and chief executive of Gleam Futures, the influencer management company owned by Dentsu, is stepping down from the business. Smales said he was looking forward to “exploring other interests”. 

Gleam will now be led by Phil Hughes, who is promoted from chief operating officer to chief commercial officer, and Lucy Loveridge, promoted from global head of talent to managing partner. Both will report to James Morris, chief executive UK & Ireland, creative at Dentsu.

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