Movers and Shakers: PHD, Domino's, Lucky Generals, Guardian, Krow, MRM, R/GA

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

Clockwise from top left: Williams, Ellison, Reilly, Blunt, Holmes-Smith, Kinney, Reed, Armstrong
Clockwise from top left: Williams, Ellison, Reilly, Blunt, Holmes-Smith, Kinney, Reed, Armstrong

PHD has hired Essence’s managing director Ali Reed as the Omnicom media agency’s new UK chief executive. She succeeds Verica Djurdjevic, who joined Channel 4 as chief revenue officer in November.

Andrew Mortimer has left Sky after a decade in top media and ad sales roles to join forces with Aperto One founder and transparency advocate Scott Moorhead in a new partnership. The Aperto Partnership, which replaces Moorhead’s consultancy Aperto One, will be co-owned and jointly run by Moorhead and Mortimer and pledges to help advertisers get the best value from their media spend as well as manage pitches.

Domino’s Pizza has appointed Sarah Barron, former chief growth officer at Costa Coffee, as its new chief marketing officer, finally filling a vacancy created last February when Emily Somers left the pizza brand. Barron starts this month and takes over from Simon Wallis, who has been interim CMO in addition to international managing director. Wallis will now move to the role of chief transformation officer from 1 February. 

Lucky Generals has promoted Cressida Holmes-Smith, currently joint head of account management, to managing director. Her promotion follows the departure of Lucky Generals' chief executive, Katie Lee, who left the shop this month to join the mental-health wellbeing app Clementine.

Guardian Media Group has appointed Claire Blunt as chief advertising officer and chief executive of international, with commercial responsibility for its global advertising business, Guardian US, Guardian Australia and Guardian Jobs. Blunt, who has been chief financial, operations and data officer for Hearst Europe since January 2020, will join GMG on 1 March.

Malcolm White and Nick Hastings, founding partners of Krow, are leaving the agency after 15 years. White is leaving to complete his PhD, while Hastings has retired to take on personal projects. John Quarrey will remain at the agency as chief executive, while the fourth founder, Barry Cook, will be staying on in a part-time advisory role.

Krow has promoted four members of its team to new leadership roles. Annie Fox is promoted to executive creative director, while creative director Darryl George replaces her as deputy ECD. Planning directors Matt Watts and Aileen Ross, meanwhile, become group head of planning and group head of strategy.

MRM has hired John Treacy, former executive creative director at Proximity, to join the agency in the same role. The former Elvis co-founder left his job at Proximity last June after seven years, in the aftermath of the agency’s merger with Rapp. The appointment follows the promotion of MRM’s UK creative chief Nicky Bullard to chairwoman of MRM Europe this month.

Jellyfish has poached Adam & Eve/DDB executive strategy director Tom Roach to lead a growing team of brand and communications strategists as vice-president of brand planning. Roach, who took up his new role this month, will work across the digital specialist’s global client portfolio (which includes Disney, Uber and Samsung) and will report to James Parker, chief solutions officer, data and planning.

Publicis Groupe UK has appointed Kate Williams, former associate director of the workplace team at LGBT+ charity Stonewall, as the company’s head of diversity and inclusion. Williams is set to join Publicis Groupe UK in March and will be responsible for promoting diversity across the company’s agencies, as well as the wider industry. She will be supported by diversity and inclusion champions who have been appointed at every agency, and will report to the company’s chief talent officer, Paula Cunnington. 

R/GA London has appointed Nicole Armstrong as executive strategy director. She rejoins the agency two years after leaving her position of group strategy director for a six-month stint as chief marketing officer at footwear brand Nicholas Kirkwood, since which she has worked as a consultant.

McCann Worldgroup creative chairman Rob Reilly is leaving the network to join WPP as global chief creative officer. He succeeds former global CCO John O’Keefe, who left WPP last May after almost 12 years.

Gracie Page, VMLY&R London’s director of emerging technology, is moving across parent group WPP to take up the role of managing director at marketing consultancy SJR London. Page joined VMLY&R in December 2016 as creative technologist, becoming innovation lead in June 2018, and took on her most recent position in September 2019. Starting on 25 January, her remit at SJR will involve working with the senior leadership to develop content marketing with her experience in digital technology and human-centred design thinking. VMLY&R is expected to replace her role internally, with an announcement at a later date.

Lego has appointed Alero Akuya as vice-president of global brand development. Ayuka joins from 12 years at Nike, exiting as senior director of Olympics, athlete and purpose marketing. Her newly created role will be operating out of Billund, Denmark. Akya will report to senior vice-president of brand, marketing, insights and partnerships Michael Moynihan. 

Ogilvy has hired James Kinney as global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, as well as chief people officer for Ogilvy North America. He joins from Mother New York, which he joined just last August as chief talent officer.

Havas CX Helia has appointed The Marketing Store’s head of experience Jennifer Clinehens as customer experience strategy director. In this newly created role, Clinehens, the author of business books CX That Sings and Choice Hacking, will lead the agency’s CX strategy and planning capability, working across its largest accounts, which include Lloyds Banking Group and Compare the Market.

Michael Dubin, founder of Dollar Shave Club and star of some of the brand’s memorable ads, has stepped down as CEO of the brand four years after selling it to Unilever. He will remain as a special advisor and board member. Unilever has appointed Jason Goldberger – previously CEO of Sur La Table – to replace him.

Music and culture agency Pitch & Sync has hired Paul Graham, a co-founder of Anomaly UK and former top marketer at Burberry and Versace, as marketing innovation director. His previous role was marketing and communications director at Moët Hennessy, which he left last June after seven months.

VMLY&R Commerce has appointed Debbie Ellison as global chief digital officer. She was previously UK CDO at Geometry, which WPP is folding in to VMLY&R to form VMLY&R Commerce. Ellison joined Geometry in 2013 from Ogilvy Healthworld.

Jamie Bolding, who founded Jungle Creations in 2014 at the age of 23, has stepped down from his role as chief executive of the company and will move to a director role. Jungle Creations has promoted chief content and brand officer Melissa Chapman and chief operating officer Nat Poulter to joint chief executives.

Wunderman Thompson has hired Dentsu’s Steve Richards as data partner. He was previously managing director – data, consultancy and solutions at Dentsu Data Labs.

MediaMonks London has hired Alena Rossini as head of clients and partnership. She joins from Engine, where she was managing director – SE Asia, based in Singapore. 

Bauer Media has appointed Simon Kilby, previously chief revenue officer, as managing director of Bauer Media Advertising. He replaces Abby Carvosso, who is moving to a newly created role of director of commercial transformation. Bauer is considering whether to replace Kilby as CRO.

Personal money app Ziglu has appointed Daniel Sale as marketing director. His previous role was head of marketing at B2B virtual card payments platform Ixaris, which he left last July.

Online used car-selling platform Cinch has appointed Robert Bridge as chief customer officer. His previous role was chief executive at babies and kids toiletries brand Childs Farm.

McCann Worldgroup’s creative production agency Craft has made a series of promotions. Sergio Lopez, previously managing director EMEA at Craft, becomes CEO, UK and EMEA as well as chief production officer UK and EMEA for MWG. Sophie Chapman-Andrews is promoted from head of integrated production at Craft London to the same role for the UK. Tanya Bogin, previously director of operations, EMEA & APAC, becomes managing director of Craft London. And Simon Sikorski, previously CEO of MWG Canada, has been appointed as global chief operating officer of Craft.

Ogilvy’s Jai Kotecha, who was previously based in London as managing partner and global WPP lead, has relocated to Amsterdam to become chief executive of Ogilvy Social Lab. He will remain on the board of Ogilvy UK and continue to be an executive sponsor of Ogilvy Roots.

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has made two new appointments to its board: Tony Miller, marketing director at WW (formerly Weight Watchers), and Mandy Merron, partner at Moore Kingston Smith. Merron becomes the DMA’s new treasurer, succeeding Peter Smithson.

STV, the Scottish commercial broadcaster, has appointed Aki Mandhar, UK general manager of The Athletic, as a non-executive director. Mandhar was previously chief operating officer of Telegraph Media Group and managing director of OMD UK.

Radiocentre has renewed Howell James CBE’s position as chair for a second three-year term, extending his time at the industry body to 2024.

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