Pinterest has appointed Nick Hewat as sales director for its UK and Ireland operations, handing him responsibility for persuading brands of the unique virtues of the platform.
Hewat, who joins Pinterest with immediate effect, spent seven years as commercial director of The Guardian.
He oversaw the newspaper's shift from a print to a largely digital business model and its move into podcast and video, during a period when it twice won sales team of the year at Campaign's Media Week Awards in 2014 and 2018.
His departure, alongside that of director of client partnerships Natasha Murray, was announced in November last year.
Hewat's Pinterest role will involve him establishing relationships with new advertisers, while maintaining and developing those with existing commercial partners.
Current advertisers with Pinterest include John Lewis, Diageo, BMX, B&Q, Sainsbury's, Lidl, Birds Eye and eBay. Pinterest has more than 16 million monthly unique users in the UK, according to ComScore data.
Pinterest is markedly different from some other social platforms. Rather than a place to share opinions, it is designed for people to find and share creative inspiration, such as in the areas of design, photography and cuisine.
While Pinterest is courting advertisers, it has banned ads that contain weight-loss language or imagery.
Hewat will report to Pinterest country manager Milka Kramer. He joins as the platform builds its commercial team, which has included the addition of sales director Tim Woollias, who joined in 2020 as head of industry.
Pinterest's popularity is on an upward trajectory. During locked-down 2020, it added more than 100 million monthly active users, while searches grew 60% year on year.
Prior to his Guardian tenure, Hewat was group sales director at The Telegraph and, before that, sales director of Virgin Radio.
Kramer said: "We're going after a competitive advertising market in the UK, with a truly unique proposition for brands, and are hiring top industry talent to help advertisers reach their audiences on Pinterest.
"Nick's experience in growing relationships and driving results with global clients and agencies makes him an ideal fit to help businesses in the UK and Ireland reach inspired shoppers on Pinterest. We're excited to welcome Nick to the team, and work with him to scale the opportunities for advertisers in the UK."
Pinterest floated on the US stock market in 2019.