January has not been quiet by any means with a record number of appointments and developments within the performance marketing industry. So here’s the lowdown on the some of the key movers and shakers at the start of 2018.


Starting things off with leading tech company Rakuten Marketing which has appointed Stuart Simms as the company’s president. With proven expertise (26 years) in digital commerce, SaaS and cloud-services domains, Simms moves up from his previous role as CEO of data and personalisation company Rakuten Fits Me and will now manage all day-to-day operations.

Appointed earlier in January, affiliate performance company Impact Radius announced their first chief marketing officer (CMO), Scott Brazina, a former CMO of Data XU and motocross driver for Team Honda. On top of this, the firm also hired former RadiumOne managing director Adam Furness as managing director (MD) of APAC.

Over at Webgains, the affiliate network has appointed two new talents in Karl Wood, UK publisher management, strategy and James Cullen as senior business development manager.

Wood, coming from his previous role of senior manager of network development at Rakuten, will assist with establishing new approaches and diversifying the network’s publisher mix; Cullen arriving from Trustpilot will help on bringing new businesses to Webgains.

Secret Escapes, the international online travel business which offers luxury hotel stays and holidays at discounted prices, has added Louise Nolder to its leadership team as global brand development director. Previously, Nolder spent over 15 years agency-side, as a senior planner at Ogilvy and Abbott Mead Vickers. Most recently, she held the role of head of brand and communications at JustGiving.

Board members

Leading marketing and technology firm Ve Global announced the appointment of Baroness Michelle Mone OBE as a non-executive board member. Having been successful as an entrepreneur, founding global ultimo designer lingerie brand in 1996 and since sold in 2014,  Lady Mone will add further value to Ve’s existing retail capabilities.

In addition, Ve has also recruited financial trading expert Duncan Maclnness and investor Mark Turner to strengthen its business growth following a global rebrand and signing of an iGaming data partnership with NetEnt.

Global blockchain-enabled media agency TRUTH has confirmed its line-up of board advisors to steer the agency in bringing 100% transparency to online advertising and programmatic. Among the board advisors include Jonathan Durden (co-founder of PHD), Sean Gogarty (former CEO baking, cooking and spreads at Unilever) and Mimi Turner (former SVP Strategy at Vice UK and MD at Ladbible).

Robert Horler, a 19-year Dentsu Aegis Network senior executive, has joined Quantcast’s management team and board of directors. Horler joins as chief operating officer, having most recently served as CEO of Dentsu Aegis US.

Global tech

Leading global analytics and tech firm Media iQ announced the recruitment of Nicola Young as vice president (VP) of marketing EMEA and will be responsible for driving marketing strategy as well as the company’s ambition of combining human ingenuity and intelligence data. Young joins from her previous role of director of media position at Estee Lauder Companies, UK and Ireland.

Performance marketing agency Starcom UK has appointed Hamid Habib as UK managing director, an elevation of his former position as chief strategy and innovation officer at OMD which sees him reporting to the company’s UK group chief executive and president of global network clients, EMEA, Jodie Stranger.

Merkle continues its mission of expansion once more with the latest appointment of Thomas Byrne to lead its agency operations across EMEA. Byrne will also join the executive leadership team, representing the data performance agency’s services division.

North America

Merke’s US operations team has added Matt Seeley to the roster as EVP of technology services. Seeley will be accounted for strategic vision, overall performance of technology consulting and data capabilities.

Also Stateside, marketing and advertising measurement agency TUNE announced the promotion of Brian Marcus as VP of global marketing. Marcus brings 10 years of building and managing high-performance teams at Google, Teespring and Ebay where he served as global director of the firm’s partner network.

Performics, the performance marketing agency of Publicis Media, has promoted Joe Reinstein to global growth officer. Since August 2015, Reinstein has led Performics’ U.S. new business and marketing teams as EVP of growth.

Affiliate network PartnerCentric in New York meanwhile confirmed four key promotions in January which include Julie Avila (chief operations officer), Tom Rathbone (VP of strategic initiatives), Tracie Gross (associate director, partnership success) and Robin Sills (business operations manager).

Lastly, Awin announced two leadership promotions for its US operations – Alexandra Forsch as VP of Awin US and Sarah Beeskow Blay as VP of ShareASale. Each will assist in delivering growth for their respective growth while continuing the affiliate group’s position as leading destination for networking solutions in North America.

Ad tech

Wavemaker has recruited Mark Lawson as national head of performance; Lawson will develop the agency’s performance offering which includes covering biddable platforms, search and social.

Native ad exchange firm Sharethrough announced the addition of Dina Roman as its new chief revenue officer (CRO); she holds two decades of business experience on content, advertising and tech, with companies like IDG, Adapt.tv and Brightcove already under her portfolio.

Another digital advertising veteran, Anuji Kucheria, has been appointed as CRO for fast-growing mobile ad-tech company CrossInstall to oversee all business teams having held his previous role as VP of business development.


However, there was a step down in January for agency Carat APAC with CEO Kelvin Walsh leaving his role by “mutual agreement”. Former APAC CEO Sean O’Brien has stepped back into the role as interim CEO with further details to be announced in due course.

For ad tech firm Knorex, they look on course to continue their business growth with the latest recruitment of Stan Chew as country manager of its Malaysian Office. Joining from Performics Malaysia, Chew will be mainly responsible for building client relationships and driving business strategy while also accompanying part of company’s executive team.

Lastly, IAB Singapore has appointed Laura Greally as education director. Previously the company’s programmatic committee member and digital director of CNN, APAC, Greally will bring her vast digital experience to the Asia market.