Tech Movers and Shakers in December

6 min readJan 16, 2017

As 2016 drew to a close there was a flurry of announcements before the festive break. Snap Inc. unveiled a new Chairman to help with the IPO. Twitters’ struggles continued with the loss of yet another senior executive. MagicLeap appointed a CMO. In the last tech movers and shakers of 2016 we also saw movement at Xaxis, Spotify, Sky and Greylock Partners amongst others. Here’s the full list:

BBC Worldwide announced an appointment to its marketing team with the arrival of former Penguin Digital Managing Director Anna Rafferty. Anna had previously been Director of Product, Creative and Content at Pottermore (of JK Rowling fame). Rafferty will start at the BBC’s international and commercial arm this month as Director of Digital Marketing. In the new role she will set out the digital plan and marketing launches for major brands, including BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC First, as well as titles such as Top Gear and Doctor Who. Reporting into Jackie Lee-Joe, BBC Worldwide’s chief marketing officer, she will be part of managing the BBC’s direct-to-consumer offerings with an emphasis on driving the digital innovation agenda.

BuzzFeed has hired Gilad Lotan as VP of Data Science. Gilad has a long résumé in the field, having most recently served as Chief Data Scientist at New York-based start-up studio Betaworks. Before that she was working in data-related roles at SocialFlow, Microsoft and Endemol. Lotan is expected to significantly expand BuzzFeed’s data science team and drive the company’s international growth and commerce. BuzzFeed also tapped a top marketing executive from snack food giant Mondelez days after the digital media company’s chief marketing officer announced his departure. Laura Henderson, formerly Global Head of Content and Media Monetisation at Mondelez, will join BuzzFeed as Senior Vice President of Marketing, newly created role.

Greylock Partners, a top-tier Silicon Valley venture firm, has hired a new Partner in Josh McFarland, who will be leaving his post at Twitter. McFarland has a long-standing relationship with Greylock Partners, having first met the firm back in 2008. He initially joined Greylock as an entrepreneur in residence where he founded TellApart. Greylock later invested in the TellApart before it was eventually sold to Twitter.

Guardian News & Media (GNM) has tapped ex-Google marketer Anna Bateson to a newly created role dedicated to developing and managing the publisher’s partnerships with big platforms such as Facebook and Google (as publishers the world over try to ensure their relationship with the digital giants is a two-way street). Bateson, formerly Director of Global Consumer Marketing at YouTube, will also be responsible for overseeing all the company’s rights and licensing activity.

AR startup Magic Leap hires Brenda Freeman, former Nat Geo Channel CMO. Freeman is leaving National Geographic Channel to join Magic Leap, the well-funded augmented-reality startup whose backers include Google, Warner Bros and Alibaba. Freeman will report to Magic Leap president and CEO Rony Abovitz. Before joining Nat Geo as CMO in early 2015, she held senior marketing roles at DreamWorks Animation, Turner Broadcasting, Viacom/MTV, and PepsiCo.

London startup Onfido has poached another senior Google employee. The company, which helps businesses like car sharing platform BlaBlaCar to verify that their customers are who they say they are, announced it had hired Emma Jelley, who led Google’s legal affairs for the UK and Ireland. In her new role at Onfido, Jelley will work closely with the co-founders — Husayn Kassai, Ruhul Amin, and Eamon Jubbawy — to guide the company’s expansion into new markets. She will focus on legal and compliance issues spanning everything from deals, to data protection and diversity.

Raise, an online gift card marketplace and one of Chicago’s more high-profile startups, recently announced that it hired Maureen Calabrese, Chief People Officer, and Jillian Sheehan, Chief Financial Officer, to its Executive team. Both women bring 20 years of experience and a background in leading technology companies. Calabrese was most recently the CPO at Cision, having previously held executive positions at Ipsos and Nielsen. Sheehan is the former CEO of Textura, where she led the company through an IPO and an acquisition when they sold to Oracle. Sheehan plans to invest in innovation, technology and talent as the company continues to scale.

Sky Media’s Nick McCarthy has joined consumer data firm Signal as managing director, UK and EMEA. As Head of Data Partnerships at Sky Media, McCarthy was responsible for leading the creation and management of commercial data partnerships with advertisers, media agencies and broadcasters. Based in London, he will oversee Signal’s sales and business development across the regions, with a particular focus on EMEA.

Snap Inc. announced the appointed Michael Lynton as its new Chairman. Not an entirely unexpected move given Lynton was an early investor and known for being a very active Board member. His experience will be invaluable as the company prepares for the most hotly anticipated IPO of recent times. Lynton stepped down from his role as CEO of Sony Entertainment to enable the move.

Spotify has hired Marco Bertozzi, formerly of Publicis Groupe’s Performics division, as European VP and Head of Sales. At Performics, Bertozzi was Global Chief Revenue Officer, and has spent most of the past decade working for Publicis agencies, previously holding roles at Starcom, VivaKi and ZenithOptimedia.

Turn, an ad tech firm, has named Lauren Nemeth as Chief Revenue Officer. In the role, she will lead all sales, client service and consulting operations for the company’s DSP, DMP and analytics products and services. Prior to joining Turn, Nemeth was COO of mobile search engine URX, which was recently acquired by Pinterest. In the 10 years before that, she worked at Google, DoubleClick and AppNexus.

Xaxis, the GroupM-owned programmatic media and technology platform, has named Nicolas Bidon as its new Global President. Bidon was previously CEO for EMEA with responsibility for the company’s 25 markets in the region. Before that he was CEO of native ad firm Plista, which was acquired by GroupM in 2014. He is moving over to GroupM’s [m]Platform, where he will serve as global CEO. Bidon will lead the expansion of Xaxis’ technology and data offerings with ‘an emphasis on addressability, accountability and performance’.




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