Movings and Shakings: 9 August

Handing over the reins

Yellow chief executive officer Michael Boersen has announced he is stepping down. Current chief marketing officer Darren Linton will fill the role as an interim CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Darren Linton

Boersen has transformed Yellow into a sustainable digital business and achieved EBITDA and cash targets for FY17 (including 45 percent of revenue coming from digital). His succession plan is to allow a new entrepreneurial and digitally-driven CEO to step in and deliver on Yellow’s plan to build New Zealand’s largest digital agency for small to medium businesses.

“I feel incredibly proud of what we have achieved at Yellow with the support of my executive leadership team and the Board. Through my succession plan leading to this point, it is now time for me and for the business to pass the baton to a new CEO to ensure the future success of our digitally driven organisation,” Boersen said.

Yellow chairman Brent Chenoweth added it’s hugely grateful to have had Boersen’s expertise and strategic insight as he has worked to build Yellow into the sustainable business it is today.

“We have worked closely with Michael on a succession plan leading to this point and are confident in the internal capability he has developed to drive our digital-first strategy and business plan.”

Boersen’s replacement, Linton, was appointed as CMO in 2015 when he joined Yellow. About taking on the CEO role, he said: “Having worked beside Michael since my appointment as CMO, I share his vision for Yellow, and I am positive about our future in providing New Zealand businesses with the tools to connect, thrive and achieve their potential.”

A strategic hire

Richards Partners has a new senior strategic director following the appointment of communications, marketing and advertising executive Keith Pinney.

Pinney’s career has spanned nearly 20 years working in Sydney, Tokyo, New York, Singapore and China with senior strategic roles within the Omnicom, Publicis and WPP networks.

Most recently while working as a consultant, he was heading up the strategy and planning team for NZME’s numerous key clients and major projects across its diverse portfolio. Prior to this, he spent three years as a senior strategic planner for FCB New Zealand working on clients such as G.E. Finance and Air New Zealand.

He holds multiple awards, including Effies, One Show Pencils, Spikes and LIAA’s, among others.

Pinney’s heavy strategic focus delivers creative ideas and execution as well as transforms potential into bottom line results, which, Richards Partners founder, Brian Richards said will set him up nicely in the Auckland-based company.

“We’re looking forward to learning from the skills 
and insights Keith brings to the table. His past experience puts him in a unique position and we plan to utilise that.”

Pinney added: “It’s really something to be joining Brian and the team at Richards Partners. It’s not often you get to see a business like this be so successful on both local and global stages with such a rich, diverse service offering and consistently outstanding, beautiful work.”

Coming down under

Yahoo Platforms Auckland team has a new account manager in Odis Ponce who joins this week from Yahoo’s New York office.

In New York, Ponce worked across programmatic advertising in an optimisation strategist role. She collaborated closely with the commercial teams, running numerous digital ad campaigns and has a deep understanding of Yahoo products having worked with project managers at the company to test and verify new product features.

Head of sales at Yahoo Platforms Arnaud Calonne said the hire was an important addition to the team on the ground in New Zealand.  

“It’s fantastic that Odis has a strong understanding of the brand and a background in products that are crucial to the local market, including BrightRoll DSP. She will hit the ground running and bring a depth of expertise to the team that will be of great value to our agency and advertiser partners. We’re thrilled she’s made the move to join us, as we continue to grow and strengthen our programmatic offering in New Zealand.”

About the move, Ponce said she’s excited to join the New Zealand team and explore a new country and culture.

“My background in programmatic supply and optimisation strategy has allowed me to intimately understand the supply onboarding process and the campaign management aspect of the BrightRoll DSP, which will make the transition quite smooth.”

Exploring new territory

Mobile brand advertising company Kargo has expanded into New Zealand and appointed Tim Richards as its first locally based sales manager.

Richards will be based out of the company’s official operations in Auckland and is tasked with promoting Kargo’s mobile advertising capabilities directly to agencies and brands throughout the country.

His responsibilities will include continuing to expand Kargo’s growing portfolio of Asia-Pacific agencies and brand clients as well as strengthen Kargo’s relationships with leading publishers in the region.

Richards has previously worked at large-scale organisations such as Perform Group, News Corp and Yahoo. He brings extensive knowledge of digital sales spanning both direct and programmatic formats. he also contributes a wealth of experience in the mobile advertising sector, having spent the last two years leading Blis in New Zealand.

He will now report directly to Peter Birch, Kargo’s commercial director of the Asia Pacific region.

New Zealand is the company’s fourth global market and second outpost in the Asia Pacific region. Kargo CEO and founder Harry Kargman said Kargo New Zealand is the next, highly anticipated step after much success in Australia and a record year of global growth for Kargo and its high-end, high-tech mobile advertising.

“As an established, superior alternative to the ‘digital duopoly’ across both the US and Europe, it’s time to further extend the Kargo signature experience to new markets in the Asia-Pacific region where exciting partnerships are already underway.”

From one SVOD to another

Former Sky TV publicity manager of product and digital content Katie Fisher has moved to Lightbox to take up a publicist role.

Having previously looked managed publicity for Neon and Sky’s emerging platform products, she said will now be looking after bringing Lightbox publicity in-house after the company finished its relationship with Pead PR last month.

Fisher added Pead PR has done an amazing job handling Lightbox PR from its launch, but the benefits of having someone full time with the team became clearer recently.

Fisher had been with Sky for 10 years.

A trio of appointments

Business events, content and activation company Uno Loco has recently brought on board new team members with David Lyall joining as creative strategy director and Ruth Barraclough and Nicola Pepperell joining as event producers.

L to R: David Lyall, Ruth Barraclough and Nicola Pepperell 

Lyall was most recently at Designworks, with over five years working on blue chip accounts there. He served a senior creative strategist and brings a strong strategic perspective and a focus on creativity that delivers business results. At Uno Loco he takes responsibility for strategic direction across the media and event sides of the business.

Barraclough joins Uno Loco after three-and-a-half years working in major events for ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development). She was a finalist for the 2016 New Zealand Association of Event Professionals ‘Event Professional of the Year’ and has worked on large scale projects like the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 and the DHL New Zealand Lions Tour 2017.

Pepperell has recently returned to the events industry after a short stint in marketing. With five years’ events experience, she is coming back to what she loves best. Pepperell has a breadth of experience in both domestic and international events and after a year of living and working in the US, is bringing some fresh thinking to the Uno Loco team. 

The wow factor

Mazda has become a major partner of the internationally-renowned World of Wearable Art (WOW).

In its 29th year, the theatrical event attracts hundreds of international designers and more than 60,000 people will see the show in Wellington from 21 September to 8 October.

Managing director of Mazda New Zealand, David Hodge, said Mazda is absolutely thrilled to be partnering with WOW as its three positioning lines reflect Mazda’s approach to creating vehicles – “Be Passionate, Be Inspired, BeWOW’ed.”

“Mazda and WOW are built on the foundation of innovation, design and imagination. While the design features of a car are nowhere near as elaborate and fantastical as the WOW creations, the importance of imagination and innovative design are key and these qualities help to elevate Mazda’s vehicles into the realm of art.” 

WOW’s chief executive Gisella Carr also welcomed the relationship and said: “WOW is about putting art and design in motion, and we can think of no better partner than Mazda for getting us on the move around Wellington.”

“WOW has always worked hard at forging partnerships with like-minded companies, and this one is no exception. These Mazda vehicles will be even more of a standout in their WOW graphics. They not only celebrate our mutual pursuit of excellence in design but will also be working hard in Wellington in the lead-up to the Show, with WOW’s team of more than 300 people coming in from around New Zealand.”

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