Movings|Shakings: 19 September

A Google heavy hitter arrives

Former Google executive Bob Mohan has joined Snakk as the company’s inaugural chief financial officer. 

Mohan spent the last 11 years working across the search engine giant’s corporate finance operations, including leading the merger and acquisition efforts for more than 130 acquisitions such as Android, DoubleClick and YouTube.

American-born Mohan joined Google in the US a year before its 2004 IPO, then moved to Sydney in 2009 to lead the company’s Asia Pacific accounting team of 30 members across six regional offices.

Mohan’s career includes 20 years’ experience in corporate finance positions spanning startups through to Fortune 500 companies. Most of this time has been spent in future-focused and fast-growing internet companies.

“Mr Mohan’s extensive experience will be a huge benefit to Snakk,” says group chief executive Mark Ryan. “We are a small company with tremendous opportunities in front of us. We’ve come to a point where we want to take some significant steps forward with our growth plans.”

Ryan also pointed out that Mohan’s experience at Google would serve Snakk well now that the company has extended its services into Singapore.

“Now that we have a presence in Asia and are looking more closely at strategic investments and a potential ASX listing, it is the right time for us to bring on board someone of Mr Mohan’s calibre. He’s a rare talent who’s been involved in some of the world’s largest technology merger and acquisition deals, strategic equity investments as well as Google’s pre and post IPO processes. We are thrilled that he’s joined the executive management team.”

Mohan started his new role as Snakk’s Group Chief Financial Officer on 8 September, and is based in the Sydney office.

TRN gets strategic

The Radio Network has appointed Bek Wall to the newly created role of head of media strategy.

“Our business has absolutely transformed from radio to a true multi-channel offering,” said said Laura Maxwell-Hansen, the APN group director of digital media, in a release. “Advertisers want more strategic insights into our audiences and how we can create solutions that will deliver them campaign and business success. No-one knows our audiences like we do and advertisers want to know from the source, how our audiences move with the brands across radio, digital,  online, TV and activation platforms.  Bek Wall is an experienced retail, digital and direct marketer, so I’m delighted that we have someone of her calibre leading this team.”

Wall has spent much of her career in marketing and communications management roles, and most recently served as the marketing manager for DTR, specialising in developing communications strategies.

She started her new role on 1 September.

Moving up

MediaWorks has appointed Andrew Szusterman as group content and entertainment brand director. 

According to the release, this new role will require Szusterman to “[create] the cross-platform strategy for MediaWorks’ entertainment content and brands, maximising the way content is shared across the company’s television, radio and digital assets, and developing new content and revenue opportunities.”

MediaWorks group chief executive, Mark Weldon says: “MediaWorks has led the way when it comes to creating great content that lives across radio, television and all the different digital platforms. Andrew has been a key driver for ‘best in class’ projects, like The Edge TV, The X Factor NZ, and Jono and Ben’s development for radio, that demonstrate the unique power of the Group’s talent and platforms. This new role adds focus and investment to a key growth area of the business.” 

Szusterman has been group programming director for MediaWorks Radio for the past three years, responsible for content of various radio brands in the country, including The Edge, The Rock, The Breeze, Mai FM and George FM. He was also co-executive producer for the first season of The X Factor NZ. He also established MediaWorks’ music channel C4, and was associate director of programming for MediaWorks TV.   

In addition to this, he also has experience further afield, having previously worked as head of music for MTV UK and Ireland. 

“It’s a privilege to work with the country’s most creative content teams and talent on a daily basis,” he said in the release. “We’re committed to working on a combined creative strategy with our Radio, TV and Interactive brands, that entertains every New Zealander every hour of every day.”

Szusterman takes up his new role at the same time as co-executive producing the second season of The X Factor NZ, which will screen on TV3 in 2015.


Earlier this week, the Herald reported that Maori TV had demoted executives Julian Wilcox and Carol Hirschfeld as part of a restructuring process. 

The Herald says that this restructuring has seen several executive roles changed to ‘head of department’ roles, and this has seen Hirschfeld’s general manager of production and Wilcox’s news and current affairs positions discontinued.

According to the report, Wilcox’s news and current affairs position has been replaced by a head of programming and production role.

And though both Hirschfeld and Wilcox are able to apply for these positions, the Herald speculates that the new position will most likely go to the station’s current general manager programming Haunui Royal.   

It is unclear whether Hirschfeld for Wilcox plan to stay at the broadcaster, but they aren’t the only ones facing uncertainty at the station, with Maori Television service chief executive Paora Maxwell telling the Herald that three of the broadcaster’s 180 staff members could potentially face job losses.  

The full story can be read on the Herald.

Swapping radio for TV

In another MediaWorks move, Mai Morning presenter Kanoa Llyod is swapping hip hop for green screens, as she transitions from Mai FM to become the 3News weekend weather presenter.

This move brings a close to her two-year stint at the radio station, where she worked alongside Nickson Clark and Nate Nauer.

Llyod is no stranger to being in front of the camera, having previously worked as a host on Four Live and as a presenter on Sticky TV.  

New faces

Here at the Tangible Media, Alice Galletly has joined Dish as the deputy editor, moving on from her previous position at AA Directions  

She has described working at Dish as her “dream job”, and continues the Dish tradition of being a fan of all things craft beer. She has in fact become quite renowned in craft beer circles for her blog ‘beer for a year’, a project that saw her try a new beer every day for an entire year.

With Galletly taking on this new role, associate publisher Lisa Morton will now shift into the dual role of editor and associate publisher. Tangible publisher John Baker said that the appointment was an easy one to make, given the “terrific job” Morton previously did when she assumed the editorial role while previous editor Victoria Wells was on maternity leave.   

There has also been a shift at New Zealand Weddings, with Sam Bluemel taking on an advertising sales role. Bluemel has created her own website called ‘Move, Eat, Play’, and her interest in how a commercial content proposition can run as a business attracted her to New Zealand Weddings.   

Monique Bullman has also joined Tangible from TMMC, where she served as the subscriptions and corporate manager for almost five years. This move comes as part of Tangible’s decision to migrate its subscription management to inside the business. 

Bullman is currently still based at the TMMC offices, but she will take her seat in the Tangible offices in the near future.   

StopPress and Retail magazine journalist and editor Skye Wishart is also leaving Tangible Media as she embarks on an adventure in Japan.

Wishart has worked in various capacities within the Tangible Media for over two years, and recently started contributing to StopPress on a regular basis. She previously worked as an editorial assistant at New Zealand Geographic, and has a background in scientific journalism.

With the addition of Little Treasures to the Tangible portfolio has come a few new appointments and staff changes.

Megan Dixon, who was originally brought in to work on Dish, has been shifted across to Little Treasures to take on the role of advertising sales manager a the magazine.     

And due to Dixon’s move across to to Little Treasures, Tangible Media has also appointed Karrin MacLeod as the commercial manager of Dish, a position that will see her reporting to Morton.

Nicky Dewe, currently the features writer for the publication has accepted the role of editor of the magazine. Dewe is no stranger to the magazine industry having worked at various publications, and she was also a finalist in this year’s Magazine Awards for Best Journalist.  

The final change introduced by the arrival of Little Treasures comes in the shape of Karyn Henger, who is joining the team on a contract role through to the end of the year as consulting editor. Henger has been the editor of the magazine for a few years and with the change of publisher has decided she would like a change of direction. Henger originally employed Dewe, and has expressed enthusiam about the prospect of being involved in the re-launch of the magazine. 

Baker says that Henger’s continued involvement will ensure that Tangible is able to “retain all the institutional knowledge while focussing on our plans to invest in production values, digital and greater content opportunities for the title”.    

Pursuing a dream

Adshel’s campaign manager for New Zealand and Australia Angela McDougall has left the company in order to pursue her ambition of becoming a graphic designer, bringing an end to her 17-month stint at the company. 

She originally joined Adshel as a marketing manager for New Zealand in May 2013, before shifting across to the campaign manager role in April this year. 

Adshel is still on the hunt for a replacement, and general manager Nick Vile will be covering her responsibilities in the interim.

Ad man becomes app man

App company MEA Mobile has announced the appointment of Jim Hood as an independent director on its board of directors. Hood’s career has included various marketing, advertising and finance roles, which have often included an emphasis on helping companies identify and implement growth strategies. 

During his years in advertising, Hood managed some of Y&R’s largest accounts, headed the agency’s strategy review board, served as director of global business development and was chief executive of the joint venture between Y&R and Dentsu, the largest advertising agency in the world. During his years on Wall Street, Hood was chief marketing officer of Lehman Brothers and First Boston (now Credit Suisse). Based in Connecticut, Hood also serves as a mentor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. 

Hood said that he looked forward to joining MEA and applauded the company’s start-up culture. 

“I am honoured to join the MEA team,” said Hood in a release. “I believe the company is absolutely in the sweet spot of the global economy, focusing on the already enormous and fast-growing mobile apps space. But it is the company’s ingrained ‘lean, start-up culture’ that is most exciting, and convinces me that MEA will grow to be a global leader in this space.”

Hood will serve as a Non-Executive Director and is tasked with mentoring the team at MEA Mobile as the business undergoes growth. 

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