Movings/Shakings: 22 July

Familiar territory

Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand has consolidated its retail capabilities with the appointment of Jordan Sky as a creative director. 

Over his 15 years in the business, Sky has worked extensively across the banking, lotteries, telecommunications, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, QSR and automotive sectors. He most recently managed the McDonald’s trans-Tasman account while he was creative director and head of retail at DDB New Zealand. He also previously worked at FCB from January to September in 2010 and at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand between 2006 and 2009.

Sky said that he looked forward to returning to the fold at Saatchi, but acknowledged that he wasn’t walking into the same agency.

“It’s an awesome feeling to come back into a place and feel so immediately at home,” he says. “A lot has changed since I last walked these floors, but all in a good way. There’s a tonne of brilliant work coming out of Saatchi & Saatchi NZ at the moment, which I’m keen to enhance.” 

Chief executive Nicky Bell was also enthusistic about the return of a Saatchi veteran, saying: “He has market leading retail credentials and we’ve already had him running some big retail projects in the last couple of months. He is a man of many talents, having helped clients grow their business across multiple platforms: apps, social hubs and websites as well as more traditional retail communications. And he’s an all round great guy. We love having him as part of the agency.”

DDB was asked about a replacement for Sky, but the agency is yet to reply. 

Objectives achieved

After three years at the helm of Ultrafast Fibre, chief executive Maxine Elliott has announced her resignation from the company. 

Rodger Fisher, the chair of the organisation, said that Elliott felt it was “time for her to take up a new challenge”.

Elliott further elaborated on this point by saying that she felt that she had achieved her 2011 objective of setting up Ultrafast Fibre for a successful future, and that it was now time for her to find a new opportunity where she can again make a difference.  

“The business is now in a good place for someone to take it forward and move it from a start-up to an operational business of scale,” says Elliott.

Since Elliott’s appointment, Ultrafast Fibre has built its fibre network across more than 100,000 premises, making it one of the fastest Ultrafast Broadband builds in the country.

Ultrafast Fibre has over 30 retail service providers actively retailing on its network, including Telecom NZ.

With roughly 1,000 orders per month Elliott said that the business was moving in the right direction to meet its targets, and that the next stage was to streamline operations.   

At this stage it is still unclear what Elliott’s next challenge will be, but StopPress understands that her plans for the immediate future are to go travelling with family after she ends her tenure at the end of August.

Ultrafast Broadband has not yet commenced the search for a replacement. 

Time to relax

Industry stalwart Kevin Blackford is retiring from TravelMemo at the beginning of August and he is passing the publishing baton on to ProMag Publishing.

Affectionately known as The Memo, the bi-weekly news sheet was developed by Blackford 14 years ago and has become a source of news for the travel industry ever since.

Blackford’s last issue of The Memo will be published on 1 August, after which the ownership switches to ProMag Publishing, the company that currently publishes TRAVELinc and The TAANZ Book.

ProMag also organises the annual Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo (PAICE) and several other business events-related expos and publishes Meeting Newz Magazine and the annual Fiji book in partnership with Tourism Fiji.

ProMag director Stu Freeman says readers will see little change in TravelMemo and can be assured it is ‘business as usual’ with the publication.

“The masthead will have a slight tweak and the publication will be [renamed] TRAVELinc Memo,” says Freeman. “But we will still keep Kevin’s format and live up to his history and reputation of delivering all of the news the travel industry needs on Tuesdays and Fridays. Obviously, we will be honouring all current commitments and working to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ones with the industry.”

Blackford says it has been ‘full on’ for him since TravelMemo moved from print to online a decade ago.

“I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit and actually getting to travel again,” he says. “I’m delighted that the Memo is going to a good home. I know Stu and his ProMag team will take it to new heights.”

A number cruncher arrives

Kiwi-based app developed MEA Mobile has appointed Billy Aucamp as its first chief financial officer.

MEA Mobile Director, Rodney Macfarlane, says Aucamp’s experience and skillset fits with the company’s planned trajectory.

“Our growth strategy is to put together a global creative project laboratory so that all our offices combine their strengths to deliver tailored creative solutions for whatever projects our clients come up with,” says Macfarlane. “That growth strategy needs a financial leader with Billy’s track record of providing a sound financial strategy for high growth companies.”

Aucamp previously managed the sales process that eventually led to Garmin‘s purchase of Fusion Electronics. According to a release, he will continue working with previous Fusion owner Sir Peter Maire on the post-sale completion as he transitions to his role with MEA Mobile.

Aucamp was formerly finance director of Navman, the New Zealand navigation app and software company, which he joined when it had a turnover of $20m. Six years later Navman turnover had rocketed to over $400 million with more than 1000 employees worldwide and was sold to US company Brunswick for $104 million.

Macfarlane said that Aucamp’s experience in high growth companies was what MEA Mobile was looking for.

“We’ve expanded considerably over the past year and we intend to maintain and possibly increase that rate of growth,” he said.

The company, which has its head office in Hamilton with offices in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and New Haven in the USA, has a large portfolio of mobile apps that it has developed both for clients and on its own account.

In addition to its mobile products MEA Mobile has acquired two creative agencies over the past year – Verdict in Hamilton and Vertigo in Wellington.

“We have exciting growth opportunities across a diversified portfolio,” Macfarlane said. “We’ll be looking carefully at the company’s future funding requirements to capture these opportunities and the options include seeking to list on the NZX.”

Mobile duo

Snakk has announced the arrival of a pair of new faces at the New Zealand office with the appointments of Alan Oliver as country manager and Rachel Trafford as account manager.

Prior to working at Snakk, Oliver was the business development director at The Radio Network, where he was instrumental to the launch of the company’s online streaming radio service iHeartRadio, and he also oversaw double-digit growth in advertising 

To keep pace with the rate of growth in New Zealand, Snakk has also brought in Trafford to fill a newly created role. The new recruit has worked in advertising sales for over a decade, the majority of which was spent in the digital media space during stints at MSN and Mediata.

In his shareholder update, group chief executive Mark Ryan said that that the company’s efforts have been rewarded with strong growth on “our home ground”.

Moving on

InMobi has announced the departure of Mark Copplestone from his position as the company’s head of sales. 

“Mark has played a huge part in the growth of the mobile advertising industry, and of InMobi specifically, from our most early days New Zealand,” says InMobi director and general manager Jon White. “He has been a great champion of our business, will be sorely missed, and leaves with our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for the future.”

Sales manager Charlotte Bell will take over Copplestone’s responsibilities, which include sales, agency and client enquiries.

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