Every two weeks, Geoff Michener covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. Please send him a message via LinkedIn if you’d like to share any job changes. (Plus, scroll down for jobs on offer now.)
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Executive Changes at Xaxis and Its Light Reaction Unit
Xaxis promoted Brian Gleason to the role of global CEO. He succeeds Brian Lesser, who was promoted to CEO, North America for GroupM. Separately, Xaxis’ Light Reaction unit brought on Rosa Markarian as vice president of global operations. The mobile advertising firm, which launched in June, enters an increasingly crowded space, but the ability to leverage Xaxis’ substantial footprint should give it some momentum.
Rocket Fuel Hires Political Ad Veterans
Politics is slowly beginning to see the benefits of online advertising. In anticipation of a deluge of new spending as the 2016 election cycle heats up, agencies and platforms have started hiring accordingly. Programmatic mainstay Rocket Fuel has brought on A.J. Carrillo as senior account executive and Jesse Contario as account executive to its politics and advocacy group. Most recently, Carrillo was data director for a parliamentary election in Trinidad and Tobago and Contario was a senior manager at Resonate. These hires come on the heels of Rocket Fuel making Street Fight Summit speaker JC Medici national director of politics and advocacy.
New CEO at Groupon
Groupon has replaced CEO Eric Lefkofsky. Current COO Rich Williams will take the reins of the struggling daily deals giant while Lefkofsky becomes board chair. The transition is not a surprise: In 2013, when Groupon fired CEO and founder Andrew Mason, Lefkofsky filled the CEO role until a successor was picked. Williams, who pledged to spend increase Groupon’s marketing spending by $150 to $200 million in the next year, faces an uphill battle. The company’s stock has dropped roughly 60 percent since the beginning of the year.
YP Exec Hires to Spur Growth
YP has promoted one exec and hired another ad veteran as the company continues to optimize its products and increase revenue. Wendell Hicken was promoted to executive vice president of technology and Stu MacFarlane left Herbalife to become executive vice president of consumer platforms. YP is doubling down on exec hires as growth slows in the crowded SMB publisher sector.
Kenshoo Promotes ex-SAP Executive to Managing Director
Kenshoo has promoted Russ Finks, a former SAP executive, to managing director, Americas. Finks joined the agile marketing software firm in 2013. His previous role was global sales account director and vice president, North American agencies. Finks will lead Kenshoo’s expansion, strategy, and client delivery in the U.S. as well as Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.
SITO Mobile Scaling to Compete in Crowded Geo-Targeting Space
SITO Mobile has hired two sales leaders to bring in more revenue in 2016. Ed Silhan and Evan Rullman have joined as regional vice president of sales. Silhan was most recently at eBay running Northeast advertising solutions for the PayPal Media Network. Rullman was at Opera Mediaworks and Resonate before joining SITO Mobile.
New CPO at Surefire Social
Mangesh Wadegaonkar has joined Surefire Social as chief product officer. He will help accelerate growth for the six-year-old company. Wadegaonkar was vice president of digital solutions at mSpark and a consultant before joining Surefire Social.
Choozle Chooses Product Lead
The Denver-based digital advertising platform promoted Travis Davis, an experienced executive who’s been with the company since its inception in 2012, to director of product. His primary responsibility will be driving innovation for Choozle, which is on a growth trajectory. The company announced $4.6 million in Series A funding in March and is in the process of building out teams across the U.S. and in the U.K.
Looking for a new job? Here are some openings…
Booker has an opening for a director of PR, brand, and communications. The company is also hiring in customer experience, operations, QA, sales, and technology. For more on Booker, watch CEO Josh McCarter’s keynote address at this year’s Street Fight Summit.
Changed jobs or have one to list? Let us know!