Hot in 2018: Top 10 commercial chiefs

Throughout December, we are revealing the best of our industry in 2018.

10 Dominic Carter

Chief commercial officer, News UK

The advertising sales chief of The Sun and The Times has seen revenues grow. He wooed advertisers at the News UK Chateau at Cannes and the team’s work with Sky for Movember won a clutch of awards. Bringing the news brands closer to the Virgin and talkSPORT radio business will be the next challenge for Carter.

9 Dara Nasr

UK managing director, Twi­tter

The cheerful boss of Twitter’s UK operation has led his team through some difficult times but has begun to deliver results, particularly in video, which has been booming. It’s a credit to the upbeat Nasr that Twitter was a strong contender for sales team of the year at the Media Week Awards – ahead of bigger tech rivals.

8 Davina Barker

Sales director, Digital Cinema Media

Harry Potter fan Barker has continued to weave her magic at DCM, which has kept revenues growing, opened an office in Manchester and developed deeper brand partnerships, such as its work with Max Factor in cinema foyers. She and her chief executive, Karen Stacey, champion the medium via the annual DCM Awards.

7 John Litster

Managing director, Sky Media

The low-profile and effective ad sales boss got on with the day job as the bidding war between Comcast and Disney sent Sky’s share price soaring. He lifted UK advertising revenues by 6%, thanks to Sky AdSmart’s targeted advertising. Changes are likely, following Comcast’s triumph, but Litster has signalled that Sky will continue supporting the medium by backing The Big TV Festival in 2019.

6 Naren Patel

Chief executive, Primesight

Selling Primesight to Global in a deal worth the best part of £200m capped a remarkable run for the long-serving Patel, whose team scooped the commercial team of the year accolade at the Campaign Media Awards. He has shown industry leadership by setting up Media For All, which supports BAME executives, and served as co-chair of the judges at the Media Week Awards.

5 Steve Hatch

Vice-president, northern Europe, Facebook

The former MEC boss has overseen a 50% surge in revenue as the Facebook-Instagram UK operation brought in £1.3bn last year, overtaking Channel 4 and Sky Media. He is a thoughtful leader who will have been pained by the scathing coverage about Cambridge Analytica, especially if it hits Facebook’s business performance. Hatch has recruited Nick Baughan from Essence to head UK agency relations.

4 Jonathan Allan

Commercial officer, Channel 4

Allan has broadened his remit, taking responsibility for the search for a second national headquarters, which ended when Channel 4 chose Leeds – a nice turn-up for Allan, a Leeds United fan. He has been a crusader in TV’s "fightback" against the online platforms and his commercial team was highly commended at the Campaign Media Awards. A potential break-up of UKTV, Channel 4’s biggest ad sales partner, could be a worry.

3 Hamish Nicklin

Chief revenue officer, Guardian News & Media

The former Google and AOL executive did not choose the easy option by moving to loss-making Guardian News & Media to turn around its ad sales operation. He has had to contend with the move to tabloid and taken on intermediaries in the digital supply chain, after buying inventory on The Guardian’s own website and receiving only 30p from the advertiser’s £1. Nicklin’s reward was winning sales team of the year at the Media Week Awards.

2 Kelly Williams

Managing director of commercial, ITV

Williams and his deputy, Simon Daglish, had a good year, signing 11 commercial partners for Love Island, bringing a deeper level of product placement to Coronation Street and launching the multi-award-winning "Project 84" for Campaign Against Living Miserably. He advocates for the medium, staging the ITV Palooza event for new boss Dame Carolyn McCall, and The Big TV Festival, in partnership with Channel 4 and Sky.

1 Stephen Miron

Group chief executive, Global

The former Mail on Sunday ad sales man, who built Britain’s biggest commercial radio group over the past decade, stunned rivals by making three outdoor acquisitions in three weeks this autumn. The hard work of integrating Exterion Media, Primesight and Outdoor Plus is still to come but if Miron can pull it off, he and Global could transform digital out-of-home. Expect the selfie-loving chief executive to post about his progress on social media.

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