Movers and Shakers: R/GA, Publicis Groupe, Havas Media, MediaCom, Alight Media

Clockwise from top left: Newton, Temple, Smith, Carreau, Vithlani, Octopus Group, Rizwani, Bland
Clockwise from top left: Newton, Temple, Smith, Carreau, Vithlani, Octopus Group, Rizwani, Bland

Welcome to Campaign's weekly round-up of the hires, departures and promotions across the industry.

R/GA London has hired ex-AnalogFolk managing partner Rowena Vithlani as executive client services director, completing the agency’s new-look leadership team in the UK. Vithlani will lead the Interpublic agency’s senior client relationships and has been handed the remit of growing R/GA London’s client services team. She reports to Rebecca Bezzina, senior vice-president managing director of R/GA London, and effectively replaces Iain Preston, who left R/GA as EMEA executive director in late 2019 and has since been hired by WPP’s Wunderman Thompson.

Publicis Groupe has bought Octopus Group, an integrated B2B marketing agency in London. Magnus Djaba, chief executive of the creative practice of Publicis Groupe UK, will oversee the acquired agency. Octopus was founded by chief executive Jon Lonsdale, chief strategy director Billy Hamilton-Stent and managing director Pete Hendrick. Its leadership team also includes finance director Ben Holden and board director Nicola Pestell.

Havas Media Group has hired Paul Bland in the newly created role of head of biddable media. He joins from iProspect, where he was head of performance strategy. Bland joined the Dentsu agency from MediaCom in 2015 as a strategy director. At Havas he will lead more than 100 digital specialists in the UK and internationally, who will now come together under a new biddable team structure. He will report to chief investment officer Simon Bevan. 

MediaCom has appointed Steve Ricketts as partner and UK head of ecommerce. Ricketts will lead the agency’s client development into Amazon and other ecommerce platforms while also speeding up the development of MediaCom’s own social commerce offering. Ricketts was formerly a consultant for B&Q brand owner Kingfisher.

Out-of-home media owner Alight Media has hired Jacqui Carreau as head of direct sales. She previously spent almost eight years at Clear Channel, most recently as area sales (South West) and direct support manager. Carreau starts her new role on Monday 22 February, reporting to chief revenue officer Ged Glover.  

Tribal Health has appointed Niaz Rizwani as strategy director. Rizwani joins from Publicis Health, where he was a senior strategist. He has previously worked at DigitasLBi and Blue Latitude. Tribal Health launched in late 2020, with clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead and Medela.

John Ayling & Associates has promoted Richard Temple from managing director to chief executive of the independent media agency. Board members Jonathan Newton and Nicholas Smith become chief client officer and chief digital officer respectively.

Energy drink brand Boost Drinks has given marketing director Adrian Hipkiss an additional remit. As marketing and international business director, he will be responsible for spearheading the business’ international sales strategy and brand development programme, while continuing with his pre-existing marketing responsibilities.

MSQ has launched MSQ B2B, an agency model providing end-to-end creative, tech and data-led marketing capabilities for B2B clients globally. Tom Stein, founder of MSQ’s global B2B agency Stein, has been appointed as chairman of MSQ B2B. It will draw resources and expertise from across MSQ’s agencies, which include Walk-In Media, The Gate and Twentysix.

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