Top 10 Hires of the Week

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Leo Burnett


Leo Burnett has announced the appointment of Chaka Sobhani to the role of Chief Creative Officer. Chaka, who joins Leo Burnett London from Mother, brings with her 20 years of experience from both the Advertising and Broadcast industries, notably setting up ITV Creative and becoming their first creative director. She started her career as a comedy and performance writer in the broadcast arena which led to her joining US network Fox, creating their branding and advertising as they successfully launched their kids channels across Europe and the Middle East. As CCO, Chaka will partner with Paul Lawson, CEO, Josh Bullmore, chief strategy officer and Sarah Baumann, deputy CEO, on the Agency’s Senior Leadership Team.

Chaka has bucket loads of charisma and enthusiasm to engage and inspire and she commands great loyalty from colleagues and teams alike. I know we’re going to enjoy working together” Paul Lawson, CEO at Leo Burnett London



NABS, the advertising and media industry’s support organisation, has appointed MediaCom chairwoman Karen Blackett OBE as its new president. In her new role, Blackett will be instrumental in driving NABS’ new vision focusing on industry wellbeing. NABS’ vision sits alongside its newly defined role to improve and champion the wellbeing of everyone in advertising and media. This includes three core pillars, supporting individuals; building a community; and sharing expertise. Blackett has been a leading diversity champion in the advertising and media industry, as well as being recognised as Britain’s most influential black person. Leading MediaCom’s 900-strong staff, Blackett has ensured the media agency’s own black, Asian and other minority ethnic (BAME) representation has risen from 12% to 19% during her time in charge. Blackett replaces previous president Stephen Miron, CEO of Global Radio, after his two-and-a-half year presidency. NABS has also announced the appointment of Nigel Clarkson, Yahoo’s UK Managing Director and Country Commercial Director, as a new NABS trustee, and Nicole O’Shea, News UK’s Head of Commercial, as NABS’ new North West Chairwoman.

In Karen, we not only have an outstanding figurehead, but also a hugely inspirational person. Karen will be a fantastic president and will be a key voice in driving NABS’ vision onwards” Diana Tickell, NABS CEO

Brothers & Sisters


Independent creative agency Brothers and Sisters, has boosted its strategic planning line-up with the appointment of Ila De Mello Kamath as Head of Planning. Reporting to Phil Teer, Chief Strategy Officer, Ila joins Brothers and Sisters from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO where she was Board Strategy Director. During her eight years at AMV BBDO, Ila was responsible for running the Martini and Sapphire accounts globally; Ice, a UK environmental reward scheme; and previously the Mars Petcare business across Europe. With over 17 years’ experience as an agency-side planner, Ila also worked at The Good Agency, as head of planning and MCBD as a senior planner; and was a graduate trainee at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Ila brings immense strategic firepower and creative instinct, and we can’t wait to get started” Phil Teer, Chief Strategy Officer at Brothers and Sisters

Iris Worldwide


Iris Worldwide has introduced a new global executive team that will be focused on driving growth and scale across key locations in its network, and tasked with earning recognition for the agency as a leading choice for innovation and integration. Sam Noble and Steve Bell (Founders and current CSO/Europe CEO respectively) will be taking the newly created role of Deputy CEO, reporting into Global CEO Ian Millner, and will be tasked with helping strategic offices develop, expand and grow existing and new clients. Shaun Mcilrath, following a storming year of creative success, will be taking the role of Chief Creative Officer, leading what is now one of the biggest creative teams in the UK, and developing global creative opportunities with leaders in the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Stewart Shanley (current Global CEO) will take on the role of Chairman, focused on iris’s strategic talent agenda, and overseeing the network’s mergers and acquisitions. Oliver Boughton will also become iris’s first Global Chief Operating Officer, focused on enabling the business to be more commercially consistent and confident in developing market

We have a highly effective senior team that inspired much of our creative and strategic success last year, and as we continue to grow it is important we are able to leverage our best and brightest whenever and wherever there is an opportunity” Ian Millner, Global CEO of Iris

Havas Ortega


Havas Ortega in Manila continues to grow in 2016, appointing Rudy Villar as General Manager of Havas Sports & Entertainment. Villar will lead Havas Sports & Entertainment in offering complete brand engagement services. He will also serve as the Business Development Director of Havas Ortega, and will drive the integrated communications solutions agenda for the group. And as necessary, explore specialist solutions for focused client problems. Villar is the consummate marketing veteran, with experience on all sides of the marketing cube, making him the perfect fit for HS&E. He started his advertising career in Image Dimensions and later moved on to McCann-Erickson Philippines as Account Manager for the San Miguel Beer Group. He was then promoted to Business Director of Momentum, an affiliate of McCann and a brand he pioneered as one of the first true brand engagement companies in the Philippines. He was most recently with KidZania Manila as their Head of Sales and Minister of Tourism. He is also an active member of the industry, having been on the boards of the Ad Standards Council (ASC) and the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA).

Rudy brings with him an incomparable wealth of experience, having come from both the agency and client sides, and across a multitude of marketing and communications disciplines” Havas Ortega Chairman and CEO, Jos Ortega

Havas Media Australia


Havas Media has announced the appointment of Ben Grace in the newly created role of chief technology officer. As CTO, Grace will oversee product management and digital marketing strategy for Havas Media. Grace brings 15 years experience in media and digital to his new role at Havas Media, where he will provide research and development direction as well as evaluating market trends, competitor strategies and future opportunities. Ben will be responsible for managing Havas Media's market-leading suite of products. Grace's experience spans a number of senior roles in companies including Accuen, OMD and DGM. He most recently worked as general manager of Video at Accuen in the US, where he was tasked to build and run a new organisation to help accommodate the shift of television dollars online. There, he worked on the first programmatic upfront deal securing the largest ever digital dollar allocation to a single entity in upfront history.

Ben brings deep experience in leading and growing technology and digital businesses, and we're very lucky to be able to harness his insights for our clients” James Zipeure, CCO at Havas Media Group Australia



LinTeractive, the digital division of MullenLowe Lintas Group, has appointed Punit Singh as Vice President, Delhi. Punit has been mandated to drive business and growth in the north region for LinTeractive leading a team of highly-driven individuals. Punit joins LinTeractive from Askme Bazaar where he was Head of Marketing – Next Day Delivery (NDD) and was responsible for the entire marketing, branding and communication campaigns. At LinTeractive, Punit will be handling clients like Woodland, Havells, Mahagun Builders and Dabur (including Dabur Chyawanprash, Dabur Honey, Liveveda, Dabur Lal Tail) among others. Punit has over 11 years of experience in branding, marketing and communications. He has worked across international and domestic markets for leading organisations handling key projects for important clients. At Askme Bazaar, Punit was instrumental in rolling out the first national campaign across TV, print, radio and digital. Prior to Askme Bazaar, Punit Singh has worked with Tribal DDB, Reliance MediaWorks, BBDO Proximity and Group M, handling key clients like Google, Volkswagen, Visa, Nokia, Hero MotoCorp and PepsiCo.

Delhi for us has always been a priority market and one where we manage some of our key client relationships. Punit’s addition allows us to push the growth agenda and drive scale; something he has demonstrated in his previous stints” Sumanta Ganguly, Senior VP at LinTeractive



TBWA\Singapore has announced the promotion of Gary Steele and Hagan de Villiers to joint Executive Creative Directors. The pair will head the creative department, focusing on driving disruptive output for clients, and developing more creative opportunities. They will report to Edmund Choe, Chief Creative Officer, Singapore and Southeast Asia. Steele, previously Regional Creative Director at TBWA\Singapore, has consistently led innovative and effective work for brands such as Standard Chartered Bank “Here for good,” and Airbnb's “Welcome to Airbnb” and “A Different Paris” campaigns. He has picked up metal at international award shows including Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia, D&AD, Effies, AdFest, and Webby’s, and was recently named “Creative Director of the Year” at the 2015 Hall of Fame Awards organised by the Institute Advertising Singapore. De Villiers, previously Group Creative Director at TBWA\Singapore, has over 17 years industry experience working on global brands such as adidas, Diageo, Energizer, Michelin and Mondelēz. He is also highly awarded, having won metal at major international award shows including Cannes Lions, D&AD, LIA Awards and New York Festivals.

With Gary and Hagan's infectious desire to disrupt the norm and create impactful work, they are well respected by clients, and are the perfect duo to lead us to a disruptive and successful future” Ara Hampartsoumian, Managing Director at TBWA\Group Singapore



News UK’s Emma Loveday has been appointed as Head of Marketing at data technology company GlobalWebIndex, which hosts the world’s largest study on the digital consumer. Loveday has been tasked with accelerating the company’s user acquisition efforts by bringing in more companies to use its data for their digital marketing and advertising solutions. Her appointment comes as part of a drive to expand on the company’s global footprint, which has 50 per cent of its client base in the US, 30 per cent in Europe and 20 per cent in Asia Pacific. GlobalWebIndex’s service allows clients to use its data to understand the behaviours of connected consumers to develop marketing campaigns, media sales solutions and digital products and services. Prior to joining GlobalWebIndex, she held the role of head of marketing for News UK, where she led the marketing campaigns for several of its gaming properties including Sun Bingo. Before joining News UK, Loveday served as gaming acquisition manager at Ladbrokes.

The exponential revenue growth we’ve delivered in recent years puts in a great position to become more aggressive in our global expansion, and we’re delighted to welcome someone of Emma’s calibre into the business to help us achieve that” Ali Little, Director at GlobalWebIndex

Bray Leino


The creative communications agency Bray Leino has appointed Nicola Roberts as its new ECD. Roberts, who is currently a creative director at M&C Saatchi’s Lida will join the company in May. She will bring to the table her experience working with brands such as Boots, P&G, NatWest, Sainsbury’s, McCain, Dove and Royal Mail. A Bray Leino statement claims she will be the perfect fit for its growing list of B2C and B2B Clients. With the appointment, Bray Leino also exceeds the IPA’s 2020 target of having more than 40% of senior agency positions filled by women.

Nicola is exactly the type of person we’ve been looking for. Her creative talent is undeniable. Alongside this, her attitude, passion and contagious personality perfectly fit the Bray Leino ethos” Kate Cox, Bray Leino CEO


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