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People on the move: hires and departures at Mattel, McDonald’s, the Guardian, Rovio and more


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

January 30, 2015 | 7 min read

This week has seen another wave of appointments and departures at brands, media owners and agencies. The Drum has rounded up the key hires below.


The chief executive of toy maker maker Mattel, Bryan Stockton, has left the business after reporting a six per cent fall in sales during the Christmas period.

The maker of the Barbie doll and Fisher-Price range said board member Christopher Sinclair would replace Stockton as chairman and interim chief executive until a replacement is found.


McDonald’s chief brand officer Steve Easterbrook is to replace Don Thompson as president and chief executive of the business.

He will become first Brit to take on the role from March when Thompson will retire after 25 years at the company.

Easterbrook’s promotion sees him assume responsibility for more than 36,000 stores worldwide and some 69 million estimated customers in more than 100 countries per day.

Guardian Media Group

Guardian Media Group has announced that chief executive Andrew Miller is to step down at the end of June after concluding a five year turnaround plan for the publisher.

This reorganisation of group activities prioritised digital media distribution, international ventures and a rethink of assets which raised more than £850m of long-term reserves to secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian.


Rovio gaming chief Jami Laes, who worked on mobile games such as Angry Birds, has quit his positon with the company to form a gaming start-up.

The move comes just after Rovio launched its first global campaign, tying in the five-year-old Angry Birds franchise to Burger King in a promotional partnership.


Newsquest Media Group has appointed Toby Granville as its editorial development director in a 12 month secondment, a role which will see the current group editor of Newsquest Dorset assume editorial responsibilities for one of the UK’s largest regional media groups.

The appointment caps a quarter century career in journalism for Granville who started out on the Sunday People before becoming editor The Wharf, a free weekly, until ultimately joining Newsquest in 2002 as editor of the Wiltshire Times.


Ian Clark, former UK chief executive (CEO) of Naked communications, has joined High50, the lifestyle brand for 50 plus consumers as group CEO.

Clark takes charge of High50 as it becomes the holding company for Beta, a marketing services agency set up by High50 founder and advertising creative Robert Campbell.

He will run the combined entity with Campbell as creative director and the brands will work closely together but continue as separate entities.

Dentsu Aegis Network

Dentsu Aegis Network has named Robert Horler as it's USA chief executive.

Horler, who previously led the network in Northern Europe as chief executive will report to Nigel Morris, chief executive of the network in the Americas and EMEA.

The newly created role will see Horler develop, drive and execute the network's strategy from April when he will relocate to New York.


Mark Read, chief executive (CEO) of WPP Digital, has taken on the role of leading Wunderman which will also see him step down from the parent network’s board.

Taking on the role from 1 February, Read will succeed Daniel Morel as Global CEO of Wunderman. Morel will become a non-executive director of the agency.

Read will also continue his executive responsibilities with WPP as well, it was revealed.

M&C Saatchi

M&C Saatchi has restructured its creative department and axed the role of executive creative director (ECD), leading to the departure of Elspeth Lynn.

The agency has reallocated its creative leadership to Mark Goodwin, Jason Lawes, Sam Ball and Dave Bedwood, while Grant Parker will remain as head of art.


Exposure has hired Simon Hankin as the managing director of digital and social media.

Hankin is tasked withe expanding the agency's digital and social media expertise to new markets.

He is credited with achieving this goal at Holler where he masterminded the expansion of its international business.


Webtise, the ecommerce digital agency, has announced the appointment of MoneySuperMarket’s Phil MacKechnie, former head of organic performance, as head of digital marketing.

Working with existing clients such as LittleBlackDress, Utility and Winfield’s Outdoors MacKechnie will be tasked with driving new business and expanding the firm’s digital marketing offer.


MediaCom North has hired Erica Ingham as chief financial officer in a move to support the content and connections’ agency’s continuing growth trajectory.

Joining the team at the group’s new Manchester office in Spinningfields, Ingham will assumes responsibility for a 20-strong department with financial responsibility across MediaCom’s offices in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.


Vincent Van Dessel is to join Y&R Vietnam as chief executive officer.

Dessel has worked in the ad industry for 15 years, having held senior management roles at major multinational agencies.

He was most recently chief executive officer at McCann Brussels where he oversaw its merger with Lowe.

Amaze One

Janet Snedden has joined customer engagement agency Amaze One as strategy director.

Reporting to managing director Neil Evans, Snedden will lead business and marketing strategy for new and existing clients.

Opera Mediaworks

Opera Mediaworks has hired Robert Cootes to the new post of commercial director of video as it expands its EMEA video division.

Cootes joins from Brightroll where he was director of sales, EMEA and is tasked with developing programmatic implementation strategies for customers as well as increasing international video sales across Germany, Russia, UK and South Africa.

Channel 4

Channel 4 has appointed Isaac Densu to the newly created post of commissioning editor for the broadcaster’s digital Shorts channel All 4.

Reporting to Richard Davidson-Houston, Channel 4’s head of All 4 and digital content, Isaac will be responsible for commissioning original Shorts for the new flagship digital proposition.

Black Dog UK

Music video company Black Dog has announced that Katie Dolan will head up the firm’s UK office.

Dolan has a wealth of experience in the industry, having previously worked for Caviar as head of music video

Communicorp UK

Communicorp UK has created a specialist team to focus on providing dedicated services to local agencies.

The commercial radio group’s agency sales team will consist of seven members across the UK led by Clarissa Roberts, who has been appointed as head of agency sales.

Want to get your career on the move? Check out The Drum Job page and follow @TheDrumJobs for updates.

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