People on the move: hires and departures at RBS, LinkedIn, Visa and Bauer


By Natalie Mortimer | N/A

April 17, 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.


Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has poached Barclays brand and marketing chief David Wheldon to join its executive committee as its first ever chief marketing officer (CMO).

Wheldon has spent the past three years at Barclays as managing director of brand, reputation, citizenship and marketing, during which time he steered the bank through the damning Libor rigging scandal and implemented a strategy to rebuild trust among consumers.


LinkedIn’s vice president of marketing Nick Besbeas will be leaving the company at the end of May.

According to ReCode, the news was announced via an internal company email, sent by chief executive, Jeff Weiner.

Besbeas had been at the networking company for four years and led multiple global marketing pertnerships, including Microsoft's 'Name tag analyser,' Callaway Golf's 'Hit the links app,' and Van Heusen's 'Most fashionable professional'.

The reason for his departure and his next steps are unclear.


Hewlett Packard has appointed Visa's brand chief Antonio Lucio as chief marketing officer (CMO).

Lucio, who has overseen Visa's global branding and marketing activity for the past eight years, will lead marketing for the the PC and printer arm - HP Inc, that is set to split off from the rest of the business later this year.

In this role, he will work with HP Inc.’s leadership team to build brand loyalty and drive sales.


BT has appointed Zaid Al-Qassab as chief brand officer in a role which will see him lead group marketing strategy and brand.

Al-Qassab brings his 20-years’ experience in the consumer brand and marketing industry having spent the vast thrust of his career at Procter & Gamble where until the end of 2013 he developed brands such as Olay, Max Factor, Clairol, Wella and Gillette.


Bauer Media UK has named Linda Smith as interim chief operating officer of Bauer Advertising.

The appointment, which is on a 12-month basis, sees Smith take up work immediately, reporting to group managing director, advertising, Richard Dunmall.

Starcom MediaVest

Adam Hancox has joined Starcom MediaVest (SMG) as programmatic associate director, a move that will see him play a pivotal role in the group’s newly-established Precision Marketing offering.

Formerly programmatic manager at Havas, Hancox will drive the digital and programmatic capabilities across the agency’s client portfolio.


OMD has poached MEC’s regional chief executive of Asia Pacific Stephen Li to head up its own office the region.

The Omnicom-owned media planning and buying agency has appointed Li as chief executive to replace Stephen Blakeman who will relocate to London to take up a senior, global role according to the company.

Havas Worldwide

Havas Worldwide global co-president and UK Group chairman Kate Robertson is set to leave the company after over a decade.

Robertson is expected to leave to dedicate her time to running the annual international summit, One Young World, that she co-founded in 2010.

She became chairman of Havas Group in 2006, and was promoted to her global role in September 2013, while retaining control of the UK business.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser has enlisted Uday Kotla as its new chief information officer where he will have responsibility for the continued development of technology led solutions across the business.

The UK-based department store will see Kotla take up the role from 20 April. He previously oversaw technology solutions at Wells Fargo, Visa and Charles Schwab.

He will join the executive committee, reporting to chief executive Nigel Oddy.


The&Partnership’s John Hobson has joined isobel as its head of content.

Of the appointment, Paul Houlding, isobel managing partner said: “Our mission is to help build a client’s brand in whatever channels are most appropriate. And we can only do this if we have the best brains around the table."


OgilvyOne has hired former Argos, Homebase and John Lewis consultant Matt Bradbeer to lead its retail and e-commerce division Continuous Commerce.

Reporting to Ann Higgins, UK head of strategic services, Bradbeer will focus primarily on developing commerce opportunities for clients in the UK and play a practice leader role in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Higgins said Bradbeer will help unite its data, technology and experience disciplines for clients including Nestle, British Airways and American Express.


Zapp has bolstered its senior team in a move designed to boost its push to bring real-time mobile payments to more consumers.

Mark Stevenson, formerly a managing director of O2 Priority and sponsorship director at O2, has joined as chief marketing officer.

And Stuart Neal, who was previously chief finance officer at mobile payment firm Boku, joins as chief commercial officer.


Barry Lemmon has joined mobile marketing agency Shopitize to lead its UK office as managing director.

Lemmon has spent the past seven years at market research company TNS as global head of retail and shopper. Prior to that he was UK managing director of Kantar Worldpanel.

Lemmon will lead Shopitize’s UK operation and serve as a key member of the global management team during the company’s expansion into the US and Australia over the coming year.


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