People on the move: Hires and departures at Apple News, Weetabix, Skyscanner, Snapchat and more

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.

Apple

Apple News has poached the editor of Wired.co.uk Michael Rundle (pictured) to lead its tech coverage out of the UK, The Drum understands.

It has been confirmed to The Drum that Rundle is to exit the Conde Nast-owned title after just over a year with the magazine to take up the role.

However, it’s not yet clear which position he will take up, but The Drum understands that Rundle is one of the first new hires to join Apple News in the UK and that he is braced to be tech editor working from Apple’s London HQ.

Weetabix

Weetabix has strengthened its marketing arm with the appointment of former Jordans UK cereal marketing controller, Gavin Lotus, to the position of head of brand of its On the Go breakfast drink range.

Lotus will lead marketing development for the product as Weetabix looks to take a slice of the burgeoning breakfast drinks market which is set to be worth £100m by 2021.

Before joining Jordans and Ryvita, Loftus learnt his trade at Reckitt Benckiser, Diageo and Nestle Waters, giving him over ten years’ international and cross-category experience of the sector.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner, the travel search site, has appointed Skype's Steve ‘Buzz’ Pearce to the newly-created role of global design director.

Formerly the principal design director at Skype, Pearce is tasked with ensuring coherence in design across Skyscanner’s experiences while also developing new, bar-raising initiatives across a team of 27 designers.

Snapchat

Snapchat has tapped Tom Conrad, formerly of Pandora, to serve as its vice-president of product.

According to Re/code, the executive (who headed up Pandora's product arm as chief technology officer until 2014) will work directly beneath chief executive Evan Spiegal, who will in turn spend more time trying to position the startup for IPO.

Havas

Havas has confirmed its appointment of Xav Rees to serve as chief executive of its London headquarters, a role which will see the former group managing director at adam&eveDDB report directly to European and UK group chief executive Chris Hurst.

The integrated marketing communication agency has yet to finalise a start date for Rees, who has worked for a number of agencies including; BBH, Grey, Wunderman and Archibald Ingall Stretton during a 22 year career spanning advertising, digital and direct disciplines.

BBH

Creative shop BBH has landed in Stockholm, with the Swedish office set to be headed up by Andreas Bjork as chief executive and Katrin Hellborn as chief operating officer. BBH Stockholm’s clients include Adidas, Volvo, and Travelex

The launch of BBH Stockholm follows Publicis' acquisition of Monterosa in 2012.

"We are delighted and proud to be bringing Monterosa under the BBH black sheep banner.

"Our own focus on creativity and quality means that we do not do this lightly. BBH Stockholm will bring an exciting new dimension and energy to our offer,” said Neil Munn, global chief executive at BBH.

MEC

MEC Manchester has boosted its senior line-up by hiring Joanna Parnell as managing partner.

Parnell will lead the paid digital team and drive forward the agency’s proposition to clients and new business, reporting to to MEC Manchester’s managing director Mick Style.

She joins MEC from Unique Digital where she was strategy director. Parnell is also a non-executive director for mobile technology brand Taptica.

InSkin Media

InSkin Media, the international advertising technology business, has announced the appointment of Andrew Walmsley, the founder of digital media agency i-level, as its new chairman.

Walmsley is active in a number of early stage internet ventures, and sits on the board of The Eden Project. He was previously chairman of mobile agency Fetch, which was successfully sold to Dentsu Aegis. He has been a non-executive director on InSkin’s board for the past two years.

Blink

Film director Martin Garde Abildgaard has joined Blink.

Previous work includes commercials for BMW, Sony, Vans, Koenigsegg and Adidas. In 2015 Martin picked up the Young Directors’ Award at Cannes for his short film ‘Hypoxia’ and has been recognised for his work by Shots and 1.4. Apart from directing film, he also works as an artist.

“Martin is a rising star - a director with huge potential, taste, and a great attitude. We’re excited to welcome him into the Blink family and be part of the next chapter in his career,” said Ben Sharpe, Blink’s executive producer.

Eyetease

Ad tech outfit Eyetease has opened up a research and development-focused innovation lab, and appointed Robert Drake, head of engineering, to lead the team.

The agency has created the facility in direct response to what it views as a lack of R&D in London, the Stem skills gap crisis, and the “delicate state of UK manufacturing”.

Eyetease will be connecting with institutions including schools and multinationals, and the company has recently secured partnerships with companies including Ogilvy London Labs, and London and Partners.

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