People on the move: including Ogilvy Brisbane, Viacom, Engine and more

People on the move featuring engine, Ogilvy 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 moves from the EMEA, APAC and North America regions below.


Engine has poached M&C Saatchi's Sport & Entertainment deputy managing director Dave Roberts to run its content and entertainment arm, Trailer Park London, as managing director.

With over 20 years in the industry, Roberts leaves M&C Saatchi after eight year, during which he workedwith brands including Spotify, Reebok and Samsung to name a few.

Commenting on his role, Roberts exclaimed his excitement to be working with the team to bring “Hollywood-level creative to the table".

We Are Pi

We Are Pi has poached former Vice media global executive producer, Ravi Amartunga, for a newly created role as head of content. The Amsterdam agency has also appointed JaKenna Gilbert as digital strategist.

In Amartunga’s new role, he will be responsible for the agency’s editorial and branded content while working to connect clients and the editorial.

Continuing her career with the agency after working with brands including Clinique, Audi and Volkswagen, Gilbert will work to ensure the audience of We Are Pi will reach a new generation of people.


The BBC has confirmed that James Purnell, former Labour culture secretary, will take up the role of director of radio and education as Helen Boaden announces her retirement after 34 years at the corporation.

Purnell’s new role will see him take charge of radio, education, arts, music, learning and children’s departments as the BBC fuses divisions “to deliver further savings to focus on content”.

The BBC also confirmed Purnell as one of the leading internal candidates to potentially take over from director general Lord Hall when he stands down in the next two or three years, the Guardian reported.


Digital marketing agency iCrossing has appointed Alistair Dent as its chief media officer.

iCrossing’s chief executive, Mark Iremonger, said: “This is a significant hire for us. Alistair's broad and deep experience of paid media, combined with his charisma and drive gives us the leader we need for our media discipline.”

Dent previously held the role of head of product strategy at iProspect, where he was responsible for the direction of the service portfolio across all digital and performance activities, including media, content, data intelligence and consulting. He was also previously director of paid media at Periscopix.

Cheil London

Cheil London has announced the appointment of Russell Schaller as creative director, film following four years as creative director at Havas Woldwide London.

In his new role, Schaller will work across all accounts leading film working closely with his fellow creative directors.

Schaller said: “Right now, we have an opportunity to engage audiences with our craft in more places, more deeply and more innovatively than ever before.”

Ear To The Ground

Ear To The Ground has announced the appointment of Kat Renshaw as business development director.

Poached from HSE Cake, Renshaw will be responsible for the strategic development and implementation of the sport and entertainment agency’s external marketing and new business approach.

In her new role, Renshaw will work closely with brands including Uefa, Nike and Kellogg's to name a few while posted in Manchester.


Loco has announced the appointment of Dave Waldman as director and motion graphics editor.

Having worked with brands including Channel 4, Nike and Coke, Waldman’s illustration and design background will be utilised to help translate marketing briefs.

DDB Group Singapore

DDB Group Singapore has created the role of social media creative director, a first for Tribal Worldwide, for Benjamin Lee who is a well-known content creator in Singapore.

Lee, who is also known as Mr Miyagi, joins the agency after working with it on an ad hoc basis, around his other work which includes writing plays and a radio show on Power98 FM called ‘Own time, own target’.

The agency hired Lee for his social media savvy, with Jeff Cheong, president of Tribal Worldwide Asia, saying that “Ben is like a founding father of social media in Singapore, his experiences and proven-track record will push the group to create more engaging and original content.”

Ogilvy Brisbane

Ogilvy Brisbane is working to continue building its Queensland market with the appointment of Ewen Pettit as senior strategy planner.

Pettit commences his new role immediately following a stint as a senior strategist at a Dublin-based agency.

The appointment completes the agency’s senior management team following the appointments of Phil Nobay, Russ Vin and Jane Young.


Viacom International Media Networks has announced the appointment of Paras Sharma as senior vice president and general manager for southeast Asia.

Sharma will oversee the management and operations of the business as well as work to identify new growth opportunities and development opportunities for the company.

For the last two years, Sharma has worked on the growth of MTV and Comedy Central, launching the first comedy central original production in Asia.


Simone Bates has been appointed head of MTV Asia Pacific and Comedy Central and Spike.

In his new role, a promotion from vice president at MTV Australia and New Zealand, Bates will lead the brand teams across Asia Pacific to grow the brand and support revenue growth.

His new role is a promotion following his career as vice president at MTV Australia and New Zealand.

Minute Media

Minute Media has announced the appointment of two senior executives including Diogo Andrade as head of sales in Southeast Asia as well as Jun Kurata as vice president in Japan.

The promotions come as the parent company of 90min and 12up work to support their growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Andrade joins the company from CBS Interactive as sales director while Kurata has joined from his prior role as head of Chelsea Football Club

20th Century Fox

A newly created position at 20th Century Fox film was awarded to Beth Goss, who was hired to become chief brand officer (CBO) for the studio, Stacey Snider, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film announced.

As chief brand officer, Goss will manage the Fox film brands including current releases and library titles and those projects in development. In her role, Goss will collaborate with the studio’s key divisions to help steward the studio’s franchises, brands and event properties to optimize the various global marketing and distribution opportunities.

Goss has served as a consultant to the studio for the last few months. She previously founded and led 8.Eight Entertainment, a content distribution consultancy dedicated to identifying and maximizing media platforms for key entertainment brands.

American Apparel

Paula Schneider is the latest to jump ship from troubled clothing company American Apparel. The CEO is voluntarily resigning her position as of October 3, according to a story on Women’s Wear Daily. She will be replaced by Chelsea Grayson, formerly American Apparel’s general counsel and chief administrative officer, who saw the company move through bankruptcy and into privatization.

Schneider was with American Apparel for over two years, taking the CEO helm after founder Dov Charney was ousted by the board in December 2014 for alleged misconduct. Charney’s vision helped lead the American-made hipster clothing company to success, fueled by simple-yet-approachable designs and racy, often controversial ads that featured scantily-clad young models in provocative poses.

Schneider is leaving as the company remains in flux. After Charney’s departure, many changes ensued, including layoffs and bankruptcy. Last year, Charney tried to get back in, trying to buy the company back with Hagan Capital, but that plan didn’t work out, and the company has moved forward into privatization, though it is still for sale. Schneider hinted, in a letter of resignation obtained by Women’s Wear Daily, that the potential sale of the company might have had something to do with her decision.


Gamut has appointed David Aaron as vice president of sales based in New York City.

Previously Aaron worked as the director of digital ad sales at Viacom, also based in New York. He has spent the last six years working with a variety of brands and agencies while working in the industry.

Talking about his promotion, Aaron said: “I firmly believe in the power of digital media and its ability to impact the ways in which brands communicate and reach consumers, changing their lives for the better.”

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

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.