People-powered marketing company Mofilm announced a series of senior appointments due to its rapid growth, including promoting Anna Watkins to chief executive officer, moving Jeffrey Merrihue to chairman and completing its management team by adding new group chief financial officer Elizabeth Hunter.
Watkins joined Mofilm in September of last year from the Guardian Labs following their acquisition by You and Mr Jones, the company founded in 2015 by former Havas Global CEO and Facebook client council founding member David Jones. At Guardian Labs, she was managing director and led the team of over 130 content specialists delivering content, technology and data expertise to more than 155 million unique users every month. She was brought on to launch the new branded content company within the Guardian. Under her leadership, the Guardian Labs won The Drum’s Trendsetter of the Year award and Watkins won Media Individual of the Year in 2015.
As CEO, Watkins will lead Mofilm, the global community of filmmakers and influencers that tell and brands' stories that challenge the way we think, alongside a management team that includes European managing director Rebecca Sykes and North American president Alex Sehnaoui.
“Most brands are facing the same problem – 'How do I produce the volume of content I now require at the speed I need it and at a price I can afford?' Mofilm’s model solves that dilemma – its tech platform allows brands to tap into the new abundance of creative, production and media talent allowing passionate people to create great quality content. I’m thrilled to be leading the company into its next chapter,” said Watkins.
Watkins was previously managing director of Initiative, where she led the digital and strategic transformation of the media agency. Prior to that, she was CEO of Grand Union before its acquisition by FullSix, and then became group managing director of Grand Union, FullSix and Gum. She started her career at M&C Saatchi before moving to Spain where she was director of international sales and sponsorship at PRISA and returning to London to join TBWA as content director.
Mofilm also named Merrihu chairman and announced he is taking on a new group role as partner at You & Mr Jones. In this role, he will focus on driving growth for the You & Mr Jones group’s major clients, helping bring to them the latest technologies and companies – both in the group and beyond – together with playing an active role in the group’s acquisition and investment strategy.
Merrihue began his marketing career with RJR Nabisco working in Spain, Canada, Ecuador, Venezuela and Italy. He then moved to Kellogg where he served as marketing director in Colombia, Latin America and Europe. In 1998, he joined Initiative Media as CEO and in 2001, joined Accenture as founder and CEO of Accenture Marketing Sciences. Mofilm was conceived during an interview between Merrihue and Robert Redford about creativity and storytelling at the 2006 Marketing 50 CMO conference in San Francisco.
“David (Jones) and I have always had a very natural partnership and I’m delighted to expand my role and look to bring the latest and greatest technology to our client partners to help them drive growth. As an entrepreneur, I’m also excited to play a core role in the acquisition and investment strategy of the group.”
Said Jones: “Mofilm are such a great example of how people and technology can change the way we build brands. Anna’s proven herself to be a fantastic leader of the business and a huge talent. As Mofilm increasingly not only creates but also distributes content, this allows Anna to take over running Mofilm and bring all of her publishing expertise to bear. Jeffrey meanwhile steps into a broader group role where his unparalleled experience both running Accenture Marketing Sciences and being one of the pioneers in the people-powered marketing space will allow him to have an impact across the whole group and our clients. I’m delighted for both of them and for us.”
To complete the new management team, Elizabeth Hunter has joined as CFO for Mofilm and Blood Global, based in London.
Hunter started her career at Microsoft, gaining her chartered management accountancy qualification. She entered the advertising industry as commercial manager at BBH London before crossing the pond to become CFO of BBH North America, overseeing Finance, IT, Legal and Facilities. She returned to London in Spring 2016 working for WPP as SVP finance director, focusing on two of their largest clients – GSK and P&G.