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The Drum Digerati 2018: find out who made the list from adtech & martech


By The Drum Reporters, Editorial team

October 10, 2018 | 17 min read

Throughout this week, we are revealing who has made it into The Drum Digerati – our annual celebration of 100 outstanding individuals excelling in the UK digital industry. Our countdown continues today as we reveal the 25 people selected from the fields of adtech and martech.

martech trio

Nicolas Bidon of Xaxis, Zuzanna Gierlinska of Spotify and Nigel Gilbert of AppNexus

The Drum's Digerati showcases success and ingenuity from some of the most pioneering digital marketers working in the UK today. Based on nominations from our readers and curated by our editorial team, the list celebrates talent from four categories: agencies, brands, adtech & martech and media & platforms.

You can catch up on who made it into The Digerati from agencies and sign up to our newsletter to ensure you don't miss the brands and media & platforms categories later this week.

Here's this year's 25 inductees from adtech and martech:

Amy Williams, founder and chief executive officer, Good-Loop

Amy Williams

Amy Williams is one of the co-founders of ethical advertising platform Good-Loop. The agency secures goodwill and engagement from audiences by donating half the money behind ads to a charity of their choice. Williams has taken Good-Loop to some of the biggest agencies and advertisers in the world. She's developed key relationships with global advertisers such as Unilever, Nestle, Universal and Coca-Cola and together they are well on their way towards the Good-Loop goal of using ad money to raise over £5m in free charitable donations by 2020. Williams is also an active member of the Women in Tech and Tech For Good communities and was recently named by Forbes as one of the 30 Under 30 most influential people in media and marketing.

Nicolas Bidon, global CEO, Xaxis

Nicolas Bidon

Nicolas Bidon is passionate about enabling companies to leverage data and technology to transform their business and create new opportunities. In his current role as global chief executive officer of Xaxis, he's spearheaded the organisation's repositioning to support brands in their quest for more accountable programmatic advertising and proven results. Bidon joined Xaxis as UK managing director in 2012 from Yahoo, oversaw the integration of Plista into Xaxis in 2016, and was promoted to global chief executive officer in early 2017. He now oversees the company's presence in 47 markets across North America, South America, Europe, and Apac.

Dave Reed, international managing director, MediaMath

Dave Reed

As the managing director of MediaMath’s newly created International Business Unit, Reed is in charge of growing the business across EMEA, LATAM and APAC, developing teams focused on delivering value through MediaMath’s technology. He joined MediaMath in 2009, helping the business develop technical solutions and working with MediaMath’s largest clients to advance their strategic marketing objectives in the US, before moving to London in 2014 to oversee the UK and EMEA business. Prior to joining MediaMath, Reed gained 10 years of experience in digital marketing, e-commerce and software development, creating technology and marketing solutions for Fortune 500 marketers.

Dominic Joseph, chief executive officer, Captify

Dominic Joseph

Dominic Joseph is the chief executive of Captify, the search intelligence business he co-founded in 2011 which works with the likes of Amazon, American Express and BMW. In the past 12 months, Joseph has been responsible for Captify’s ambitious growth plans, with continued US and EU expansion, growing out its global leadership team and driving new innovations in voice search. He is a frequent public speaker, a keen mentor to other young entrepreneurs and plays a crucial role in Captify’s CSR strategy, launching Captify’s Media Rocks – a major charity event which is set to return next year.

Guillaume Périé, head of programmatic, Thomson Reuters

guillaume perie

Guillaume Périé is head of programmatic EMEA at Reuters. In only three years of experience in media, he has played a key role in improving the programmatic proposition of two publishers by leading the automation of various bespoke ad formats, building unique first party data sets and making sure that programmatic guarantees have become the transactional norm in a market challenged by a scarcity of high-value audiences.

Ian Charlesworth, country manager, Awin

ian charlesworth

Ian Charlesworth joined Awin from technology analyst Ovum in January 2017. Charlesworth launched new projects within a year of his arrival to help maintain momentum and manage the business’ growth, including agile working methods and new technologies. His approach is characterised by open and honest communication from monthly all-hands gatherings to informal interaction with staff at all levels. Fundamental to his leadership style is a belief that people will enjoy being challenged when in a secure environment where their contribution is recognised.

Stephen Upstone, chief executive officer, LoopMe

stephen upstone

Stephen Upstone is chief executive officer and co-founder of LoopMe, a full-stack tech platform with the mission to close the loop on brand advertising. Under his leadership this year LoopMe has introduced new products including PurchaseLoop Sales which uses AI and sales data to optimise purchases. Upstone champions AI, recently appearing on Radio 5Live, Reuters and CNBC to discuss its use cases and benefits in advertising.

Jon Mew, chief executive officer, IAB UK

jon mew

This year IAB chief Jon Mew has shifted the focus of the organisation away from growth towards building a sustainable future for digital advertising. Under Mew’s stewardship, IAB UK launched the Gold Standard which, in under 12 months, has certified over 100 companies who each commit to reducing ad fraud, increasing brand safety and improving the user experience. Mew is a fierce lobbyist on behalf of the industry, delivering four formal submissions to government in 2018, as well as completing two select committee appearances and an audience with the ICO and Elizabeth Denham.

Simon Harris, head of programmatic activation, Dentsu Aegis

simon harris

Simon Harris leads the optimisation teams at the Dentsu Aegis Network in London and has been instrumental in creating a modern and progressive trading operation that is fully integrated into the planning teams within the group. He is a regular contributor to the trade press and a regular speaker at industry panel events, recently including the Index Exchange and Rubicon Project annual summits. Harris has an active and influential social media presence, where he offers insight into the industry from a programmatic trading perspective.

Wayne Blodwell, founder and chief executive officer, The Programmatic Advisory

wayne blodwell

Wayne Blodwell founded The Programmatic Advisory in 2016. Since then, he has provided global advertisers with media agency reviews, conducted technology audits, helped multi-market advertisers in-house programmatic technologies and operations, ran dedicated training programs and created regular thought leadership for the industry. He also set up and ran an out-of-hours mentorship programme which allowed industry members an opportunity to learn more about programmatic through monthly one-to-one mentoring.

Elsa Bezhani, head of digital and programmatic sales, The Telegraph

elsa b telegraph

Elsa Bezhani is the joint head of digital and programmatic sales for The Telegraph, leading digital sales transformation. Key projects over the last 12 months have seen her hire and develop a newly created team who focus on driving digital and programmatic led solutions. In addition to budget and P&L ownership, product innovation has been central, and Bezhani has introduced first party data takeovers, newsletters and improved the Telegraph GTM Audio sales proposition. Previously, she worked at AOL, where she managed integrations of key RTB supply partners.

John Gillan, managing director, Criteo

john gillan

John Gillan has been at the helm of Criteo's UK and Northern European operations since 2017. With the aim of building a high-performing, trusted team at the business, he introduced a strategic 'product buddy' initiative to support every account team. This fresh approach is helping the business solve complex problems facing customers in driving wider commercial outcomes and achieving strategic goals. Other initiatives like Criteo Evangelists have proven essential to the company's development and positive affiliation with the very best elements of the industry today.

Florian Gramshammer, managing director, Impact

Florian Gamshammer

Florian Gramshammer is managing director EMEA for Impact, a natively-integrated suite of products for fraud detection, marketing attribution and analytics, and creating and optimising performance partnerships. Gramshammer heads up day-to-day management of the commercial and client services teams and is also responsible for the development and execution of Impact's European growth plan. Based in London, he has amassed 17 years of marketing and ad tech leadership experience, holding senior positions in CJ Affiliate by Conversant and Gartner, and most recently serving as managing director of IgnitionOne.

Stewart Easterbook, chairman, Medialab and MiQ

stewart easterbook

Stewart Easterbrook is an advisor to the boards of several companies operating in the fields of media communications, data analytics, technology and mobile communications. He is chairman of MiQ, the leading global analytics technology and programmatic media specialist and chairman of Medialab Group, the award-winning data, digital and media planning agency. He holds an advisory role with video and animation production marketplace Wooshii and sits on the board of the online talent business Instrumental. He is also part of the management team behind the launch of content marketing specialist business Content Inc. Prior to this, Easterbrook was in the Publicis Groupe for 17 years in a number of senior management roles.

Gavin Stirrat, vice president of partner services, OpenX

gavin stirrat

With almost 20 years of experience in digital advertising, Gavin Stirrat has worked across a range of operational and commercial leadership roles from the early days of display through to the programmatic world we live in today. At OpenX, he looks after Partner Services and Buyer Development teams in EMEA. He represents OpenX on the IAB Board and continues to speak regularly about the importance of trust and quality.

Andrew Morsy, UK managing director, Sizmek

andrew morsy

Andrew Morsy is UK managing director of advertising platform Sizmek, with responsibility for all revenue and P&L. Morsy sees himself as a passionate business leader who strives to make complicated technology simple for his customers. Previously, he held roles at Yahoo, Dennis Publishing, Struq and StrikeAd, where he was vice-president sales EMEA prior to the company's acquisition by Sizmek.

James Brown, managing director of EMEA, Rubicon Project

james brown

James Brown is the EMEA managing director for Rubicon Project, leading its commercial operations in key markets including the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Nordics and the Middle East. With over 20 years' experience in the industry, Brown is responsible for scaling the business across all digital advertising channels and enabling the buying and selling of all media. In 2018 this has been recognised by the industry, with the company nominated for five industry awards for programmatic excellence (including Best Overall Technology for Programmatic Trading in The Drum's DTAs).

Mary Keane-Dawson, chief executive officer, Truth Media

mary keane dawson

Mary Keane-Dawson is the founder of global blockchain-enabled media agency Truth Agency. Her company aims to provide 100% transparency in the programmatic advertising supply chain. Keane-Dawson is one of the UK's leading voices in advertising and technology and global ambassador to BIMA and Tech London Advocates. She is also the founder of How She Made It, the women's networking franchise. Her career started in 1987 at The Observer, and she's since played a major part in creating an impressive mix of companies, including Redwood Publishing, SPAFAX (WPP), Steak (Dentsu), Reform, Collective London, and Trade Doubler.

Jana Gökalp, head of demand partnerships, MoPub

Jana Gokalp

As the head of demand partnerships in EMEA, Gökalp and her team focus on growing existing partnerships with programmatic buyers, identifying new business opportunities for MoPub and educating the market on the potential of mobile programmatic in-app advertising. Prior to joining MoPub, Gökalp was the head of global supply at mobile technology provider LiquidM. Previously, she worked at mobile ad network Madvertise, the consulting firm Advanced Marketing Consulting, and SevenOne Media.

Ben Murphy, managing director, Quantcast

ben murphy

Ben Murphy is UK managing director at Quantcast. In a year in which industry discussion was dominated by GDPR, Murphy has successfully led Quantcast's UK team and guided its clients through uncertainty for the entire sector. Central to this has been Murphy’s leadership approach and the launch of Quantcast Choice, the company's free consent management platform (CMP) enabling brands and publishers to be GDPR compliant. Murphy leads Quantcast's representation on the IAB UK board, and champions industry issues including diversity, inclusion, and brand safety. Under his leadership, Quantcast has been recognised with the IAB's Gold Standard and received accreditation by Jicwebs. Murphy recently championed a partnership with the Women's Network and invited 25 children to become engineers for the day as part of an annual Coding for Kids event.

Zuzanna Gierlinska, Europe head of programmatic, Spotify


Zuzanna Gierlinska is the EMEA head of programmatic at Spotify. Throughout her career, she’s found herself at the forefront of data-informed, technology enabled advertising, leading digital adoption internally, across clients and the industry through enablement and activation of data, adtech and martech. After stints at Microsoft, BlueKai and Oracle, Gierlinska took on the job of future-proofing Spotify's EMEA advertising business through the roll-out and adoption of a programmatic strategy. Gierlinska is both spokesperson and industry evangelist, as a regular in the press and on the speaking circuit. In 2017 she was recognised as one of the 50 Women in Ad Tech You Should Know at the AdTech Inclusion Summit, and in 2018 was named Digital Trading Leader Of The Year by The Drum.

James Marriott, head of programmatic media, Expedia Group

James Marriott

James Marriott is the head of programmatic media at Expedia Group, one of the world's largest travel platforms. In the last 12 months Expedia has taken the step to fully in-housing programmatic, including strategic areas such as data management and analytics. This has involved establishing and scaling a global team across London, Seattle and Singapore delivering programmatic marketing campaigns across 26 markets and five brands including Expedia, eBookers and Travelocity. Prior to joining Expedia Group, Mariott held roles in digital performance at Sky & Wavemaker. Marriott sits on the IAB Europe programmatic trading committee, contributing to the development of industry best practice.

Elli Papadaki, head of programmatic, Condé Nast International

elli papadaki

Elli Papadaki is head of programmatic at Condé Nast. After spending the bulk of her career during two stints with The Financial Times – selling cross platform solutions across a number of client categories, and later leading the title's programmatic strategy – she later joined Condé Nast International's newly-created commercial hub with the task of leading efforts around simplifying and streamlining programmatic trading across all its titles and markets.

Nigel Gilbert, EMEA vice-president strategic development, Appnexus

nigel gilbert

Nigel Gilbert is a leading evangelist for programmatic. At Appnexus, he’s created strategies that have changed the face of digital, from enabling and supporting the largest trading desks within agency groups, fostering and advocating for the strongest independent players in the ecosystem and educating the largest publishers in the world as to the best path forward for their own sustainability. Gilbert has been one of the loudest voices for the sustainability of important digital companies, and has worked tirelessly to keep pushing them forward. Prior to leading Appnexus in Europe, Gilbert was a founding partner of Unanimis, the UK's largest independent digital sales house, responsible for fostering some of the UK's best digital talent.

Paul Gubbins, programmatic lead, Unruly

paul gubbins

Paul Gubbins has over 16 years' experience in the advertising sector, with the last nine spent in programmatic. Shortlisted by The Drum in 2017 as one of the most influential people in the digital advertising sector, Gubbins sits on the Captify advisory board, is a mentor at The Programmatic Advisory and is regularly asked to moderate or participate on panels about how automation is changing and disrupting the advertising ecosystem. Gubbins currently resides at News UK-owned video adtech company Unruly, where he leads its programmatic strategy. Gubbins writes for The Drum as a programmatic columnist, discussing all things M&A, data & technology in the digital ad sector. Gubbins' infectious passion and enthusiasm for all things adtech also saw him nominated by Exchange Wire in the adtech personality of the year awards 2017.

If you're interested in learning more about The Drum's Digerati, contact Toyin Rodwell via

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