Technology The Drum Digerati

The Drum Digerati 2018: introducing the top talent in media and platforms


By The Drum Reporters, Editorial team

October 11, 2018 | 18 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. Today we reveal the 25 leading lights from media and platforms who have made it into this year's list.

media trio

Claire Valoti of Snapchat, Iain Sawbridge of Beano Studios, and Fiona McKinnon of Pangaea Alliance.

The Drum's Digerati showcases success and ingenuity from some of the most pioneering digital leaders and practitioners 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 adtech & martech now and sign up to our newsletter to ensure you don't miss the brands category tomorrow.

Let's meet this year's 25 inductees from media and platforms:

Matt Brittin, president EMEA business and operations, Google

Matt B Google

Matt Brittin joined Google in 2007 to help build its business in the UK and became managing director of Google UK two years later. In 2011, he was promoted to VP of Northern and Central Europe before taking over as president of business and operations in EMEA in 2014. Brittin is a non-executive director of Sainsbury’s and a Trustee of charity The Media Trust. He has had a long career in media and marketing, joining Google from the newspaper industry, where he led commercial and digital operations at the biggest UK publisher. He previously worked at management consultancy McKinsey.

Fiona McKinnon, general manager, T1

fiona mckinnon

Fiona McKinnon is the general manger of T1, Turner International's new global digital advertising division, as well as The Pangaea Alliance, the digital advertising partnership. McKinnon has led Pangaea, which brings together premium publishers including The Guardian, Reuters, CNN International, Mansueto, The Economist and Dennis Publishing, since 2015. She has taken the Alliance from strength to strength in the last 12 months, overseeing a 65% revenue growth in recent months, introduction of new products and new staff hires. At T1, she was part of the launch of Turner International's global digital advertising division, providing international advertisers with a way to activate global, regional and local campaigns.

James Kirkham, chief business officer, Copa90​

james kirkham

James Kirkham is chief business officer at Copa90, the football media brand that enjoyed a successful World Cup in Russia where it amassed 750m views of content in a single month. Kirkham has helped Copa90 create successful football content, strategy and media activations for brands including Uber, Adidas, Pepsi and Puma. It helped Uber activate its Manchester United sponsorship by 'teleporting' Old Trafford to one lucky fan in Bangalore, India. Another key highlight of the year for Kirkham was The Modern Football Fan report he edited which has since been touted as a fundamental piece of research on the behaviours, media and consumption habits of a modern football fan.

Marco Bertozzi, vice-president of European sales, Spotify

marco bertozzi

After 20 years in the media agency world, Marco Bertozzi joined Spotify in 2016 as vice-president of European sales. 18 months into his tenure, Spotify has gone from being a startup challenger in the advertising industry to a leader in European digital media. Spotify Europe has contributed significantly to the business's global year-on-year performance of 38% growth in Q1. On a personal level, Bertozzi has consistently contributed to the industry through events, conferences, judging and commentary. As a co-founder of Adlondoncalling, supporting WACL, Nabs and Creative Equals as well as being advisory board member of DIMA and London Adtech, Bertozzi has got behind the most important issues in the industry.

James Rushton, chief executive officer, Dazn

James Rushton

Headquartered in the UK, Dazn is a British tech startup that is on a mission to be the world's number one sport broadcaster. James Rushton has overseen the launch of Dazn in Italy and the US. To keep up with the pace of growth Dazn is rapidly expanding its global workforce which already sits at over 1,200. In the past year alone, Dazn has made 750 new hires in the UK and opened a software hub in Amsterdam that will create 300 new jobs. Rushton joined Perform in 2003 and has held multiple senior roles within the Dazn Group family, including managing director of Apac, managing director of Australia and New Zealand and managing director of ePlayer.

Nishma Robb, marketing director, Google

Nishma Robb

Nishma Robb is marketing director for Google and YouTube’s advertising products in the UK and the ex-chair of Women@Google. Robb is also a non-exec board director and fellow of The Marketing Society. Prior to Google, Robb was at Dentsu UK working across brands such as British Airways and Sky. She was recently listed as Ad Age's Woman to Watch in Europe 2018, and was named the Campaign 2018 A-List.

Iain Sawbridge, chief marketing officer, Beano Studios

iain sawbridge

As chief marketing and digital content officer of Beano Studios, Iain Sawbridge leads all facets of marketing, comms, growth, insight and digital content for the transformed UK brand – formally a nostalgia-driven comic, now a cross-platform entertainment studio. In the last 12 months has consistently been the fastest growing UK kids website, now with 5 million monthly network reach, powering a transformation in Beano brand perception and trust. Growth has been driven by a refreshed approach to insight-driven content creation and digital marketing, using the Beano's proprietary data and insights platform, the Beano Brain.

Spencer Berwin and Philip Thomas, chief executive officers, JC Decaux​

philip berwin

Spencer Berwin and Phillip Thomas are driving forward a new digital future for JCDecaux. At a time of significant change in the media and out-of-home industry, they have presided over the introduction of BranDO, a brand-safe charter for digital outdoor, and the launch of an automated digital trading and delivery platform in 2018. Investment in the digital portfolio continued this year with the expansion of the digital Towers UK-wide, the extension of LDN bus shelters into the city of London and the announcement of LDN Drive – a London-wide digital billboard network coming in early 2019.

Vicky Foster, digital commercial director, Bauer Media

vicky foster

Since 2015, Vicky Foster has led Bauer Media's development of digital commercial revenues across radio and lifestyle portfolios, helping to shape and drive the digital advertising strategy. In her current role, she has developed a digital audio advertising strategy for Bauer Media with a focus on personalisation, podcasts and audio programmatic. She has a particular focus around the creative digital 'always on' opportunities developed within Adventure, Bauer Media's commercial creative operation. As a leader in the industry, Foster represents Bauer Media at industry events including the IAB and AOP, raising its digital credentials by supporting initiatives like the IAB Gold Standard. Foster actively works to support the culture and values of the advertising business along with developing key talent.

Bruce Daisley, vice-president EMEA, Twitter

bruce daisley

Bruce Daisley is Twitter's boss in EMEA. He is also one of the UK's leading workplace culture experts – as host of the #1 business podcast, Eat Sleep Work Repeat, and author of the forthcoming Penguin book The Joy of Work. He has campaigned to reduce the demands of modern work on us and is an advocate of us finding more sustainable ways of working. Prior to Twitter Daisley worked at Google and Bauer Media.

Steve Hatch, director for UK and Ireland, Facebook


Since his appointment in March 2014, Steve Hatch has driven a fundamental evolution across Facebook's platforms, namely the explosion of video consumption, and the commercialisation of Instagram. Prior to joining Facebook in 2014, Hatch worked at Y&R, Omnicom and WPP where he spent 15 years, with his final role as chief executive officer of MEC. Hatch is a non-executive director of Trinity Mirror PLC and is the chair of the Confederation of British Industry Tech group. His co-authored book Rigorous Magic was published in 2007. Hatch lives with his wife Sophie and their two children and, when time allows, follows his passions of movies, running, yoga and cooking. He would like to be a chef but isn't good enough.

Claire Valoti, vice-president international, Snapchat​


Claire Valoti is international vice-president for Snap's business solutions organisation, with responsibility for growing the company's revenues outside of the US. Today, international represents 32% of Snap's global revenue up from 19% a year ago. Valoti established Snap's first office outside of the US in London and has played an influential role in ensuring the company has delivered a localised experience for international markets as it has rapidly scaled globally. Prior to joining Snap, Valoti was head of agency relations at Facebook, media director of Weve and MD of O2 Media Telefonica. She spent eight years at Mindshare as head of digital display & mobile.

Ronan Harris, managing director, Google UK & Ireland

Ronan Harris

Ronan Harris is managing director of Google UK & Ireland. Prior to this he was VP of Google EMEA and head of Google's operations in Ireland. Since joining Google in 2005 Harris has focused on growing the company’s online advertising sales across EMEA and also launched several other Google products and initiatives in the region. A graduate in electronic engineering at University College Dublin, Harris began his career with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation at its Information Storage Products division in Japan.

Stephen Mai, chief content officer, Boiler Room


Stephen Mai is a multiple award winning, senior creative, strategic marketing and content professional. At Boiler Room he leads a division with teams across marketing, communications, film, production, music programming and creative. In his first six months he has launched 4:3, a narrative-driven platform designed to evolve the media brand by merging live events, video content and the role of cultural institution. Most recently Mai led the 360 project System, a multiplatform campaign designed to subvert the negative media coverage of 'migration' through installation, parties, performances, live broadcast and film celebrating migration's impact on music and culture.

Simon Gresham Jones, chief digital officer, Condé Nast


Simon Gresham Jones leads a multi-disciplinary department of 80 at Condé Nast Britain, working across iconic brands including Vogue, GQ, Wired and Vanity Fair. Gresham Jones is accountable for digital strategy and growth across all Condé Nast Britain businesses, and oversees central functions including marketing, creative strategy, sales, data and insights, and digital product design and engineering. Gresham Jones has advised organisations including Google and the British Fashion Council, and spoken at events including Cannes Lions and YouTube's Intersection creative tech summit.

Jamie West, deputy managing director, Sky Media

west jamie

With almost 30 years of TV and online experience, Jamie West now heads-up the team responsible for the development of emerging advertising opportunities across Sky Group. Central to this role was the creation of a suite of products and capabilities that has led Sky to be acknowledged as one of the global leaders in advanced advertising. These products include AdSmart, Sky's addressable advertising capability, Sky Analytics which is powered by Sky's viewing panels and data capability, as well as the cross-screen product Sky Advance. His career path has taken him from ITV to Channel 5 to Viacom Brand Solutions, and now to the world's largest multi-channel sales house, Sky Media.

Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president EMEA, Facebook

Nicola M Facebook

Nicola Mendelsohn is the vice president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Facebook, a role she has held since 2013. She currently serves on The Mayor of London's Business Advisory Board, and in September 2014 she became a non-executive director of Diageo. She and her husband are also co-presidents of the charity Norwood. In 2015, Mendelsohn was awarded a CBE for services to the creative industries in the UK. From 2012-2018, she was the co-chair of the Creative Industries Council alongside Secretaries of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and BEIS – a joint forum between the UK creative industries and government. Prior to joining Facebook she worked in advertising for over 20 years, beginning her career at Bartle Bogle Hegarty then moving to be deputy chairman of Grey London. In 2008, she became partner and executive chairman at Karmarama.

Hamish Nicklin, chief revenue officer, Guardian Media Group

hamish nicklin

Hamish Nicklin is the chief revenue officer (CRO) of Guardian News and Media Group. He is responsible for driving operational and strategic direction across the media, jobs and Labs businesses and building long-term business relationships with clients and agencies across the globe. As CRO, Nicklin has been a driving force in media collaborations including The Ozone Project with News UK, The Telegraph and Reach, and the Verified Marketplace for outstream video. He has been a leading voice on the topic of transparency in the ad market, shining a light on opacity in the programmatic supply chain through regular investigations, and sharing knowledge and insight with the industry.

Chris Duncan, managing director, The Times and The Sunday Times

Chris Duncan

Chris Duncan is the managing director of The Times and The Sunday Times. In July The Times and The Sunday Times reached 500,000 subscribers of which more than half are now digital only, and digital growth was over 20% year on year. He has overseen the recruitment of 4 million registered access users as part of the evolution of the paywall model, and championed the launch of James, the AI powered digital butler that delivers automated content engagement for subscribers.

Sarah Wood, chair and co-founder, Unruly

sarah wood

Sarah Wood is the chair and co-founder of Unruly, the global video advertising marketplace acquired by News Corp in 2015. She currently sits on the boards of FTSE 250 company Superdry plc and Tech Nation, the UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs. She is a technology ambassador for London, a member of the London Mayor's Business Advisory Board and an ambassador for The Prince's Trust Women Supporting Women Programme. Wood has been named Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year, City AM Entrepreneur of the Year, and has been awarded an OBE for services to technology and innovation. She is also the author of best-selling career handbook Stepping Up: How to Accelerate Your Leadership Potential, which calls for more diverse, digital and empathetic business leaders.

Solly Solomou, founder and chief executive, LadBible Group

solly solomou

Solly Solomou is the founder and chief executive of LadBible Group,the world’s biggest social publisher aimed at millennial audiences - with a global reach of 1 billion plus. Its brand includes LadBible, SportBible, Pretty52 and the award winning branded creative agency Joyride. LadBible has successfully developed a social good strategy that tackles the issues that really matter to youth audiences, from mental health to politics and the environment. It has been a defining 12 months for LadBible Group - picking up 8 prestigious Cannes Lions, launching one of the fastest growing Snapchat Discover channels and ranking in the top ten of Britain’s fastest growing private tech companies' according to The Sunday Times Fast Track.

Kerris Bright, chief customer officer, BBC

kerris bright

Kerris Bright is currently chief customer officer for the BBC where she is on a mission to reinvent the corporation for a new generation and is leading its digital transformation. Prior to the BBC, Bright was chief marketing officer for Virgin Media and before that held global chief marketer posts at British Airways and ICI Paints/AkzoNobel. Bright, who has a PhD in molecular neuroscience, has also held senior marketing and general management roles across a number of Unilever companies.

Matt Bush, director of agencies, Google UK

matt bush

Matt Bush is country sales director at Google where he works with leading advertisers and agencies to help them get the most from the web. He joined in 2010 after previously working in press and digital publishing. Bush is a regular public speaker on many topics around digital, technology and media and how businesses might want to react to benefit from it.

Nick Hugh, chief executive officer, The Telegraph

nick hugh

Chief executive officer since June 2017, Nick Hugh has implemented an ambitious new company vision at the newsbrand. The Telegraph has increased its registered users by many millions, ahead of Hugh's ambitious targets. Hugh recruited 39 new journalists and has launched several new channels including Technology Intelligence and a new satellite office in California. The Telegraph's coverage of the Royal Wedding, World Cup and the launch of several specialised newsletters cemented The Telegraph's position, backed by an impressive financial performance.

Hugh also oversaw the launch of Project Ozone, a new platform designed to offer brands and advertisers large-scale buys across Britain's largest and most respected newsbrands. Hugh has also effected changes in other areas of the business, becoming the only media chief to pledge to reduce the gender pay gap to zero by 2025, and achieving a reduction of one fifth in just one year. As part of this, Hugh has introduced an Equal Parental Pay policy, giving both new mothers and fathers at The Telegraph an entitlement to 26 weeks full pay for parental leave and becoming one of only a few companies in the UK to offer this. Outside The Telegraph Hugh’s expertise has also seen him appointed as a non-executive director of Esure, where as part of the board he has played an instrumental role in managing the proposed acquisition by Bain Capital.

Stuart Flint, vice-president EMEA, Oath

stuart flint

Stuart Flint is vice-president of EMEA and Latin America for global media technology company Oath. Flint is responsible for driving the strategic direction and promotion of Oath's advertising solutions within its house of brands and tech platforms. Flint has overseen the merger of two huge global media and technology businesses across the EMEA region as Verizon brought together Yahoo and AOL under its new subsidiary, Oath. His priority has been building a new internal culture for Oath in EMEA, including creation of his EMEA leadership team, overseeing over 1,500 employees and a complete overhaul of processes and systems within the business.

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

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