Grab has named James Sampson as its new regional head of strategy and partnerships on GrabAds, as the ride-hailing app builds out its advertiser ecosystem.
Sampson was previously VP and general manager of Dataxu, a business he helped launch into the region after working for the ad tech business originally in its home city of Boston in the US.
For Grab, the move marks a significant strategic shift for the company as it builds on its strategy of becoming a super app, away from purely a ride-hailing business. A major part of this is working with brands to create promotion and partnership opportunity within the Grab ecosystem.
Commenting on the move, Ken Mandel, regional head of GrabAds and brand insights, said: "We are looking forward to having James join our GrabAds leadership team. His expertise and knowledge in AdTech, coupled with his strategic mind, will serve us well as we move into an exciting phase with GrabAds.
"Grab’s super app is increasingly part of a brand and retailer’s multi-channel ad mix, as they seek to relevantly insert themselves into consumers' daily routines. What we offer is a differentiated advertising platform that is powered by the unique insights we get from our daily super app consumer use cases.
He added: "We are testing a few ways of delivering ads that are integrated with various Grab services. In addition to James, we've also recently welcomed Novita Jong, who joined us as regional head of direct sales."
For Dataxu, Sampson won't be replaced and instead, regional operations will be overseen by ANZ country manager Shane Hanby and SEA regional director Alvin Wong, both of whom will report to Mike Shaw, VP international, based in London.
Shaw, said: “James’ consistent evangelism for programmatic and his leadership in Asia Pacific has played a crucial role in growing not only Dataxu, but the industry at large. James has built a great organisation for Dataxu, which will continue to serve clients across South East Asia and Australia, delivering the next phase of the company's growth in the region.”