Performance marketing people: marketing goes out of this world with new head at Virgin Galactic and former Nokia Global CMO joins Pizza Express

This week’s round-up of the latest performance marketing people moves includes new faces at Merkle, Ozone, WPP and Lucky Generals.

Aerospace and space travel company Virgin Galactic has announced the appointment of Jayanta Jenkins as Head of Brand and Marketing. Jenkins joins with more than 20 years’ experience including roles as Global Creative Director for Apple’s Beats by Dre, Global Head of Creative at Twitter and most recently Executive Vice President, Head of Content Marketing for Disney Branded Television and National Geographic. Jenkins will be responsible for developing Virgin Galactic’s marketing strategy, alongside planning and implementing advertising, content, consumer publicity, partnerships, digital and media.

Stephen Taylor has been named Pizza Express’s new Chief Marketing Officer. Taylor will oversee the Digital and Loyalty, Brand and Communications, Strategy and Insight, Food and Beverage and PizzaExpress Live Music teams. HIs previous roles include European CMO at Samsung, VP Consumer at Paypal, several senior marketing roles at Procter & Gamble and most recently Global CMO at Nokia.

Merkle has hired Michael Butler as Head of Agency Sales for Merkle’s Media practice area. Butler joins Merkle after more than 11 years at Essence, most recently as Head of Business Development EMEA. 

Wunderman Thompson Commerce has appointed Ashton Hubbard as Sustainable Commerce Director. Hubbard has worked with Wunderman Thompson for over a year as a Senior Project Manager

Ozone has appointed Danny Geelan as its new Agency Hub Lead for GroupM. Geelan joins after almost 12 years at publisher dmg media where he was most recently Head of Sales for Mail Metro Media.

Zefr has promoted Ryan Barker to Chief Technology Officer. Barker has been with Zefr since 2016 and prior to his time there was the Software Architect for Eharmony, and Principal Engineer at ITG Inc (now Virtu Financial).

WPP has appointed Joanne Wilson as Chief Finance Officer, succeeding John Rogers. Wilson will join WPP from Britivic where she is currently the international soft drink company’s Chief Finance Officer.

Hearst UK has appointed Jamie Doubleday as Head of Clients. Doubleday joins from Footballco where he was Vice President of Sales. He previously worked at the Guardian as Head of Vertical Sales and recently as a Group Head for The LADbible Group.

Sandip Ray has joined VeraViews, an advertising technology platform for transparent and auditable invalid traffic prevention, as Publishing Director. Over a 20 year career, Ray has led large teams across publishing in sales, product, tech, marketing and data. Ray was a senior director at Haymarket Media Group.

Xanthe Wells has joined Pinterest as its new VP of Global Creative. Wells was previously Google’s Senior Director, Global ECD for Global Brand Marketing, Devices and Services. 

Clare Ritchie joins Omnicom as SVP, Global Head of Programming and In-housing. Ritchie was previously Global Head of Programmatic at MediaCom.

Lucky Generals has hired Cat Wiles as Chief Strategy Officer. Wiles was previously CSO at Canadian agency Cossette and Head of Planning at VCCP. 

Email signature solutions provider Exclaimer has expanded its c-suite team. Carol Howley joins as Chief Marketing Officer, Joey Humke is the company’s new Chief Revenue Officer and Jonathan Bartlett becomes Chief Product Officer. Howley previously served as Global Marketing Director for Canonical and Global Head of Marketing at Skyscanner. Humke joins from CM Group where he was VP of Sales and Bartlett has held roles at Contently, Monetate and Troops.

Digitas has appointed Sarah Hackett in a newly created role of Chief Growth Officer. Hackett joins from Zone where was a Partner heading up its Sales, Marketing and Partnerships department. Hackett was also previously Head of Marketing and New Business at Head London.

Future has appointed Rob George as VP of E-commerce, joining at the end of January 2023. George has spent his career working with major retail brands, including Sainsbury’s and Argos across a range of strategy, change, marketing, digital and commercial roles, and started his career in strategy consulting at PwC.