Performance marketing people: New marketing heads at the helm of Co-op and Denny’s while dentsu shuffles EMEA exec team

Former CEC Entertainment marketing chief joins Denny's, Havas Media Group India gets new director of marketing, and new senior leads at Meta and Disney Star make up our latest round-up of people moves.

Co-op Group has announced that Kenyatte Nelson will join as Chief Membership and Customer Officer this month, with responsibility for its membership, marketing and brand strategies. Nelson has worked in marketing for more than 20 years, 13 of which were spent managing national and global marketing for brands at Procter and Gamble. He has held leading roles at Shop Direct, and fashion retailers Missguided and N Brown Group, where he was Chief Brand Officer.

Denny's has hired Sherri Landry as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Landry brings more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, joining Denny's from CEC Entertainment where she was Chief Marketing Officer of multiple brands, including Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza. Prior to this, Landry has held leadership roles at brands including Pizza Hut, T.G.I. Fridays, Main Event Entertainment, Sara Lee and Procter and Gamble.

Dentsu has announced changes to the EMEA Executive Team. Paolo Stucchi has been appointed to CEO Media, EMEA, succeeding Thomas Le Thierry who will step into a new leadership role as Client Adviser, EMEA. Stucchi will lead the media business for dentsu in EMEA overseeing thousands of media experts, craft specialists, insight tools and products across iProspect, Carat and dentsu X and the broader dentsu network. He has worked at dentsu for over 12 years holding leadership roles such as CEO and President at Vizeum Italy, Chief Strategic Officer at dentsu Italy and most recently dentsu CEO in Southern Europe, MENA and Turkey. Le Thierry has worked as part of dentsu over the last 25 years, with former roles including CEO and Founding Director, Vizeum in France, CEO and President, Carat France, Global CEO and President, Vizeum and most recently dentsu CEO, Media EMEA.

Ajit Varghese is joining Disney Star as Head of Network for Advertising Sales. Varghese’s career spans more than 20 years, including more than 13 years at WPP culminating in his role as Global President at Wavemaker, and more than seven years at Madison World. Most recently, Varghese has been COO of language social app ShareChat and Moj, a short video platform.

Vikas Purohit has joined Meta as its Head of Global Business in India. Purohit previously spent six years at TATA CLiQ, with over four as CEO, and prior to that was a Director at Amazon Fashion.

Anwar Sultan is joining sustainable grocery delivery service The Modern Milkman as Chief Growth and Commercial Officer to drive both the UK and global business. Sultan was previously Chief Digital and Strategy Officer at Ello Group and prior to that was at The Hut Group as Global Digital and E-commerce Director and Marketing Director.

Hitachi Vantara, the modern infrastructure, data management and digital solutions subsidiary of Hitachi has hired Monica Kumar as Chief Marketing Officer. Kumar was most recently Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Cloud GTM at Nutanix and previously spent more than 20 years at Oracle, including serving as CMO of the multi-billion-dollar Oracle Database business.

Havas Media Group India has appointed Sonali Bagal as Director of Marketing and Communications. Bagal will head the marketing and communications function of all specialised divisions, including Havas Media, Havas Sports and Entertainment, Havas Content, Havas Market, Havas Programmatic Hub, and Analytics among others. Bagal had a seven year long term at Mediabrands India, as part of its PR and communications function.

Kantar has named Cheong Tai Leung its new CEO of its Insights Asia Pacific business. Leung served as Regional President, Asia Pacific at GfK, and prior to that spent nine years at The Nielsen Company, most recently as Region President, responsible for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa markets. Leung has also held leadership roles at GE Consumer Finance and GE Healthcare.

Data and analytics strategy consultancy Cynozure has hired Ashley Walker as Marketing Director. Walker has 20 years’ experience leading marketing and communications in data and insights organisations, with previous roles as Vice President, Corporate Communications at Research Now, Global Marketing and Communications Director at Hall & Partners, and Marketing Consultant for RealityMine.

History Hit, the podcast, SVOD and content platform acquired by digital content agency and media network Little Dot Studios, has appointed Jennifer Bennett as its first Commercial Director. Bennett brings over 15 years of experience in the industry and has held senior positions at companies such as Branded, Kinetic WPP, Clear Channel and JCDecaux.

Wunderman Thompson has hired Rajeshwari Rao as Senior Vice President and Executive Creative Director. Rao was previously Executive Creative Director of Publicis Worldwide India and has held creative leadership roles at Ogilvy and DDB Mundra Group.

Hannah O’Neill has joined Nano Interactive as Vice-President of Programmatic Demand. O’Neill was most recently a senior sales leader at Amobee as VP Agency Partnerships, EMEA, as well as adtech platform Turn.

Bicycle London has hired Simone Gayle as its new Head of Digital. Gayle joins from Merkle where she was Ciient Director.

Customer engagement platform Braze has announced the appointment of Priyanka Singh as Chief People Officer, and new positions for current Braze heads Myles Kleeger, who will become President and Chief Commercial Officer, and Astha Malik, who assumes the role of Chief Business Officer. Singh has nearly 20 years of experience in human resources leadership roles, joining Braze after serving as the Chief People Officer at real estate tech company Compass. Prior to this, she spent over ten years at asset management firm Bridgewater Associates.