Performance marketing people: former Google X CBO joins Flight Story and EssenceMediacomX bolsters its leadership team

In our latest round-up of industry moves, a long-time Unilever Chief Marketer steps down and Mediahub restructures its leadership team following APAC Executive Director's resignation.

Mo Gawdat, former Google X Chief Business Officer, author and entrepreneur, has been hired by Steven Bartlett’s marketing and communications company, Flight Story, as Chief AI Officer - which according to Flight Story is an industry-first position. Gawdat’s career has spanned 30 years at the forefront of disruptive technology, including roles at IBM, Microsoft and at the helm of Google’s 'moonshot factory' of innovation, Google X. He also sounded the alarm about the coming of AI back in 2021, before it made global headlines, with the release of two books: Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World.

Conny Braams, Unilever's first Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, has announced she is stepping down and leaving after 33 years with the personal care product company. Her successor is yet to be confirmed. Braams will depart in August and has not yet announced her next position, but will be representing Unilever on the flagship stage at Cannes Lions festival in June.

Following the resignation of Mediahub’s Executive Director of APAC, Andrew Livingston, Mediabrands Australia has announced a leadership restructure of its full-service agency as part of its long-term growth strategy. Sue Squillace has been appointed CEO of Mediahub ANZ, overseeing the Mediahub Sydney and Perth offices as an extension of Mediahub’s JV partnership.

EssenceMediacomX – GroupM’s newest and largest agency – has bolstered its senior leadership team by appointing Sue Unerman as Chief Transformation Officer (CTO). Unerman joins EssenceMediacomX from MediaCom, where she has held several senior leadership positions, including six years as CTO and 11 years as Chief Strategy Officer.

Bidstack, an in-game advertising technology company, has appointed Chris Vincelli as VP of Enterprise Partnerships. Prior to joining, Vincelli served as Vice President of Publishing at Anzu. With a decade of mobile ad industry experience under his belt, Vincelli has a proven track record of developing and implementing successful publishing strategies, having held previous roles at Vungle, Verizon Media and Yahoo.

Triplelift, an adtech platform attempting to elevate digital advertising, has welcomed accomplished industry finance expert Joyce Liu as its new CFO to pilot the company through its next phase of growth. Liu most recently served in the same role at Politico, and her background spans industries from IT to consumer packaged goods to travel.

Privacy-first audience targeting solutions developer Covatic has expanded its leadership team with two new appointments. Sarah Lawson Johnston has joined the company as Chief Revenue Officer, while Sarah Whitfield has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer.

Lawson Johnston brings two decades of leadership experience in the advertising technology industry to Covatic; having previously spent three years as part of the company’s launch team. Before joining Covatic, Lawson Johnston was EVP, Managing Director of Agency Partnerships EMEA at enterprise media platform HudsonMX. Whitfield joins Covatic from Pearson, a global learning company, where she worked as Vice President of Global Marketing. Prior to this, she held several senior leadership roles at Outbrain and Buzzoole Group.

Global experience design company Imagination has promoted Stephanie Balme to UK Business Development Director. The promotion comes as Balme returns from maternity leave, and forms part of Imagination’s ambitious growth plans in the UK. Balme has worked for Imagination for over twelve years, working in both the Sydney and London offices, most recently as Senior Account Director.

As reported by our sister publication Campaign, global marketing consultancy TwentyFirstCenturyBrand has hired former Chief Executive of TBWA\London, Sara Tate, as European Partner, Head of Transformation Practice. The permanent position comes after Tate spent 12 months working with the company on a contract basis.