M&C Saatchi LA promoted Maria Smith to executive creative director. Smith has been a creative director, associate creative director and copywriter for 12 years, nearly ten of them with M&C Saatchi LA. Smith began her creative career as a copywriter at TBWA\Tequila, with a focus on digital advertising. She then moved to TBWA\Chiat\Day, where she worked on Nissan, Infiniti, Sony and Energizer. While at M&C Saatchi, she has contributed to award-winning campaigns for the San Diego Zoo and Epson. "It's an incredibly exciting time to be stepping into this role," notes Smith. "We're living through a really interesting moment right now. We're in the middle of an election cycle unlike any other. The world is changing. And advertising is changing. A lot of people see a future that's full of challenges, but I also see it as full of opportunity. I'm looking forward to being at the forefront of that charge as ECD, and working alongside a passionate and talented team that's committed to taking M&C Saatchi to the next level."
Hometeam named Andrew Chomer as chief marketing officer.
Gage hired Sean Hughes as a technical lead.
Ashley Bryant joined Upshot Chicago as vice president, digital director.
GMR promoted Chad Diedrick to senior producer, and hired Alex Schwartz as content producer and Amy Freeze as director of media relations.
Derby signed commercial director and filmmaker John Poliquin to its directorial roster.
Experticity named Kevin Knight as chief marketing officer.
Viacom Labs, hired Kiel Berry as co-head and senior vice president. Berry, most recently head of Linkin Park’s Machine Shop Ventures, will co-lead Viacom Labs with Susan Claxton who was recently promoted to senior vice president.
Beeswax hired Aaron Mittman as senior vice president of global revenue.
DoubleVerify named Steve Woolway as senior vice president of business development.
Playwire Media hired Richard Chua as director of west coast sales.
Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya hired Lin Schatz as general manager.
Catch 24 Advertising and Design named Nina Goli as director of operations.
Blur Studio hired Eric Maurer as character effects supervisor and Oded Raz as asset supervisor.
Generator Media + Analytics hired Scott Konopasek as communications strategy associate director, and Ian Crepea and Jose Valdez as communications strategy planners.
Cox Media Group promoted Brett Fennell to chief financial officer & executive vice president of national ad platforms, David Palmer to president of CoxReps and Jason Morrow to chief operating officer.
Craft, a production agency and division of McCann Worldgroup, promoted Shay Fu to North American head of studio operations. In addition, Michael Marsan was named director of operations, sales & marketing for Craft Translation and Brian Distefano joined as managing director, Craft Boston. Fu, previously executive vice president/head of integrated operations, Craft New York, will extend her role to oversee production operations in the U.S. and Canada. Since joining McCann Worldgroup in 2013, Fu has grown the New York studio operations across all disciplines and built its digital production capabilities. Marsan brings more than 20 years of experience in building international operations and sales teams, having occupied senior management roles at some of the leading global translation and transcreation houses. Marsan has won and overseen relationships with accounts like Microsoft, Aetna and MetLife. Distefano will be responsible for all functions of the Craft Boston office, including creative and production services. Distefano began his career as a copywriter at Staples, rising to group creative director, where he was responsible for leading the cross-functional, cross-business-unit creative team.
Horizon Media is naming Kathleen Friel-McCartney vice president, director of digital operations. In this newly created role, she will be responsible for overseeing existing and emerging media process development and implementation, as well as acting as the primary digital liaison across all internal brand and activation teams connected to the business. She will be based in New York City and report to executive vice president, managing partner, digital investment, Sarah Baehr. Friel-McCartney joins Horizon from Amplifi, where she served as vice president, director of operations. Previously in her career, she spent more than 14 years at MediaVest. "Horizon is known for its personal approach to working with clients," stated Friel-McCartney. "I'm excited to join an organization where culture comes first and going above and beyond for clients is the norm."
Huge hired Ranae Heuer as managing director of the Detroit office. She is a Detroit native who spent the first half of her career in the automobile industry. After that, Heuer spent a decade in New York City working at a various agencies, including Organic, JWT and Big Spaceship. As managing director, she will oversee Huge's Detroit operations and helping to grow the office, which launched in late 2015.
Mindshare North America hired Eric Geiger as executive director and Scott Wensman as managing director. Based in Los Angeles, Geiger will lead the agency's work with Lionsgate, while Wensman will oversee clients such as Nordstrom, Campari, Nature Made and ARCO, among others. Both reporting to Cheryl Idell, west coast lead of Mindshare. Geiger most recently served as senior vice president, managing director at Horizon Media, where he led the STX Entertainment account. Prior to that, he led the LA office of Moxie. Before that, he served as executive vice president, managing director at Omnicom Media Group, where he led the agency's work with Warner Brothers Entertainment. Wensman most recently served as group media director at Team One, leading the agency's work with Lexus and PIMCO. Prior to that, he served as group director, digital at OMD, where he led digital, mobile, search and social media planning for Visa. Before that, he was vice president, media strategy at IPG Emerging Media Lab. "Eric and Scott are two tremendously talented leaders," said Idell. "Each of them brings their own varied industry expertise, but they both share a passion for driving provocative ideas, launching agile executions for brands, and developing strong teams. Their appointments are another stepping stone in the growth of our LA office, and for the agency's adaptive marketing mission as a whole."
Havas Creative Group named Mike Amour as chairman and CEO of Asia Pacific. Amour will be based in Singapore and report to Andrew Benett, global CEO of Havas Creative Group. Amour replaces Juan Rocamora, current Chairman of Havas Creative Group APAC, who will retire at the end of the year. Most recently, Amour was president, Asia Pacific at Starcom Mediavest Group. Prior to that, he served as CEO, Asia Pacific at Project: Worldwide and led Grey Group Asia Pacific for four years as chairman and CEO, where he oversaw acquisitions in China, India and Vietnam. "Mike is a visionary leader with a track record of driving transformation, and I'm confident his leadership will further accelerate the Group's performance in the Asia-Pacific region," said Benett. "He is a true internationalist with unique experience across different communications disciplines and developing markets."