Top Tech Movers and Shakers in July 2016

Following a busy June for high profile tech movers and shakers, July, despite being the month for holidays, didn’t disappoint. Some of the major players in tech world have had to deal with departures of their long time executives, whilst others have welcomed new superstars to the team. Without a further ado, here are the top July’s tech movers and shakers.

Airbnb has hired a former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, to help craft an anti-discrimination policy for the home-sharing company, which has come under fire in recent months after complaints of racial bias by its hosts. Holder is no stranger to diversity and anti-discrimination initiatives — he led several reform platforms while serving as attorney general, including a push to include gender identity in Justice Department discrimination claims.

Apple has two high profile tech movers and shakers worth a mention. It appointed former longtime executive Bob Mansfield, who last served as Senior Vice President of Technologies at the company, to oversee development of its widely rumoured electric vehicle. Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 and has been instrumental in the company’s recent success, overseeing the development of past MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad designs. Apple has also hired the former head of BlackBerry’s automotive software division, Dan Dodge, as new leadership at the iPhone-maker’s car team places increased emphasis on developing self-driving technology.

AWS head of sales and marketing, Adam Selipsky, is leaving the company. Selipsky is one of the longest-serving members of the executive team at the $7.8 billion cloud computing business. He joined in 2005, before AWS was generating revenue, and is one of only two executives at the unit who have been in place since it launched. Selipsky’s scope of duties at AWS included oversight of the cloud provider’s marketing, sales, business development, technical support and customer service teams.

BigCommerce, an e-commerce platform for fast-growing and established brands, has announced that Jimmy Duvall has joined the company as chief product officer. With more than 20 years of leadership experience at commerce-related companies — including Magento, eBay, GSI Commerce and Yahoo! he deserves a place in the top 15 tech movers and shakers list. Duvall will lead BigCommerce’s global product organisation, overseeing all aspects of product management, design and strategy.

Ericssons CEO Hans Vestberg has stepped down as president, CEO and member of the board of directors with immediate effect. Executive vice-president and chief financial officer (CFO), Jan Frykhammar, will replace Vestberg on an interim basis until a successor is named. Vestberg’s departure follows a 28-year career at Ericsson, the last seven of which he served as CEO. Interim CEO Frykhammar first joined Ericsson 1991, and has since held various positions in finance and business control.

Another addition to this month’s tech movers and shakers list is Matt Apfel, a former VP of content strategy for Samsung’s Milk VR (now Samsung VR). Apfel has been hired by Google to work on content for Daydream, Google’s next-gen mobile VR ecosystem. Google’s managing director of its UK and Ireland business Eileen Naughton is its vice-president of people operations worldwide. She replaces Laszlo Bock, who has spent the last ten years shaping the culture of the internet behemoth. He now moves to an advisory role, that will see him work with other companies and non-profit organisations.

GroupM is intent on raising the bar in digital advertising by tasking John Montgomery, one of the top tech movers and shakers this month, with expanding ad accountability and clamping down on fraud globally. As brand safety officer, Montgomery, also executive vice-president, will work to ensure “the highest standards for digital advertising viewability, third-party audience verification, and anti-piracy controls”.

Havas Media Group has announced several key tech movers and shakers to its its new Connection Partners division which will focus on strengthening the group’s digital first model. Eliza Dashwood, Daniel Thompson and Paul Holman have come aboard to head up the new division and will be tasked with furthering integration between the planning teams and the opportunities across owned, shared, earned and paid channels. The trio will be responsible for connecting the expertise in the areas of social, mobile performance, data tech, UX, cinema and OOH to clients’ individual needs.

One of Hewlett Packard’s tech movers and shakers this month was technologist veteran BK.C. Choi, who has left the company to join a storage vendor EMC in an as-yet unannounced executive role. In Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Choi was in charge of global efforts to train salespeople to sell the company’s products and services. He also led HPE’s technical teams that work with customers around the world to determine their technology requirements.

Hulu has appointed Richard Irving as vice president, product management, with the new recruit joining the on-demand service from Microsoft’s gaming platform Xbox. Irving will work across product management at Hulu. In almost two decades at Microsoft he helped develop the Xbox partner programme and several functionality elements of the gaming and content platform.

MediaCom has launched Blink, a dedicated department tasked with “harnessing the marketing innovation opportunity for clients when working with disruptive startups”. It has appointed two tech movers and shakers to make up the core team: Head of Blink Justin Cross and deputy head Chris Anandan, but also utilise 30 start-up champions in various disciplines across MediaCom. Blink’s work will involve partnering with clients to identify tech with the potential to improve their marketing, and introducing them to start-ups that are able to meet those needs.

Microsoft’s long-time COO Kevin Turner certainly deserves the tech movers and shakers title, he has left Microsoft after 11 years at the company and at the same time Citadel Securities announced on its website that Turner would be coming on board as CEO. Turner was a key figure at Microsoft and was involved in everything from sales and marketing to product development. No less than five people will be taking over Turner’s duties. Of the five, Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research sees Judson Althoff, who will head the worldwide commercial business and Jean Phillipe Courtois, who will take over global sales and marketing operations.

Possible, WPP’s digital creative agency, has announced the creation of the chief data officer. Jason Carmel will take up the position of first chief data officer effective immediately. Carmel receives the promotion to chief data officer after nearly a decade as the agency’s global senior vice-president of marketing sciences.

Widespace, European leader of brand mobile advertising, recently added two tech movers and shakers to its board- Stewart Easterbrook and Gregg Colvin. Easterbrook and Colvin are both international specialists with decades of experience in marketing, digital media and technology between them. As active board members, Easterbrook and Colvin will take up advisory roles, joining Widespace investors Industrifonden and Northzone, as well as Widespace founder Patrik Fagerlund and founder and Chairman to the board Henric Ehrenblad.

Xaxis tech movers and shakers title goes to Nicolas Bidon, who was named as chief executive for EMEA, replacing Caspar Schlikum who is relocating to APAC where he’ll head up Wunderman. As Xaxis chief executive, EMEA, Bidon will be responsible for leading its strategy and operations across the company’s markets in the region, including helping to drive growth for Xaxis specialist companies Light Reaction, Bannerconnect and Plista.

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