February was like a game of Mario in the world of partnership marketing with so many people levelling up, hopping to new platforms, and collecting more coins.

Affiliate networks in particular have seen a great deal of movement with new C-suite hires abound.

But that’s not all. Let’s crack into the Top Line for the past month.

CJ has appointed a new CEO. Santi Pierini joins the global affiliate marketing network in the C-suite position, bringing decades of impressive experience to the role. He succeeds Mayur Kshetramade, who served as CEO at CJ for over four years.

Pierini has had an illustrious career, holding leadership roles at renowned companies like Accenture, Adobe-acquired Day Software, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, among others. 

Commenting on his new role, he said, “I am excited to join the passionate team of global CJ’ers and look forward to leading this prestigious brand that has been a paradigm of respect for me throughout my career in affiliate and partnerships marketing.”

Adam Weiss has joined Awin Group as its new President, North America. A veteran in the affiliate marketing world, Weiss previously served for 14 years at Rakuten Advertising, before building his own consultancy business, Weiss Digital Consulting. 

Now, he is joining Awin to oversee operations for the network and ShareASale in North America. 

He stated about his new role, “I’m thrilled to join the incredible team at Awin and ShareASale and be at the helm of two industry leaders. I truly believe there’s huge opportunity for our partners as the affiliate space continues to evolve. I’m eager to meet with you all soon and better understand your needs to ensure we’re maximizing the growth potential of your business.” 

Impact.com announced the appointment of its new CFO, Dale Lynch. A seasoned CFO with 34 years of experience, Lynch is a true juggernaut in his field. His track record includes successful IPOs at MarketWise and U.S. Silica Holdings. He aims to leverage his expertise in SaaS and finance to drive global financial operations and strategic growth initiatives for impact.com. 

Impact.com’s CEO David A. Yovanno described Lynch as an ‘incredibly talented’ individual with a ‘proven track record of financial and operational success in the SaaS technology and service industry’. He continued, “I am confident he’ll be instrumental in helping impact.com achieve its goals as we focus on the next phases of growth and cement our market leadership as the global standard platform that creates, manages and scales organisational partnerships of every type.”  

Sue Frogley has been appointed as Talon's Group CEO, succeeding Eric Newnham. An accomplished industry leader, Frogley will bring over 30 years of expertise to the role. She joins from Publicis Groupe, where she was CEO of its media arm in the UK for more than six years.

As Group CEO of Talon, she will focus on international growth, driving the company’s digital capabilities and awareness of OOH as an effective channel. 

Speaking about her new role, she said,  “I have long admired Talon’s proposition, ethos and trailblazing spirit to challenge perceptions and drive growth in the OOH sector. Over the past 10 years, Eric has developed a talented team that has successfully built a unique and expanding global business that holds an enviable position in the industry. I can’t wait to get started and help unlock even more growth potential and shape Talon’s next important chapter.”

Zaid Al-Qassab is set to join M&C Saatchi as its new CEO, following his departure from Channel 4 where he has served as CMO for over three years. 

After a bold career in brand marketing, spearheading leadership roles at companies like P&G and BT, Al-Qassab is now moving agency side.

He said of the move, “I have long admired M&C Saatchi’s creativity and industry-leading work and I am delighted to be joining one of the most recognised advertising brands in the world.”

PayPal has appointed Geoff Seeley as its new CMO. 

Bringing over 25 years of global brand and digital marketing experience, Seeley is a strong fit for the executive role. Previously serving as Global CMO at CashApp and Afterpay, Seeley aims to enhance PayPal and Venmo's value propositions and brand appeal. 

Reporting to Diego Scotti, EVP and GM of Consumer Group, he will lead the Global Marketing team, focusing on clarity, simplicity, and customer trust. Seeley's track record includes major work at Airbnb and Unilever, highlighting his flair for digital innovation and team building. His appointment signifies PayPal's commitment to strengthening its brand presence and customer engagement through innovative marketing strategies.

John Ball and Jake Ness have joined esbconnect in key roles to drive customer acquisition strategies. Ball has joined as Sales Manager and Ness as Client Solutions Director.

Ball, with extensive experience in data and martech at Adverity, will focus on expanding esbconnect's Inbox Extend feature, targeting audiences with rich data. He aims to collaborate with agencies for co-developed solutions. 

Ness, formerly of Inflecto Media, brings expertise in mobile lead generation and ad tracking. His role involves engaging clients like Hello Fresh and Clarks through multi-channel approaches, emphasizing email as a reliable identifier. Together, they aim to leverage esbconnect's data assets for holistic client solutions, including pioneering attribution methods.

Sophia Bunker has joined creator agency Buttermilk as PR & Comms Manager. This follows almost two years serving as Marketing & PR Manager at the influencer agency MG Empower.

Commenting on her move, Bunker said, “I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining Buttermilk at this pivotal moment for the company. Taking on the role of heading up their PR efforts is an incredible opportunity for me to spotlight the value Buttermilk brings to brands and their communities. Being part of such a dynamic team is truly an honour, and I can't wait to dive into exciting projects ahead.”

Dopamine Studios, led by Melanie Kentish, has launched with the aim to revolutionise talent management by prioritising creativity and transparency. 

Kentish, formerly of Sky and Gleam Futures, emphasises empowering talent without restrictive clauses. The agency's roster includes diverse voices like Joshua Patterson and Nadia Sawalha with a focus on holistic support. 

Kentish envisions creators as multi-platform brands, striving for long-term success over transactional campaigns. 

Mental wellbeing is paramount concern, with plans to combat online toxicity.

Commenting on the launch, Kentish said, “For so long now, the industry has been plagued with restrictive management clauses and practices out of pace with the speed in which the industry in changing. We really want to even the playing field, putting talent at the very heart of what we do. We don’t believe in tying creators in with clauses, instead, focussing our efforts on ensuring that they’re happy, successful and fulfilled so that they choose to stay”.

NORTH, an organic performance agency, has launched a new influencer marketing service line.

The team will approach influencer marketing by blending creator collaborations with SEO tactics, backlinks, and content to enhance brand awareness and improve search rankings. 

Leveraging expertise from affiliate marketing leader Silverbean, NORTH plans to drive measurable business performance through influencer campaigns. 

Utilising data, performance metrics, and creativity, the agency aims to build a powerful tool out of influencer marketing. 

Amy Mercer, Senior Digital PR and Content Manager at NORTH said, “Our sister agency, Silverbean, leaders in the affiliate marketing space, has given us an edge that we believe no one else in the industry can match. We understand the need for influencer marketing to drive measurable business performance. By merging our expertise in organic performance with our affiliate marketing capabilities, we're creating a new paradigm for influencer marketing.”

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