DigitasLBi Appoints Joanne Zaiac, COO, North America & Laurent Ezekiel Managing Dir. NYC; Nativo Names Eugene Cherny as VP of Product


DigitasLBi’s Laurent Ezekiel Appointed Managing Director of the Agency’s 600+ New York Operation; Succeeds Joanne Zaiac who Elevates to Chief Operating Officer, North America.

DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology company, announces that its Global Client Services Director Laurent Ezekiel is appointed Managing Director, New York region (includes Atlanta). Ezekiel succeeds Joanne Zaiac (pictured left), who elevates to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, NA.

Both appointments are effective immediately, and Ezekiel (pictured lower left) and Zaiac report to NA CEO, Tony Weisman. Ezekiel will retain his Global Client Services role on key relationships including GSK, Unilever and Shangri-La. In this capacity, he will continue to report to Luke Taylor, Global CEO, DigitasLBi.

These appointments come on the heels of the elevation of Doug Ryan to President, DigitasLBi North America.

“Laurent’s global purview and experience will help position our already strong New York office into a best-in-class idea springboard and global client anchor,” said Weisman. “We are fortunate to have a cross-athlete like Laurent inside of our growing global network,” adds Taylor. “He brings a collaborative and disciplined approach to multi-agency, connected client teams, work and business.”

“Joanne is a pillar of leadership at DigitasLBi,” says Tony Weisman, CEO, DigitasLBi NA. “As COO, she now has a national stage— working with Doug—to create operational transformation for us, with the simple goal of getting from point A to B faster. Her deep client experience and understanding of the business, coupled with a get-stuff-done signature persona is the ideal blend for this much needed role.”

Fast Facts: Laurent Ezekiel

With agency for 13 years; joined in 2003. Previous title: Global Client Services Director based in London. Founded the agency’s Global Brand Group (GBG) — the strategic resource and innovation hub for the agency’s Top Ten global clients. Ezekiel opened agency offices in the Middle East and Sydney (now 90 strong). Before 2003: held senior positions at Grey Interactive, UBS and Time Out. Sought out speaker for high profile industry events including Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions.

Fast Facts: Joanne Zaiac

Joined DigitasLBi in 1999. Previous title: President, New York since 2005. Under her leadership of the region (which includes Atlanta), DigitasLBi New York region tripled its client roster, received over 10 “Best Places to Work” honors, and won over 100 work awards, including Ad Age’s “Top Ad Campaign of the 21st Century, 2015” for American Express Small Business Saturday. Zaiac named AWNY’s Working Mother of the Year (2011). Before 1999: held senior positions at Wunderman and Y&R.

Nativo Names Eugene Cherny as VP of Product; Former Google Product Head Joins Native Advertising Platform.

Nativo, a native advertising technology platform, announced Eugene Cherny, formerly at Google, as the company’s Vice President of Product. Cherny will lead Nativo’s product team to define the product strategy and roadmap, lead new product development, and be an advocate for Nativo’s growing software customer base. Nativo’s digital ad platform supports more than 400 brands’ and 400 publishers’ native advertising initiatives including Time Inc, Hearst, WebMD, Ford, and P&G.

Cherny is a seasoned advertising technology professional. While at Google, Eugene managed their TrueView In-display product, a native ad unit running within YouTube and the Google Display network. Working closely with advertisers, Google’s sales team, and the YouTube consumer team, Cherny helped incubate and scale the footprint of targeted and engaging native video ads across YouTube and Google platforms. He was also instrumental in guiding a major overhaul of the YouTube Masthead ad format, making it more native and buyer-friendly. Throughout his career at Google, Cherny worked to make native ads both contextually relevant and highly scalable, leading to significant increases in performance and adoption.

“For too long, digital advertising has relied exclusively on interruptive tactics. As publishers and advertisers begin to evolve away from that model, Nativo provides them with what they need: a platform that makes content-based advertising easy,” said Cherny. “I’m passionate about making ads delightful for users and effective for advertisers. That’s what Nativo is all about, and I’m really thrilled to be a part of it.”

Before Google, Cherny was a founding employee at A2i Inc., a data management software provider, where he was instrumental in building the product suite from the ground up. When A2i was acquired by SAP in 2004, Cherny served as Director of Engineering for SAP NetWeaver MDM and was later appointed Senior Director of Product Management.

“Eugene is a strong product leader with a deep understanding of driving innovation within digital advertising,” said Nativo CEO Justin Choi. “His experience as an evangelist for native runs through his work at multi-billion-dollar organizations as well as startups, making him the ideal person to run product for Nativo. The team and I are excited to have him on board.”


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