SOMO - making sense of mobile

Some of our team

Nick Hynes

Chief Executive Officer

Nick Hynes

Chief Executive Officer

A true business visionary, Nick has established some of the most successful fast-growth digital companies of the last two decades. In recognition of his contribution to the digital industry, he was recently named as one of the top 20 most influential and inspirational Britons when he was inducted into the BIMA Digital Hall of Fame.

Nick founded Somo in 2009 with Carl Uminski to help companies make sense of the huge opportunities and the disruptive potential of mobile technology. In his role as CEO, Nick defines the overall strategy, has recruited the team, and shaped the culture of Somo, establishing corporate-scale governance in this rapid-growth business.

Nick was formerly CEO and owner of The IMW Group, comprising search marketing agency, The Search Works, and digital tech business, The Technology Works. He launched operations across Asia, with offices in Tokyo and Seoul, and established The Search Works as Europe’s largest search agency, before the group was acquired by TradeDoubler AB in 2007 for $112 million.

Before that, Nick was founder, CEO and President of Overture Europe. Here he launched the paid search industry in Europe, building Overture from a start up to an established billion dollar business across 16 countries, in just 30 months. Acquiring AltaVista FAST Technology Search along the way, Overture secured exclusive, multi-year distribution deals with every premium portal and ISP in Europe. The company was sold for $1.63 billion to Yahoo! in 2003 and became Yahoo! Search Marketing.

In his early career, Nick created the electronic points system for Air Miles, transforming a struggling paper voucher business into a $62 million per annum profitable business in four years. Nick developed and implemented Air Miles loyalty schemes across NatWest, BT and Vodafone (building their first customer database). He also introduced the world’s first national Smart Card programme for Shell, and the ‘Reward’ loyalty scheme for Sainsbury’s.

Nick’s career began as a fast-track graduate at British Airways, where he led a number of global initiatives. Appointed as BA’s youngest senior manager at the age of 29, he was sponsored by the airline to complete an MBA at the University of Bath in 1992.

Nick also holds the following positions:

  • Investor and non-executive Director at TouchType Ltd, owner of SwiftKey, one of the best-selling Android apps in the world (more days as Google Play’s No.1 paid download than any other app in 2012).
  • Chairman of customer insight and loyalty firm, Reward
  • Chairman of online review site, Reviewcentre

Carl Uminski

Chief Operating Officer

Carl Uminski

Chief Operating Officer

Carl is an internet industry pioneer with over 16 years’ experience creating new products, platforms and executing scalable growth strategies for businesses across the globe. Carl’s impact on the mobile industry was recently acknowledged by The Drum, who named him the most influential person in mobile.

As COO & Co-Founder, Carl takes hands on leadership for the delivery of all Somo’s products and advertising businesses, splitting his time between our international offices.

Carl has a unique knowledge of the mobile industry ranging from technical challenges to the commercial opportunities for brands to succeed in mobile. He has advised and executed for over 60 international brands on their mobile strategy, working with the leaders of companies including Audi, Groupon, Zynga, Fidelity Investments & BP.

Prior to founding Somo, Carl was co-founder at Overture Europe, the company to pioneer the multi-billion dollar pay-per-click advertising industry into Europe. As CTO, he was integral in leading the business to success in 15 European countries, and its eventual sale to Yahoo! for $1.63 billion in 2003.  A leader in search and social networking, he was headhunted to the Silicon Valley, where he created the Yahoo! One Search mobile platform, working with some of the world’s largest mobile brands.  Previously, Carl was responsible for running real-time systems such as aircraft parking, flight information and security at seven British airports including London’s Heathrow Airport.

Thomas Schulz

Chief Commercial Officer

Thomas Schulz

Chief Commercial Officer

Thomas has built and managed international businesses at the forefront of digital media, in both start up and corporate environments, for more than a decade. He has particular expertise in performance marketing.

He worked with Somo founders Nick and Carl at Overture Europe where he held several pan-European corporate and business development management positions and was post-acquisition partner of the European Yahoo! Search Marketing executive team.

Thomas was MD EMEA for mobile ad network, AdMob, which successfully sold to Google in 2010 for $750 million. He directed the company’s strategy, operations and expansion across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

At Somo Thomas oversees global sales activity and account management of our brand and performance marketing campaigns within our media business.

Ross Sleight

Chief Strategy Officer

Ross Sleight

Chief Strategy Officer

Respected throughout the digital industry for the breadth of his experience, his foresight and vision, and the quality of his strategic thinking, Ross is without doubt the Professor of Mobile!

He has over 20 years’ experience in digital media with 5 years focused on mobile. As Somo’s CSO, Ross advises global brands such as Red Bull, Audi and Universal Music on how to harness the potential of mobile technologies.

He was one of the founders of Virgin Games and has been called upon to advise 10 Downing Street and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on interactive media development. He has created award-winning digital strategies for clients including Reuters, Sony, British Airways and The Independent. Ross has been a founding member of six digital businesses throughout the last 15 years.

Ross is an expert in consumer behaviour, mobile usage and changes in the market. He has been a judge in all the major creative and effectiveness awards in digital marketing and a frequent keynote speaker at global industry conferences and events.

Judith Lacey

Chief Investor Relations Officer

Judith Lacey

Chief Investor Relations Officer

In her role at Somo Judith manages relationships with international investors and identifies new opportunities to form partnerships.

She began her career in corporate finance at Kleinwort Benson investment bank and then went into a series of marketing and strategy roles within the Hays plc group, evaluating and launching new businesses for the group’s most profitable division.

Judith moved to Nasdaq for the launch of its international marketing campaign, working with clients from South America to Australia. Judith left Nasdaq to found Overture Europe with Nick and Carl, where she headed the UK launch, and subsequent launches in France and Germany.

Ben Skuse, ACA

Chief Finance Officer

Ben Skuse, ACA

Chief Finance Officer

A seasoned and accomplished CFO, Ben is one of the digital industry’s most experienced finance professionals. As part of Somo’s executive team Ben helps steer the company’s overall strategy, global growth and oversees all financial matters from accounting to corporate investment and funding.

Ben joined Somo from Havas’s largest UK media business, MPG Media Contacts, where he spent four years leading the finance team for an agency with billings in excess of £300 million per year.  During his time at MPG Media Contacts Ben was involved in the development of their offering for digital content production, web design and build services as well as other projects to develop the agency’s mobile and digital capabilities.

After qualifying with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales while at Deloitte’s in Bristol, Ben spent his early career in the fraud and internal controls team of a major pharmaceutical company. Here he managed to couple the worldwide travel demanded by his global remit with a company-sponsored MBA on the executive programme of Manchester University. After three years in the pharmaceutical sector Ben moved into the media industry with a stint in the European Financial Control team at Monster.com.

Ben was previously Finance Director at The Search Works where he was part of the management team that developed Europe’s largest search agency which was ultimately sold to TradeDoubler AB in 2007 for £56 million.

James Turner

Chief Knowledge Officer

James Turner

Chief Knowledge Officer

James captures the wealth of knowledge and expertise within Somo to ensure every one of our people, in every office, is an expert in all aspects of mobile.

James has spent over 15 years designing and delivering learning solutions for corporate and public sector clients, be it for applications, technical or professional development programmes. He is passionate about increasing productivity and performance through the use of technology.

James’ previous roles include delivering application and induction events for Goldman Sachs which were recorded and used worldwide, managing graduate training programmes at UBS and Morgan Stanley, and producing coaching sessions for Deutsche Bank, NatWest Global Markets, Channel 4, Citibank, EE and Masterfoods.

In 2003 he became a director of Computerworld, delivering classroom, virtual and online learning projects for, amongst others, WH Smith, Clarks and Yell. James built partnerships with the leading training vendors, as well as developing e-learning and learning management solutions such as Microsoft, Oracle, SkillSoft, Cornerstone and SAP. He is a member of the Learning and Performance Institute and a certified Prince 2 Practitioner.

Richard Langston

Commercial Director

Richard Langston

Commercial Director

Richard has a wealth of experience in internet start up business and worked previously with Nick at The IMW Group, which comprised Europe’s largest search marketing agency, The Search Works, and sister company, The Technology Works.

Following the sale of the IMW Group to TradeDoubler AB in 2007, Richard became the Commercial Director for Tradedoubler UK Ltd. Richard left Tradedoubler in 2009 to join Nick and Carl in founding Somo.

Simon Edelstyn

Board Director

Simon Edelstyn

Board Director

Simon has 14 years’ experience of business development in Europe across the telecoms, web and mobile industries. He was part of the BT team that created the joint venture BTLookSmart and went on to become General Manager. Later he became the Director of Syndication at Google and over 4½ years established and managed the relationships with all of the leading European ISPs and Portals.

Simon moved on to become GM in Europe for EQO, a mobile application developer.

For the past two years Simon has been consulting across Europe on search, market entry and business development in EMEA.

Dave Evans

Chief Technology Officer

Dave Evans

Chief Technology Officer

Dave brings to Somo valuable experience of international mobile businesses and heavy-lift technology structure and architecture. As Somo’s CTO, Dave manages Somo’s media tech team, working to develop the next generation of mobile marketing technology. He also oversees the creative and production side of the business, and has final responsibility for all mobile products and creative work that Somo produces for clients.

Dave was previously the CTO at Symphony Teleca Enterprise Division, a global services business providing silicon to cloud solutions.  Symphony Teleca provide a range of complex solutions for connected devices ranging from device OEM’s, Vehicles, Set top boxes through to the cloud and big data analytics.  Prior to Symphony Teleca, Dave was CTO at SurfKitchen, a company dedicated to delivering scalable mobile platforms to the mobile carrier sector. SurfKitchen was acquired by Teleca early 2011.

Dave joined SurfKitchen from O2 where he was VP of Product Platform and Architecture, responsible for the development of the O2 Active programme and delivery of O2’s core data services platforms such as Games, WAP, Variable Charging, Music and emerging Service Delivery Architecture. Dave was also part of the core data products group driving O2’s strategic objectives of leading in Data.

Prior to O2, Dave was CTO of BTLookSmart delivering comprehensive search/directory solutions and associated advertising solutions to major internet portals such as Altavista, and MSN. Dave has also held senior IT positions in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Argos.

Ben Wynn

Chief Product Officer

Ben Wynn

Chief Product Officer

A driven and innovative senior digital professional, in his role as CPO Ben spearheads the global development of Somo’s scalable, licensed mobile software products and enterprise platforms. He has also spent time at Somo running the creative and development team, building innovative and effective mobile products for a range of international blue-chip brands.

Ben is a logistical thinker who has spent his career building world-class digital technology solutions. He has led the design, build and promotion of innovative web and mobile products in both start-up and corporate environments. He caught the mobile bug while working for Logica, where he created one of the world’s first mobile apps on behalf of One2One (T-Mobile). He later worked as European Technical Product Manager at Overture (Yahoo!) and in 2007 founded the digital agency Roxxor.

His attention to detail is ruthless and he has an unyielding demand for quality, driving his team to create beautifully designed, commercially realistic mobile products that deliver maximum ROI.

Fraser Heaviside

General Manager - Media

Fraser Heaviside

General Manager - Media

Fraser heads up Somo’s international team of mobile media specialists and is responsible for the growth and development of Somo’s performance and brand marketing division.

Fraser joined Somo following 11 years at Publicis-owned ZenithOptimedia, where he was Group Business Director and the strategic planner and overall business lead for a range of large bluechip advertisers. He managed the O2 media account for five years, delivering both brand and performance media campaigns across all channels, including TV, print, digital and search marketing, to deliver both short term and long term ROI strategies. Fraser also oversaw all digital and offline strategy and planning across all digital and offline channels for RBS NatWest.

An expert in cross-platform media strategy, Fraser is passionate about helping clients make the best use of mobile across the consumer purchase cycle – from raising brand consideration to encouraging repeat purchase and customer loyalty.

Vinny Hayes

General Manager - Product

Vinny Hayes

General Manager - Product

Vinny leads business development for the creative and production side of the company. He joined Somo in June 2010 to help establish Somo’s design and build capabilities, and lead the development of a range of world-class products for clients including Audi, News International, Domino’s Pizza, Condé Nast, Prudential, Photobox and Samsung.

Vinny has been working in the media industry since 1996. He won an Emmy for a TV documentary, worked as part of the launch team for Channel Five and in the hugely successful licensing division at BBC Worldwide.

Since 2001, Vinny has focused on mobile technology. At iTouch UK he ran the branded services and sales divisions, providing mobile solutions for a diverse range of clients, as well as iTouch’s consumer services. After leaving iTouch, Vinny joined Somo founder Carl Uminksi and ran business development for innovative mobile start-up Trutap. Prior to joining Somo, Vinny ran his own mobile consultancy.

Emma Crowe

SVP Client Strategy

Emma Crowe

SVP Client Strategy

An experienced strategic marketer, Emma is a specialist in consumer trends with a proven track record of marrying business objectives with customer needs. As SVP Client Strategy at Somo, Emma applies her 18 years of digital marketing expertise to devise effective mobile strategic plans for Somo’s range of global clients, including Shop Direct Group and Paddy Power.

Emma is an expert in retail and gambling, having held several senior client-side marketing roles in these sectors. Before joining Somo she was Regional Marketing Director at Pokerstars, the world’s largest poker site, where she was responsible for all the marketing for the brand. Emma was also Head of Customer Marketing at Sky for Bingo and Poker for three years, during which time she launched and established both brands to be major players in their respective markets.

Prior to that, she headed up Marks and Spencer’s Ecommerce Marketing Department for several years integrating the ecommerce proposition and increasing customer engagement to increase sales. Emma also held senior marketing roles at Weight Watchers, AOL and Associated Newspapers.

Emma’s vast experience working on a variety of brands on the client side enables her to truly understand their objectives, and build mobile solutions and strategies that place consumer insight and digital innovation at their heart.

Ed Chater

SVP Ad Tech

Ed Chater

SVP Ad Tech

Ed has headed up Somo’s media operations since 2010, overseeing the management of all Somo’s media campaigns and working to drive efficiencies, constantly improve results, and define best practice.

He is an expert in app distribution strategy and a specialist in mobile search. He set up the UK’s first mobile search account on Bing, and currently works with Google to improve their mobile search product.

Ed began his career at international market research agency TNS before moving to The Search Works where he worked on some of the industry’s earliest search campaigns, pioneering optimisation algorithms, complex QS modelling and studies into consumer online journeys. He launched The Carphone Warehouse on Google mobile search beta tests and his mobile search strategy for Interflora was shortlisted for ‘The Best Use of Search’ at the Revolution Awards.

Ed was recently selected as one of Media Week’s 30 under 30 in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

Michael J. Becker

Market Development & Strategic Advisor for North America

Michael J. Becker

Market Development & Strategic Advisor for North America

Michael J. Becker is a passionate, international, entrepreneur, evangelist, volunteer and scholar.

Becker is dedicated to a life of learning and helping individuals and their organizations achieve commercial success through the understanding and effective application of mobility and its impact on business and consumer engagement.

Becker holds a number of roles in the industry: he is a North American Market Development and Strategic Advisor to Somo, the world’s largest independent global mobile solutions company; a North American director and advisor to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA); a trustee for Marketing Edge, a non-profit educational foundation; a professor of mobile marketing for National University; a doctorate candidate at Golden Gate University, researching the currency of personal information and the application personal data clouds to drive relevant consumer engagement with the marketing mix; and numerous other advisory roles.

Becker frequently speaks at industry and private events and is regularly interviewed by key publications on leading mobile marketing trends. Previously, Becker was the MMA’s North American Managing Director, and the co-founder of iLoop Mobile (now Archer Mobile), a leading multimedia messaging solutions provider. He has also authored and co-authored many articles and books, including Mobile Internet for Dummies, Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, and Mobile Marketing for Dummies.

Stewart Hunter

RVP Asia

Stewart Hunter

RVP Asia

As RVP Asia, Stewart is responsible for Somo’s Singapore office , helping clients  make sense of mobile.

Stewart’s career has placed him firmly at the heart of digital marketing, embracing the innovations within the industry. For over a decade his roles have spanned both client and agencies, focusing initially on traditional offline direct marketing, before moving into digital media and mobile.

Starting at Tesco.com, where he built their online advertising team, capabilities and strategy, he has worked with and for some of the biggest brands in the digital space, moving into agency roles at Tradedoubler and The Search Works.

Here he built up the agency retail vertical to become Google’s biggest customer and delivered Europe’s most innovative search campaigns for Interflora, The Net-a-Porter Group, Debenhams and The Carphone Warehouse.

Stephanie Emmanouel

VP Strategic Partnerships

Stephanie Emmanouel

VP Strategic Partnerships

A seasoned international digital marketing executive, Stephanie is responsible for all our strategic partnerships across the media and product arms of the business.

Stephanie joined Somo in 2012 from Out There Media, where as VP Sales she was responsible for the company’s global sales teams across 11 markets in Asia, the US and Europe. In 2008 she was recruited by Google to set up and run their sales operations from Athens, running multi-territory campaigns for large advertisers across several channels, including search, display, mobile, and Google TV.

Stephanie previously worked at the IMW Group with Somo’s CEO Nick Hynes, as a Group Account Director for The Search Works. She has managed a range of multi-sector clients including P&G, Vodafone, GAP, Kia, Lloyds TSB, Moneysupermarket and Trinity Mirror. Before The Search Works Steph held roles at Tradedoubler, Komdat GmbH and Alitalia.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Computing Science from Birkbeck College (University of London) and a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

Maani Safa

VP Innovation & Creative

Maani Safa

VP Innovation & Creative

As VP Innovation and Creative Maani is credited with helping global clients reinvent consumer engagement and interaction, helping the likes of Audi, Domino’s, Disney and Red Bull devise and deliver award winning, industry leading mobile solutions.

Much of the magic happens at the Somo Innovation Lab, a centre for technology innovation, where Maani and his team use next generation mobile products to guide and deliver solutions for clients wishing to use mobile to increase sales, enhance levels of user engagement and create better efficiency within their brands.

Prior to Somo, Maani lead the Telegraph Media Group’s mobile division, where he was responsible for launching the mobile version of The Telegraph, the hugely successful iPhone application, The Telegraph Kindle edition, and the first ever news app for the Android Market, alongside commercial partnerships with brands such as Jaguar, Dell and Audi.

Jocelyn Bull

VP Marketing

Jocelyn Bull

VP Marketing

Jocelyn is responsible for international marketing, PR and communications for Somo and is the point of contact for events, speaker and PR requests.

Since graduating from Oxford University Jocelyn has amassed 12 years experience working in marketing agencies. She initially spent several years in promotional marketing, working on campaigns for brands including Wedgwood, British Airways Holidays and Hotpoint.

She moved into digital marketing in 2005 when she joined specialist search marketing agency, The Search Works, and helped facilitate its expansion across Europe and Asia before its sale to Tradedoubler in 2007. In 2008 she joined Steak as Marketing Director, taking the lead in promoting the full-service digital agency. Steak, which specialises in paid search, SEO and social media, was acquired by Dentsu Inc., the world’s fifth largest communications company, in June 2011.

She holds diplomas from both the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and the Institute of Promotional Marketing.

Andrew French

VP Client Services

Andrew French

VP Client Services

Andrew has overall responsibility for all of Somo’s media clients. It is his job to ensure their objectives are achieved by supporting the media team to navigate the fragmented and complex mobile landscape.  Working with 165 partner networks and publishers across the world to negotiate the best prices and opportunities for our clients.

Andrew worked in media sales before moving to the marketing company AdIQ to help brands take their first steps in mobile, building sites, SMS campaigns and some of the first ever apps. He worked across all sectors, with clients including Sony Ericsson, The Army, LG and Barclays.

At Somo, Andrew started out as Head of Sales and brought on some of our first major clients including Burberry, Audi and Domino’s.

Andrew is always ahead of market changes in pricing, operation and ownership to ensure that our clients get the best information and opportunities.

Dianne Hatton

VP Human Resources

Dianne Hatton

VP Human Resources

Dianne is a senior HR expert with over 17 years’ HR experience and has spent 13 years working within the tech industry. She holds responsibility for Somo’s global HR strategy, ensuring compliance with employment regulations, and managing all policies, processes and benefits relating to Somo’s international staff. A conscientious professional, Dianne’s strengths lie in dealing with people at all levels of the business consistently, fairly and with respect.

Before she joined Somo, Dianne was Human Resource Director at SunGard Public Service, part of SunGard, one of the world’s leading software and IT services companies. For over 12 years she led the delivery of HR activities across this international business of over 750 people. During this time, Dianne built up a valuable in-depth knowledge of HR systems, recruitment, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and company compliance.

Dianne hails from a technical background, having trained initially as a programmer before undertaking a variety of project management and business operation roles.

Tim Johnson

Head of Enterprise

Tim Johnson

Head of Enterprise

Tim leads Somo’s Production team, providing support, mentoring, quality control and process refinement for Somo’s talented group of project and product managers. The team is responsible for all aspects of project delivery, covering mobile apps and sites across the full spectrum of technology and device platforms, and closely tracks industry trends to stay at the forefront of innovation. Tim’s focus is on growing and maturing the team around core principles of passion for quality, honest communication and expert risk management.

Tim’s background is in software development, consultancy and mobile product management. Before joining Somo he worked on some of the UK’s most successful and popular mobile services in transport and travel, for clients including Transport for London, National Rail Enquiries, thetrainline and Stansted Airport.

In the days before the explosion of mobile technology Tim worked for twelve years in management consultancy, rising from software developer to senior manager at Arthur Andersen and Deloitte. During this first phase of his career he specialised in the design and implementation of enterprise systems for tax practitioners, ultimately having product ownership of market leading solutions used by the majority of the FTSE 100.

Jeff Lunn

SVP Delivery

Jeff Lunn

SVP Delivery

As Head of Delivery, Jeff has operational ownership of all delivery functions within the creative and custom development unit of Somo. He is responsible for maintaining the rigour and quality of Somo’s delivery cycle, ensuring all products are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest standard.

Jeff has over 12 years’ experience in project and production management. Before joining Somo, Jeff worked as the Head of Production at Candi International overseeing the delivery of a range of projects for several FMCG clients including Morrisons. Jeff streamlined and standardised the delivery processes and procedures creating efficiencies for the entire business.

Prior to that Jeff worked as the Programme Manager for the Healthcare vertical at Rapp (formerly WWAV RAPP Collins). Here he oversaw a team of projects managers, information architects, content editors and copywriters to deliver the digital requirements for a range of global clients, including GSK, Pfizer, Philips, Novartis and Boots.

Jeff has also held programme and project manager roles at M Digital London, MRM, Interpublic GIS, EURO RSCG and Velo Ltd. He has extensive experience in delivering projects for international blue-chip clients across a range of sectors including FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Automotive and Technology.

Salinder Patel

Financial Controller

Salinder Patel

Financial Controller

Salinder is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the finance team. She moved to the UK in 2002 from Malaysia to pursue a career in finance, completing an accountancy diploma and CAT.

Salinder worked previously at The Search Works as finance assistant, becoming an assistant accountant and then manager accountant before the company was sold to TradeDoubler and she was promoted to financial controller.

After taking time out to have a baby, Salinder worked for ZenithOptimedia, the large corporate agency in London, before rejoining Nick Hynes at Somo in June 2011.

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