Arrivals & Departures: GM exits Freeview, Sky team grows, Marketo taps COO

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Freeview has announced the pending departure of its long-serving general manager, Sam Irvine, who is leaving in March to take up the role of chief operating officer at Isthmus Group.

Irvine has played a pivotal part in growing the Freeview platform since it launched in 2007 – initially as marketing manager, responsible for the brand’s development and launch, before moving into the GM role in 2009.

“I am extremely proud to have been part of the team that brought free digital TV and radio to all New Zealanders,” Irvine says. “They were a team that prides itself on constant innovation, and consistently strives to provide the most integrated free-to-air TV , radio and VOD service in the world.

“Now is a very good time to pass the leadership of the business onto the next person as we enter the next phase of Freeview’s growth and development.”

Irvine’s successor will be announced “in coming weeks”.

Sky taps Polly Inch & Juley Edwards
Polly Inch (née Viccars) has returned to New Zealand to head up Sky’s channels publicity team as part of the company’s publicity department.

Inch, who has worked in the very specialised area of television publicity for over a decade in New Zealand, is no stranger to Sky having working in both their Prime free-to-air team on local and international content, and previously with the channels publicity team with a focus on Sky entertainment channels, as well as a stint at Mediaworks.

She returns to Sky’s publicity department after two years in the UK and leads an experienced team of five with responsibility for programme publicity across Sky’s pay TV channels.

“It’s terrific to be back and working across such a varied and exciting array of some of the best TV content from around the globe,” she said.

Also joining the team at Sky is Juley Edwards in the newly created role of imagery manager.

Edwards is experienced in editorial, commercial and stock photography and has held a number of positions with both national and international organisations including five years at The Press Association in London where she ran the entertainment picture desk.

More recently, she was at APN News & Media working as image research & licencing manager for the NZ Herald, and has held pivotal roles at both Centrestock and Farmers Trading Company.

Her new role will see her working with internal and external partners to manage the company’s extensive programme image library as part of the entertainment content team.

Marketo expands executive team
Marketing software provider Marketo has hired experienced enterprise leader Greg Wolfe as its new chief operating officer, based in Sydney (with responsibility for the NZ market). Wolfe will succeed executive vice president and COO Jason Holmes, who will be stepping down in March. Marketo has also appointed Eric Johnson, former Qlik president of the Americas, as its new chief sales officer, effective immediately. Wolfe and Johnson will report to chief executive officer Steve Lucas.

“I am ecstatic to welcome Greg and Eric to my executive team,” Lucas said. “Both have extensive customer, field, and operations experience from esteemed enterprise software companies and will play a critical role in Marketo’s path to becoming the undisputed engagement platform leader.

“I would also like to thank Jason for his contributions to Marketo. His deep digital marketing domain expertise, customer knowledge, and passion helped Marketo become a world-class organisation able to meet the demands of its growing customer base.”

Wolfe was executive vice president and general manager, global operations and sales at Business Objects (acquired by SAP) before leaving the company to found Emalex, a consulting firm for business-to-business technology companies.

At Business Objects, he led the organisation through hyper-growth and saw the company become the number one business intelligence provider in the world with over US$1 billion in revenue, millions of licensed users, and more than 5000 employees. Wolfe will be charged with driving Marketo’s broad growth initiatives, unifying management of strategy, execution, and accountability of the entire organisation as the company grows and evolves.

“I am extremely excited to join Steve and the rest of the Marketo executive team to lead during the company’s next phase of growth and potential,” said Wolfe.

Johnson is an accomplished sales executive adept at leading enterprise-level technology brands to meet and exceed their revenue goals. At Qlik, Johnson oversaw a team of more than 250 people across sales, presales, business development, and consulting that drove 40% of the company’s annual revenue. Prior to Qlik, he served as executive vice president of global enterprise sales at BlackBerry. Johnson joined BlackBerry after more than two years at SAP where he was senior vice president and general manager, global database & technology. Johnson was with relational database server provider Sybase before it was acquired by SAP. During his tenure there, he held numerous global operations positions including senior vice president and general manager, North America. Johnson will lead Marketo’s global sales operations.

“As we enter into the Engagement Economy, the digital future where everyone and everything is connected, Marketo will take our customers, partners, and employees to new levels of success with the best leadership team in the industry,” said Lucas.

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