Tech campus Here East has appointed Louise Conolly-Smith as head of special projects in creative on a six month secondment.
Jane Imrie

This week's London appointments

Louise Conolly-Smith, Here East

Tech campus Here East has appointed Louise Conolly-Smith as head of special projects in creative on a six month secondment.

Joining from London & Partners, where she is head of creative, Louise will be focusing on video games and esports, continuing her creative work at the agency while on secondment.

Louise has experience of working with aiding London-based North American technology companies with expansion and has worked at Design Council and Business Link, as well as being a mentor for the London & Partners Business Growth Programme.

Speaking about her new role, Louise commented: “I’m really thrilled to be working at Here East and am looking forward to using my experience of promoting London to help amplify the amazing work that has been taking place here.”

Chief Executive of Here East, Gavin Poole, added: “We are delighted that Louise will be joining Here East, bringing her wealth of experience on fast-growth tech businesses in London to the campus.”

Peter White and Naleena Gururani, Hyperoptic

Gigabit broadband provider Hyperoptic has made two new appointments to its executive team.

Peter White has been appointed as chief financial officer (CFO) and Naleena Gururani has been appointed as chief people officer (CPO).

Joining from SaaS provider Workshare where he held the role of CFO, Peter previously held similar roles at B2B mobile marketing firm Lumata and Czech telecommunications company České Radiokomunikace a.s.

Naleena joins the company from telecoms provider Lebara, where she worked for ten years in a range of senior HR roles, most recently as global HR director. Prior to that she was head of international recruitment at digital services firm Infosys.

In her new role Naleena will lead a 30-strong HR team across Hyperoptic’s UK and Belgrade offices, taking a strategic lead in developing and implementing transformational programmes.

Hyperoptic’s CEO Dana Tobak commented: “I am delighted to welcome Peter and Naleena who have demonstrated expertise in driving exponential growth against inertial incumbents.”

Speaking about his new appointment, Peter added: “I am delighted to be joining the company’s executive leadership team at such a pivotal time in its growth and using my experience in developing streamlined financial functions that will support the company as it scales.”

Dawn McKerracher and Natalie Hughes, This Place

Design studio This Space has promoted Dawn McKerracher to UK managing director and appointed Natalie Hughes as UK head of strategy.

Dawn originally joined the company to lead the strategy team, and has spent time consulting for clients on digital transformation and strategic growth.

With additional prior experience at firms like Conde Nast International and Accenture, she will be overseeing the development and growth of the UK business in her new role.

Natalie will lead strategic work with a focus on digital and omni-channel strategy, innovation, customer proposition and product development. She has worked across a range of industries such as retail, consumer electronics, luxury automotive, finance and oil and gas.

Speaking about her new role, Dawn commented: “It’s a real privilege to take on this role and work with the London team on what is sure to be an amazing journey.

“We have big plans for 2019 and beyond, with a focus on continuing to push the boundaries of the work we do for existing and new clients.”

Commenting on her appointment, Natalie said: “This Place has a passionate, talented and ambitious team, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.

“As head of strategy, my goal is to support that by bringing together strategy, design and technology to help our clients make complex problems simple, creating digital experiences that people love.”

Gellan Watt, Forward

lastminute.com’s media company, Forward, has appointed Gellan Watt as chief commercial officer.

Having consulted with the lastminute.com team on the development and launch of its in-house consultancy Playbook, Gellan now joins permanently to focus on innovation, strategy and growth opportunities.

With experience in creative, brand and commercial strategy, Gellan and his business partners grew and successfully exited independent agency business Emerge Group in 2016. Since then, he has been consulting with global brands on growth and brand strategy as well as investing in tech start-ups.

Gellan commented: “Forward is uniquely placed to disrupt the marketing landscape with a broad range of offerings, new products and future acquisitions. I’m glad to be on board and look forward to working with the team to drive rapid growth across the business.”

CEO of Forward, Alessandra Di Lorenzo added: “Gellan is a brilliant addition to the Forward family.

“His experience and expertise will be hugely valuable for us as we continue to grow Forward, boost our innovation and expand our unique offering to the market.”

Rajesh Raj, Gerard Daniels

International executive search and board consulting firm Gerard Daniels has appointed Rajesh Raj as partner EMEA & head of the London office.

With a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the ENPC Business School in Paris, Raj began his career as a marine engineer before moving into executive search and talent advisory work.

Prior to his current role, Raj co-founded and managed a London-based executive search and HR consulting firm.

Commenting on the appointment, chief executive officer Alison Gaines said: “We are delighted to welcome Raj to Gerard Daniels.

“Raj is a seasoned search professional with a strong grasp of the sectors he specialises in, and will be an outstanding leader for our London team.”

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