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A whale call can travel 10,000 miles in the ocean and still be heard by other whales.
Nowadays, someone sitting half way around the world can easily have their creative voice travel just as far and be heard by those who feel a meaningful connection with it.
Whalar was founded by Neil Waller and James Street, two friends who met whilst studying business at University. They initially spent time in the travel and technology space before going on to establish a number of online brands.
By solely leveraging influencer marketing they entered and won the Fashion and Apparel category of Shopify’s ‘Build a Business’ competition out-selling over 40,000 other entrants.
The prize was a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson himself. It was in this moment of self-reflection, whilst discussing the power of influencers with the other winners of their respective categories that the idea for Whalar was born.
The platform was built to serve the needs of their own brands but is now used by the world’s largest names, helping them to discover and collaborate with the best content creators and produce the most meaningful campaigns.
Whalar stands for, and always will, authentic creative and engaging content. It is still the only Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat marketing partner in the influencer space.
The Chairman - Sir John Hegarty
John is one of the world’s most awarded and respected Ad Men. For over six decades, he has been at the forefront of the creative advertising industry from the early days of Saatchi and Saatchi, to founding the global company Bartle Bogle and Hegarty.
The Vice-Chairman - Bob Greenberg
Bob, alongside his brother, founded the agency R/GA in 1977. R/GA now has 18 offices globally and over 2,000 employees. It has evolved from a world-class movie title shop, to a digital studio, to a major digital advertising agency, and today, to an all-in-one full-service agency.
Andrea was previously President International for Sony Pictures Entertainment based in London. She oversaw Sony Pictures Television’s 18 overseas production companies, creating nearly 1,300 hours of entertainment around the world each year. Among her many achievements in this role, Andrea excitingly was instrumental in the creation of the TV series The Crown. She is also a Governor of the British Film Institute, and a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Roxanne served as CMO of Accenture for over 10 ten years and has had a significant role in growing the company into one of the world’s leading brands. During her career Roxanne has been named among Forbes’ ‘World’s Most Influential CMOs’, selected as a ‘Change the Game’ Award Winner by Advertising Women of New York and is also on the Board of Directors of the Ad Council and a member of the Marketing 50 (M50).
The Management Team
Rob Horler - President & COO
Rob founded his own agency, which was the largest digital media agency in the UK between 2004 and 2008. He subsequently sold the business to Dentsu and went on to be the CEO of Dentsu Aegis in Northern Europe and then transferred to be their US CEO in 2015. During that time, Rob oversaw operations of some 25 companies, 14,000 employees and revenues of almost 2 billion dollars. He also oversaw the M&A activity for the US and was responsible for acquiring 9 companies. Most recently he was COO at Quantcast, a Silicon Valley based global ad tech leader.
Mike Hondrop - Chief Growth Officer
An industry veteran with over 15 years of experience, Mike has managed brand strategy, business development, and marketing for global brands including Instagram, Bonobos, and Ralph Lauren. Prior to joining Whalar, he spent seven years at Facebook, Inc. There, Mike was a key member of the Instagram brand development team, which launched Instagram’s business solutions globally. At Instagram, he also led the CPG and retail category product strategy, and provided platform guidance and insights to CPG and retail marketers.
Luke Townsin - Chief Strategy Officer
Luke started off his career in agency land when ‘Lycos’ and ‘Excite’ were still a thing. Luckily the internet got a bit more interesting and he somehow managed to land a job at Twitter as one of its first international employees. He formed part of the team that launched its UK ad business and went on to develop Twitter’s international presence working in markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His last role involved launching a creator services platform, Niche, internationally - building its team and revenue operation outside of the US.
Emma Harman - Managing Director, EMEA
Emma has over 15 years experience as a sales and marketing leader. Prior to Whalar, Emma set up and led Universal Music Group’s Commercial Partnerships division pairing exceptional A-List music talent with global brands. She went on to join Talenthouse where she launched and managed the platform which is home to over 1M creators, with investors including ProSiebenSat1 and Reliance Communications. Emma’s career blends the worlds of advertising, creativity, technology and culture.
Niko Croskery - Chief Product Officer
Niko was a member of the founding team of Whalar and is now responsible for all things product and tech. Hailing from the land of the long white cloud, Niko started his career as a commercial M&A lawyer in both NZ and the UK, before starting his own software and consultancy company. He has been involved with many tech & ecommerce startups, providing business, legal, strategy, product and marketing advice to over 300 clients in 13 countries.
Jo Cronk - Managing Director, North America
With over 15 years media agency experience, Jo has lead holistic marketing strategy and investment strategy for global brands including Boots/Walgreens, Cadbury/Mondelez, PepsiCo and Warner Bros.. In 2013, Jo moved from London to New York and prior to joining Whalar was a Business Lead at PHD leading multiple high-profile new business pitches, managing HBO and incubator start-up brands, responsible for Billings in excess of $150MM.
Matt Sutton - CEO, Asia
Matt has built, managed, sold and integrated several businesses over a 15-year career in Asia. He started in China as Commercial Director for CBS before relocating to Singapore. Subsequently he helped set up an ad network, a social media agency, launched Twitter in Asia and set up multiple strategic partnerships in the technology and media space. The social media agency was sold to Asia’s largest tel-co holding group Axiata in 2015, and for 3 years he ran their integrated digital marketing business and their JV with leading Facebook Marketing Partner AdParlor as CEO.
Bryan Unsworth - Chief Financial Officer
Coming to Whalar with experience in business from 27 countries around the globe, Bryan has led multinational finance teams focused on optimising growth and shareholder value. After starting his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, he developed and managed teams in diverse industries ranging from medicine to the film industry to payment processing and, most recently, consumer lending.
In a short time we have expanded to approx. 100 people across 8 global offices:
Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - London - Los Angeles - Malaga - New York - Singapore
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