Havas Media's MPG Global has appointed Sasha Savic as chief commercial officer, a new role at the agency. Mr. Savic joins Havas Media from Publicis Groupe, where he was chief operating officer of PG2, responsible for the group's global relationship with Procter & Gamble. Previously, as exec VP-director of global accounts at Universal McCann, he handled global management and media coordination for clients including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Lucent, Intel and Mastercard.
Karen Williams has been promoted to VP-sales and marketing at Essence. Ms. Williams joined Essence in April 2007 and was previously associate publisher-marketing. In this role, she created a strategic partnership between Essence and CNN, which in turn developed into the 90-minute TV co-production "Black In America -- CNN & Essence: Reclaiming the Dream." She was also behind Essence's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, which premiered in 2008. Before coming to the magazine, Ms. Williams was VP-integrated marketing and promotions for ABC Family Cable Network.
The Huffington Post has named Taylor Gray, former global head of brand at Thomson Reuters, as senior VP-marketing. Mr. Gray was previously associate publisher and global marketing director of Time. In his new position, he will be responsible for the development and execution of marketing programs to enhance awareness of The Huffington Post brand.
Screenvision has hired Robert Formentin as its new VP-web operations and digital sales. Mr. Formentin brings more than two decades of sales and management experience, with over 15 years in online advertising sales. He has held senior-level positions at search pioneer Infoseek, Ad Networks 24/7 Real Media, Advertising.com and publisher-side brand ad sales at rep firm Phase2Media. Most recently, he has been a sales adviser to a mobile startup and private-equity firm.
Jeff Buda has been named VP-Eastern sales at the CW. Mr. Buda had previously served as an account executive in The CW's sales division and will continue to play a large role in the network's upfront sales negotiations as well as establishing new multiplatform integrated sales partnerships, as well as managing the accounts of East Coast-based national advertisers, agencies and clients. He joined the CW in 2006 from the WB Network, where he'd served as an account executive since 2003. Before joining the WB, Mr. Buda spent over five years at NBC as a sales planner.
Gravity, the recently relaunched brand-communications company formerly known as Rhino, announced two executive appointments. Bob Samuel has been tapped as chief marketing officer and executive producer for its commercials group and Shemi Levi has been promoted to chief digital officer and exec VP. Both are newly created roles and are based in New York.