People on the Move: Skechers' Leonard Armato to Head Up Leverage Agency
Leverage Agency has tapped Leonard Armato as chairman-managing director of the sports and entertainment-marketing firm. Mr. Armato has spent the past two years as CMO-president of Skechers Fitness Group. During his tenure there, Skechers became the fastest-growing footwear company in the world, increasing sales to more than $2 billion from $1.4 billion. Prior to joining Skechers, Mr. Armato was CEO-commissioner of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour for seven years, securing $100 million of integrated branded-content deals. Before that , Mr. Armato was founder of Management Plus Enterprises, representing athletes such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Oscar De La Hoya and Shaquille O'Neal. At Leverage, he will open and oversee a Los Angeles office while maintaining close contact with headquarters in New York.
Hyper Marketing's Ryan Partnership has hired Joanna Pena-Bickley as senior VP-executive creative director. She will lead the creative vision for the integrated-marketing agency's clients, which include Bacardi USA, Nestlé Waters, Energizer Personal Care and Mead. Ms. Pena-Bickley brings 14 years of experience managing campaigns for clients including Pepsi, American Express, Land Rover, MTV , Jim Beam Brands, Diageo and Nokia. Most recently she was chief creative officer at Substance, New York; before that , she held creative posts at Wunderman, TracyLocke, Digitas, BBG Worldwide and Organic . On the heels of Ms. Pena-Bickley's hire, Hyper tapped former CognitveData executive Thomas E. Smith as senior VP-managing director of its Albany office, which specializes in relationship marketing and data management.
IFC has promoted Craig Parks to senior VP-digital media and alternative content from VP. Based in New York, Mr. Parks is responsible for developing new-business initiatives, overseeing editorial and creative content for IFC.com, developing social-media strategies, and deploying the network's content across alternative platforms. During his tenure as VP-digital media, he developed IFC Sync, a live, dual-screen experience that provides viewers the chance to interact with one another and the network's talent. Coupled with a "More Likes, More Portlandia" Facebook promotion, the series' second season became IFC's most-watched original series. Mr. Parks was an executive producer for ABC Family and AMC Networks and held positions at MTV and VHI before joining IFC as VP-branded entertainment and business development.
Tasting Table, a free daily epicurean email publication, has named David Hamilton chief revenue officer. Mr. Hamilton, the longtime publisher of Interview magazine and recent associate publisher of Details, has also worked at a variety of creative agencies managing brands, such as Revlon, Hennessy and Moët & Chandon. Tasting Table has editions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and Miami, as well as three national editions: National, Top Shelf and Chefs' Recipes.
Rick Corteville has been appointed CEO of Luxus, a global digital-advertising agency with clients such as Nokia, Oracle and PepsiCo. Before joining Luxus, Mr. Corteville held management positions at Interpublic's Mediabrands, Zenith Optimedia, Organic , Grey Asia Pacific and Beyond Interactive. Previous clients include Coca-Cola, Microsoft/Xbox, Brown Forman (Jack Daniels), MasterCard, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard.
Deutsch, Los Angeles, has hired longtime TBWA/Chiat/Day creative Brett Craig as exec VP-group creative director for Dr Pepper and Snapple. In his 12 years at TBWA/Chiat/Day, Mr. Craig created work for Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Energizer, Ballpark Franks and Nissan, eventually rising to creative director on Sony PlayStation. He was most recently group creative director for Call of Duty, Tostitos and Pepsi, with recent spots including "Forever Young" for Pepsi and "There's A Soldier in All of Us" for the video game "Call of Duty." In the New York office, Suzanne Molinaro has joined as senior VP-director of digital production. She will oversee production of digital projects across all accounts, including Microsoft, PNC Bank and Unilever. She was most recently director-digital production at JWT, New York, and has also held production posts at BBH, New York; Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Boulder, Colo.; and Big Spaceship. Additionally, Stephanie Lee-Pang, who has been with Deutsch since 2004, has been promoted from director of interactive production to senior irector of digital operations.