News Corp-owned video ad tech company Unruly today announced it has appointed Ricky Chanana as its new ANZ MD.
Chanana, who is currently Maxus Australia’s National Head of Investment, has over 14 years of experience in the ad industry, including a decade working in senior digital and investment roles across the GroupM network. He will be based at the News Corp Sydney HQ, along with the rest of the Unruly Sydney team.
Chanana joins News Corp Australia’s digital executive team and will be responsible for driving Unruly’s growth across Australia and New Zealand, including further establishing the company’s leading emotional intelligence ad tech solutions, such as IBM Watson-enabled targeting tool Unruly Custom Audiences, which uses AI to allow advertisers to target valuable light buyers, and driving the programmatic growth of UnrulyX, its viewable video SSP.
Unruly, which gets videos seen and loved across the open web for 91 per cent of Ad Age 100 brands, has a presence in 20 locations worldwide, including offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, London and New York. Chanana will take up his new position at Unruly in November.
Chanana said: “I’m really excited and thrilled to join the Unruly/NewsCorp family. UnrulyX, Unruly EQ and Unruly Custom Audiences [UCA] are having a huge impact on the way advertisers and agencies think about creative, audience segmentation and programmatic video.
“I’m really looking forward to leading an incredibly successful team here in ANZ, and helping the business and our rapidly-expanding client base deliver continued success.”
Chanana, who worked at Telstra before joining the GroupM network, will report into APAC chief commercial officer Phil Townend, who is based in Singapore.
Townend said: “After a very thorough search, it became pretty obvious to us that Ricky was the standout candidate for this role. He brings an incredible amount of experience, energy, drive and charisma to the Unruly and News Corp Australia family.
“His ideas are infectious, and I have no doubt he will be able to help us realise our collective ambition to be the number one premium video solution in the Australian market. He understands the needs of blue chip advertisers and their agencies, and can help drive a more human, data-driven and outcome-centric approach to creative and programmatic.”
Nicole Sheffield, chief digital officer at News Corp Australia, added: “I am delighted that we have someone of Ricky’s experience and digital aptitude joining News Corp Australia’s digital executive team to lead our commercial video strategy and drive the next phase of growth and investment in Unruly in Australia.
“Video is a core focus for the business as we further evolve our production capabilities with short form video and editorial in video at its most powerful. We are well placed to reframe the digital video opportunity in premium environments because we have the framework and importantly we have the data which allows us to constantly evolve and create new strategies for content creation and distribution.
“Over the last two years Unruly’s leading technology and video expertise has advanced and grown our premium video inventory at real scale across News Corp Australia’s digital networks while offering our advertisers new and innovative ways to access and connect with their audiences.”
Chanana replaces Lance Traore, who left the company to pursue other opportunities.