Telefónica Digital has appointed Simon Birkenhead as global advertising sales director.
Birkenhead leaves his former role as global sales leader on agencies at Google to join the newly formed digital unit team in May.
He will be responsible for advertising sales on a global basis, reporting to advertising director Shaun Gregory.
Telefónica Digital was formed last year by Telefónica to target growth opportunities in the digital market. A key focus of the division is on unlocking the potential within its mobile, fixed and TV services for advertisers.
The company said Telefónica Digital’s advertising team will bring together Telefónica’s digital assets across mobile, fixed and TV services into a global portfolio across its operations in 25 markets, while looking to expand into new geographical areas through new products and services.
Shuan Gregory said: ‘This appointment speaks volumes about our advertising ambitions and commitment to securing the best talent on the market.
‘We are at the beginning of a very exciting journey as we start to create a truly global advertising business. Simon’s experience and track record speak for themselves and he will be instrumental in pulling our assets together and driving growth through our local teams. He helped build Google’s global agency business and we are thrilled that he’ll be doing the same at Telefónica.’
Simon Birkenhead said:‘Mobile is one of the fastest advertising disrupters ever witnessed and Telefonica is ideally placed to take advantage of the new opportunities this presents for brands to connect with their customers.
'Over the last year I have seen an acceleration in interest from major brands and agencies to establish global technology partnerships and this new role will help Telefónica to position itself as one of a select few companies invited into these discussions.’
Birkenhead was responsible for driving revenue growth with Google’s largest customers in his previous post, creating and developing global partnerships with large agency networks. He has a 16-year track record in the advertising industry, including 10 years in international business development roles. Prior to joining Google, he worked in strategy and sales management positions at 3M and before that as an account director at Proximity.