Ensemble MD Harry Preston departs for role at video production marketplace Genero

The managing director of IPG Mediabrands’ Ensemble has left the company to become MD of Genero, which describes itself as a “global video production marketplace”.

Preston is leaving the IPG Mediabrands group after seven months as MD of Ensemble

Preston was promoted to MD of IPG Mediabrands’ partnerships and brand experience agency Ensemble in November last year after being general manager of the company. 

The promotion followed on from Ensemble CEO Melissa Fein taking on a wider group role within IPG Mediabrands, becoming CEO of Initiative Australia, with MD of Ensemble at the time Michael Stanford following her across to Initiative to become chief creative solutions officer.

At the time of the various shuffles, Mumbrella was assured it was “business as usual” at Ensemble and told Preston would be charged with steering the agency forward.

Fein’s appointment to Ensemble in February 2016, after a stint at MCN, was seen as a key part of CEO Danny Bass’ shake-up of the wider group after he took the helm, replacing Henry Tajer who moved into a global role with IPG Mediabrands. Bass’ shake-up and Fein’s arrival co-incided with the departure of Ensemble CEO Justin Ricketts and managing director Tim Hodgson.

Fein and Bass: ‘Shaking up’ Ensemble and Initiative

Ensemble’s plans for a replacement for Preston are not yet clear and the agency has been contacted for comment.

The news of Preston’s departure comes just days after IPG Mediabrands APAC CFO Reg Davidson left the company after just one year in the role.

It is widely understood Davidson was Tajer’s “right-hand man” during their leadership of Mediabrands’ Australia, with Davidson’s departure coming just two months after it was announced Tajer would be leaving the global business.

Shortly after Tajer’s departure, it was also revealed John Sintras – former Starcom and Mediavest chairman – would leave the global group.

Preston said he was grateful for his time at the agency.

“I loved my time at Ensemble working alongside many talented people, who have delivered some great work. I’d like to thank them for the opportunity, support and friendship.”

Preston’s new role will see him run Genero, a platform where clients post creative briefs and video creators then pitch their ideas. Using Genero’s cloud-hosted software program, clients select the filmmaker and manage the production proccess.

Co-founder and CEO of the company Andrew Lane said Preston was joining at a time of growth for the platform.

“We couldn’t be happier about Harry joining at a time when we’re seeing more and more brands looking for a better, faster and cheaper way to produce the larger volumes of video needed across so many media platforms and devices,” he said.

“Harry has a wealth of experience in building fantastic relationships and delivering great results for his clients. Our clients, partners and staff will love working with him.”

Preston too said he was looking forward to being part of more growth for the company.

“I’m very excited about the opportinity. Mick [Entwisle, Genero’s co-founder and CEO] and Andrew have built an incredible team, platform and global community and I’m really looking forward to being a part of the next stage of growth for the company.”

Preston’s appointment coindices with Genero joining forces with Facebook as a marketing partner in content marketing.

Entwisle said working with Facebook would help Genero solve more problems for more brands.

“We’re so excited to be recognised as an official Facebook Marketing Partner and to be working with the Facebook team to provide a fast and affordable video production solution to their advertising clients.

“We definitely have a shared vision with Facebook about the importance of video. The challenge for most is working out how to produce enough of it through the traditional agency model, which many are finding too slow and expensive to use at scale. That’s the big problem we’re solving for brands.”

Genero’s clients include Unilever, Diageo, Trivago, HP and Sony.


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