Laurence quits ONdigital for Vizzavi portal

ONdigital marketing chief Guy Laurence is quitting to join Vizzavi – the online portal being developed by Vodafone, Vivendi and Canal-plus – as head of its marketing operation.

Laurence, who joined ONdigital six months after its launch in November 1998 and became executive sales and marketing director, takes up the role of chief marketing officer.

His is the second top-level departure from ONdigital’s marketing department in the past two months. Marc Sands, director of brand marketing, resigned in June to join Guardian Newspapers (MW May 25). He reported to Laurence.

The move leaves the terrestrial pay-TV company – which is a joint venture between Carlton and Granada – with no senior marketers.

An ONdigital spokesman says Laurence will not leave until October, and that the company is seeking replacements for both roles.

At Vizzavi, Laurence will be responsible for marketing and content on the site, which will become the home page for the three national operating companies throughout Europe.

Vizzavi chief executive Evan Newmark says: “We were looking for someone with expertise in both international marketing and the entertainment industry, as well as a detailed knowledge of pay-TV and the Internet. Laurence’s experience made him the ideal candidate.”

Before joining ONdigital, Laurence was European vice-president of marketing at Planet Holly wood. He also worked for MGM Studios, UCI Cinemas and Grand Metropolitan.

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