ZOO Digital Announces New CTO, Non-Executive Director
Chris Oakley has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer, and Nathalie Schwarz appointed to non-executive director. Schwarz brings 20 years of board-level international experience from her roles in both publicly listed and privately-owned companies. In his 18 years with ZOO Digital, Oakley has helped spearhead flagship platforms such as ZOOstudio, ZOOdubs and ZOOsubs.
In 2021, Oakley grew the ZOO Digital development team by 50% to better support clients. During his tenure, he has created measurable value for customers and served as a role model for employees throughout his career.
In his new role as CTO, Oakley will be responsible for continuing to grow the ZOO Digital Labs technical centre of excellence within ZOO to support and future-proof the globalisation industry. By continuing to expand its dedicated R&D capacity this will increase the ability to offer new, cutting-edge technology solutions to the biggest names in entertainment.
Oakley is passionate about creating innovative technology and finding progressive solutions to the challenges of the globalisation industry. He has led several research programs in collaboration with leading UK universities, developing areas of AI and machine learning to help make life easier for those working within the global entertainment industry.
ZOO Digital President, Gordon Doran, said: “We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Chris Oakley to Chief Technology Officer. Chris has been with the company for 18 years and was originally hired as a QA engineer; he has progressed in his career through his dedication, progressive thinking, leadership qualities and commitment to ZOO. In his new role, Chris will play a key part in the direction and leadership of the department along with contributing to the strategic direction of ZOO through its technology.”
“I really couldn’t be prouder of the team that we’ve assembled and the technology we’ve created to serve the future of entertainment. As CTO, this gives me the opportunity to build – both in terms of our reputation and what we can achieve for our clients and the wider industry,” Oakley said of his new role.
Schwarz has particular expertise in the media and digital technology sector with a career spanning broadcasting (television and radio), mobile and digital interactive platforms and information/data services. This includes as Group Commercial and Development Director at Channel 4 Television Corporation, overseeing the negotiation of its commercial partnership with UKTV. She also served as Group Strategy and Development Director at Capital Radio plc as the FTSE 250 company completed an £800 million merger to create the largest commercial radio analog and digital group.
A qualified corporate finance lawyer, Nathalie began her career at leading global law firm Clifford Chance and has since served as Chair of Boards, Remuneration Committees and Nominations Committees. Her non-executive experience includes roles at Wilmington plc, Matomy Media plc, BigHand, Optionis and Amiad Water Systems plc.
She currently represents technology suppliers as Vice-Chair of The International Trade Association for the Broadcast and Media Industry (IABM).
Gillian Wilmot, Chairman of ZOO Digital, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Nathalie to the Board after a comprehensive appointment process. She has a strategic understanding of the media and digital technology sectors, which will contribute valuable insight to support ZOO’s international growth trajectory. This additional non-executive appointment further strengthens ZOO’s governance and board-level expertise to reflect the growth in scale and global reach of our business and our ambitions for the future. Nathalie will also Chair our Remuneration committee.”
Nathalie Schwarz commented:
“ZOO’s end-to-end service offering puts it in a fabulous position to take a further share of a fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry. Market drivers for global media content are firmly in ZOO’s favour and I look forward to working with the Board to capitalise on the significant opportunity ahead.”