NEWS1 February 2010

BrainJuicer names ex-TomTom CMO as operations chief

People UK

UK— Alex Batchelor, the former chief marketing officer of sat nav maker TomTom, has joined BrainJuicer as chief operating officer, in a move designed to free up agency boss John Kearon to pursue global expansion opportunities.

Batchelor (pictured) has close ties with the online research business, having been an investor in the company since it floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2006.

He began his career at Unilever – which is where CEO Kearon also cut his teeth – before moving to Saatchi & Saatchi as a planning director. Next, he ran Interbrand’s Brand Valuation team before moving up to MD.

Switching back to the clientside, Batchelor became vice president of global brand at mobile phone company Orange and then took the role of marketing director at Royal Mail. He left TomTom in July 2009 after a year as CMO.

On joining BrainJuicer, Batchelor said: “I am looking forward to developing the company into a genuine competitor to the large, more traditional research firms like Millward Brown and TNS.”

Batchelor will be based in London with responsibility for running offices in Europe and America, as well as the company’s operations – allowing Kearon to focus on building up the business geographically.

Kearon is particularly keen to establish the firm in China. In an interview last year he said BrainJuicer had identified a Chinese national to run the business while attempts were being made to secure the firm a licence to do business in the country.

Last month the firm reported 2009 revenue up 26% to £11.7m, while operating profit was up 25% to more than £1.6m.

Aside from new offices, the firm expects growth in 2010 to be driven by the introduction of new research products and by increasing its market share with major multinational clients. It boasts of already working with 11 of the world’s 20 largest buyers of market research – up from nine in 2008 – while sales of its ‘Juicy’ suite of products now account for 60% of revenue, compared to 46% in 2008.

BrainJuicer recently hired former Ipsos ASI director Will Goodhand as Juicy evangelist.