MediaLink Expands Executive Search Practice

March 12, 2019 – MediaLink, an Ascentia-owned advisory company, has named Bucky Keady and Suzanne Kelly as senior vice president of executive search and vice president of executive search, respectively.

The hires follow an extensive period of growth for MediaLink’s executive search practice. Ms. Keady will oversee team management, client services and product offerings. She will also lead searches across the media owner category. Ms. Kelly’s primary focus will be on global CEO searches across the media and marketing industries.

“Talent is frequently identified as the most vital and elusive asset for progressive companies,” said Trish Shortell, the firm’s managing director, executive search. “MediaLink’s executive search practice exists to close the gap. The increasing demand for outstanding people has compelled us to add leaders whose skills and mindset match the vision of our talent practice and the needs of our clients. In the media world, Bucky is considered the gold standard for excellence in talent management and is a deeply trusted partner to CEOs and boards. Suzanne has honed her solutions-focused approach through executive search experience client-side and in various advisory roles. I’m delighted to welcome them to the team.”

Proven Talent

Ms. Keady joins MediaLink following an 18-year career at Time Inc., where she was most recently SVP of talent and learning and development. She was responsible for talent transformation to support the company’s high-intensity transition to a multiplatform media company. While there, she was an active participant in multiple mergers, acquisitions, launches and divestitures, including creation of the talent infrastructure for the new Time Inc. as it separated from Time Warner. She oversaw talent management and learning and development for over 30 major brands across the organization and built teams for newly launched digital brands like TheDrive.com, PeopleTV and #welldone. Earlier, Ms. Keady was an associate director of human resources at Condé Nast and also held positions at Cushman & Wakefield and Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.

Ms. Kelly comes to MediaLink from Geller & Company, a strategic financial advisory firm, where she was focused on human capital and talent acquisition. Previously, she spent five years at the Estée Lauder Companies, most recently as director of global talent. There, she led the recruitment process, played a key role in talent management across brand and function and helped centralize talent acquisition globally. She was also a recruiter in the financial officer practice at Russell Reynolds Associates and has held positions at Thomson Reuters, Morgan Stanley and Deloitte.

“I’m a strong believer that an organization’s corporate strategy is only as strong as the people and culture that support it,” said Ms. Keady. “The media and marketing industries in particular are undergoing a massive transformative period. They require creative talent solutions that can completely reimagine how a company operates and then, therefore, their business challenges. I was intrigued by the prospect of solving business problems from multiple perspectives, and that’s exactly where MediaLink excels. I’m thrilled to get started with Trish and the entire team.”

Well Established

MediaLink operates at the intersection of media, marketing, advertising, entertainment, technology and finance. The firm helps companies execute in the core areas of revenue acceleration, industry marketing, investor strategy, data and technology solutions, and talent (including retained executive search). Founded in 2003 by Michael E. Kassan, MediaLink employs more than 150 professionals in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Frankfurt and Berlin.

Last year, the firm named Ms. Shortell as managing director, executive search, based in its New York office. In her role, she leads the firm’s executive search practice and reports to Mr. Kassan, MediaLink’s chairman and CEO.

“Trish is widely sought-after in our industry for her thought leadership and counsel on talent-based business structures,” said Mr. Kassan. “The breadth of her experience is dynamic, spanning industries from professional services, retail, finance, tech, and healthcare. Coupled with her tenure and impact at WPP over a period of rapid transformation, this multifaceted perspective is a huge asset to industry players seeking the type of bespoke talent their changing businesses require.”

A Proven Record

Ms. Shortell’s career spans 25 years in executive search. She joins the strategic advisory firm from RSR Partners, a boutique search firm where she led the marketing services practice. Prior to that, she spent more than a decade at WPP as senior vice president, executive recruiting and talent management. Her earlier recruiting experience included both search firm and client-side roles. Ms. Shortell was formerly with Heidrick & Struggles, where she executed searches for clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-national corporations. At Heidrick, she was also a training and development faculty member and initiated a firm-wide process for enhancing diversity efforts. In addition, Ms. Shortell also spent several years at law firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. Earlier in her career she served as chairperson of British American Business Inc.

“Joining the team at MediaLink was an exciting decision for me in light of the enormous change happening in the media, marketing, entertainment and tech industries now,” said Ms. Shortell. “We’re at a moment in time where new entrants are buying and competing with traditional players, and legacy companies are going through constant reinvention. I knew I wanted to be at the epicenter of this world. In many ways, we’re helping to define what leadership looks like for the next generation.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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