Facebook has promoted Nicola Mendelsohn to its top advertising job, leading the Global Business Group across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, where she will be responsible for client relationships and building on the $84 billion in ad spend that the company pulled in last year.
A move to New York looks to be on the cards for Mendelsohn, who was previously VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but has already spent a couple of months acting up in the new role since her predecessor Carolyn Everson left in June to be president of Instacart.
Mendelsohn moved to Facebook in 2013, and her rise at the tech giant has been steady, helped no doubt by her dogged defence of the company, especially during the recent whistleblowing crisis – her signature positive spin and relentless optimism create an impermeable barrier to criticism.
In characteristically upbeat style, Mendelsohn said: “Since the first day I walked through the door at Facebook eight and a half years ago, I have been so grateful for the opportunity to do work I care about, with colleagues I adore, and partners and clients who inspire me to put our best foot forward on their behalf every day. “I believe deeply that our platforms are a force for good, and I see our mission play out in innumerable ways every day.”
She started out in new business at BBH, where she worked for nearly 12 years, before moving to Grey London, rising to deputy chair, and then to Karmarama, where she took equity in the business and worked for five years, always primarily promoting the agencies and raising their industry profiles.
Mendelsohn, always a big supporter of women, has maintained a high personal profile too. In 2011 she became the first woman president of the IPA, and despite all her demanding day jobs, she has always held parallel roles, like being a director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, chairing the corporate board of Women’s Aid, a non-exec director at Diageo, and now as chair of the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation, focused on research and support for fellow sufferers of the incurable cancer.