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James Poole




Digital, Financial Services, Management Consulting, Marketing
Contact James Contact James

About James

A track record of delivering transformative business results. Truly international experience, with leadership of teams across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

James's Career History

October 2018 - Ongoing


Project50 is a strategic marketing consultancy, designed to unlock the very best of agency and client-side thinking. Project50 sits client side, unlocking the commercial needs of the business, and then delivering a growth strategy through a network of agency partners.

Clients in the first year of operation include Appreciate Group plc, Jaja Finance and Voy Travel.

April 2018 - September 2018
118 118 Money

Chief Marketing Officer

Brought into the business as a member of an entirely new leadership team. As the first ever Chief Marketing Officer, the remit was to build a new Marketing function, delivering transformational customer-focused growth.
• Overhauled digital marketing, both reducing spend & growing volume by 50% by month two. By month six, the increase was 100%.
• Solved gaps in the marketing plans as inherited. Plans had a volume shortfall of 20% vs expectation, and a cost gap of over £500k.

February 2015 - March 2018

Strategy & Innovation Executive (de-facto Chief Customer Officer)

Executive Leadership Team member, with direct reporting line to CEO. Exceptionally broad role, with a team of 70+ covering Brand Marketing, Customer Experience, Business Insight, Partnerships (200+ affinity relationships), Social Media, Strategy & Innovation. Significant influence across business.
• Revamped brand strategy for MBNA, establishing a new brand from the ground up. After three months of above the line activity,
communications awareness increased threefold to a record high. In addition, brand recognition moved from #7 to #3 in the market,
beating larger competitors such as HSBC & Santander on materially lower spend.
• Delivered a comprehensive NPS agenda throughout the business, from complaint reduction through to relationship-based
measurement. Net result: MBNA is the most improved credit card brand, year-on-year, for NPS in the UK.
• Choreographed all communications relating to the LBG acquisition, driving up staff engagement and a positive sentiment.
• Achieved market leading spend to awareness ratio. A deliberate, multi-year strategy, delivered sustained improvements.
• Established a new marketing partnership with The Walt Disney Company, combining Disney IP with MBNA marketing reach through owned and earned channels. Results indicate a 2x improvement in target brand equity statements.
• Pivoted the ‘affinity’ strategy, the heart of MBNA’s past success, to leverage the 200+ affinity relationships for new sources of value. This includes negotiating deals with both Liverpool FC & Arsenal FC in order to gain enviable partner channel access.
• Placed the customer at the heart of the internal agenda. Used new brand and associated guidelines as a means of bringing the importance of the customer relationship to life, charting a course for a step-change in customer experience rankings.

March 2011 - January 2015
Avis Budget Group

Vice President, International & Marketing Strategy

Responsible for marketing North America to all other markets globally. In addition, responsible for all marketing in Canada. Role expanded to include Partnership Marketing ($1.5Bn book of business) and Marketing Strategy for North America.
• Winner: Company-Wide ‘Best In Class’ Award, 2013. Awarded for outstanding performance in exceeding challenging revenue
targets, driving significant change in digital marketing, and recognition as being a ‘Leader Among Peers’.
• Delivered a transformation for digital marketing activity. This involved the selection of new digital vendors, spearheading a new
investment model and a realignment of all marketing across the digital funnel. Initiative acknowledged by Google as being an
example of pioneering digital strategy. Year One benefit: incremental $100M revenue on flat investment.
• Guided content and positioning of sales pitch to secure Jet Blue as an airline partner, winning the business from Hertz.
• Delivered continued revenue growth across four years, worth in excess of $200M on a cumulative basis.
• Developed and delivered digital marketing activity (paid, organic and display) across Europe, Canada, Asia and Latin America,
accountable for driving an incremental $40M in revenue during 2012, and a further $30M in 2013.

September 2009 - January 2011
American Express

Marketing Director

Responsible for all marketing to the most profitable B2B segment: the mid-market. My role was expanded to include global leadership of a major ‘subscription’ product, generating revenue of over $25M in fees.
• Championed and delivered a complete overhaul of online marketing activity for American Express Business Travel, integrating
marketing messages through paid and natural search, driving a 600% increase in conversion rate.
• Pioneered the launch of a major new offering to the mid-market, succeeding in driving over 25% of the strategic revenue target for
the Business Travel operation in 2010, personally delivering the keynote global launch presentation.

September 2007 - September 2009
OctopusTravel at GTA by Travelport

Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer

Responsible for the consolidation of disparate functions into a single Strategy team, including Revenue Management, Business Intelligence, Sourcing and Strategic Planning. On delivery of a consumer-facing business, became CMO to lead it, with an $80M B2C P&L. Led a team of 20+ based in London, Singapore, Madrid, Sydney & Rome.
• Designed and delivered a new business model, based on i) the radical expansion of hotel inventory, ii) a re-focus of the company to
the B2C market and iii) the development of a new web platform to support the change.
• Negotiated with multiple suppliers to increase inventory available on the Octopus Travel website. Led to a tripling of inventory, with
commercial terms that exceeded those secured by our major rivals.
• Drove the business case and delivery of new web platform. This involved securing an $8M infrastructure investment from the
Private Equity backers for the business. Led the ‘business transformation’ relating to the infrastructure investment, covering all aspects of the business, from back-end integration through to the delivery of a new customer-facing engine.

May 2005 - August 2007
BT Retail

Head of Consumer Channel Strategy

July 1997 - May 2003
British Airways


World Sales Systems Commercial Manager (2002-2003)
Manager, Commercial Analysis & Performance, North America (2000-2002) Senior Operational Research Analyst (1997-2000)