Young Gun: Rakuten Marketing director of growth Manuel Kambos

11 July 2019

Our Young Gun profile takes a look at some of the young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Today we speak to Rakuten Marketing director of growth Manuel Kambos.

Time in current role/time at the company:
Six months in my current role, two years at Rakuten Marketing.

How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve worked in advertising since 2010 when I started my career at NewsCorp as a New Business Sales Exec. I got my start in programmatic at AdRoll in 2014.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?
This was not the plan! At 20, I took a job at NewsCorp selling ads in the local papers. I had no idea about sales or advertising at the time, but it was there that I developed a love for ads and a love for leading people, which has governed my career ever since.

Who is your right hand person/who guides you day to day?
David Kim (Rakuten Marketing’s Senior Director, Group Product Operations) guides me. He is a fountain of ideas and I value his unique sense of perspective on seemingly straightforward situations.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
Using data and tech to storytell in ways our grandparents could never have even dreamed of!

And the biggest challenge?
Bringing together the perfect mix of people and automation.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
My boss, our APAC Managing Director, JJ Eastwood’s…shh don’t tell him.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
My yearly goals keep me inspired and my weekly planner keeps me honest. I use a goal-setting plan and worksheet I found on Technori .

My favourite advert is:
The Nike Football “Secret Tournament” campaign in the lead up to the 2002 World Cup. It featured many of the world’s top footballers in a cage football match for the ages. As a young, impressionable teen, it converted me from Adidas football boots to Nike for life!

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
Everyone knows I’m very passionate about soccer (it’s no coincidence I work for Rakuten Marketing who’s parent company, Rakuten, are major sponsors of FC Barcelona). What they might not know is that I’m not too bad of a player myself. My team made it to the final of the Tiger Street Soccer Championships in Sydney, where the winning team was flown to Kuala Lumpur to play against Tiger Asia winning teams, broadcast live on ESPN. Unfortunately I received a red card, got sent of the field and my team lost.. I’m still kicking myself about it.

In five years' time I'll be:
Cutting down on my cured meat and cheese consumption…probably out of necessity.

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