The former product director of Time Out Tom White has joined fast-growing customer acquisition specialist The Lead Agency as managing director of its automotive division.

The appointment marks a return to automotive for White, who spent more than six years as head of product development for Auto Trader before moving to Time Out Group in 2013.

He joins Liverpool-based The Lead Agency with a remit to set the strategic direction for its automotive service, developing the company’s core products, building relationships with advertisers and driving growth across new markets and territories.

“Tom represents a significant appointment and a perfect fit for The Lead Agency,” said managing director Anton Hanley.

“He has a phenomenal record for creating business and product strategies that lead to lasting change and considerable commercial success.

“His ability to lead teams towards genuine innovation will be instrumental in how we develop and grow our automotive service.”

At Time Out, White was chiefly responsible for bringing the global product vision to life across the publication’s digital platforms.

His processes helped the business transition to a digital and mobile-first mind-set, which led to a complete overhaul of the user experience and design across all platforms and a significant upturn in revenues.

The move also reunites White with The Lead Agency, having partnered with the company to spearhead Auto Trader’s move into the new vehicle market.

Commenting on his new role, White said: “Anton and I developed a strong working relationship during my time at Auto Trader that was founded on mutual trust and shared values that are reflected in The Lead Agency to this day.

“The company’s commitment to fairness and quality coupled with its ability to innovate and drive change has established it as the UK’s leading supplier of customer acquisition opportunities within automotive.

“I’m excited by the prospect of building on that success in the same tradition.”

The Lead Agency has grown considerably over the last year and continues to strengthen its team in Liverpool, London and New York.

It is currently looking at expansion across machine learning, analytics, development, content and qualification.