Top Hires of the Week

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The OLIVER Group


The OLIVER Group has announced three new senior promotions with immediate effect as it expands its unique experience planning discipline: Mark Bell to chief experience officer for OLIVER Group, and John Gibbard and Roz Thomas to co-heads of experience planning at digital agency DARE. Bell was previously planning partner at DARE, responsible for the agency’s strategic output. His new appointment as chief experience officer will give him the opportunity to take the experience planning approach to the entire OLIVER Group. Bell, who was head of UX at LBi before joining DARE in 2005, will report into David Russell, director at the agency. Gibbard and Thomas, meanwhile, will help the agency’s existing client base to benefit from the experience and service they have given in leading experience planning for innovative brands such as EE, Investec, Barclays and The Foundry. With backgrounds in industrial design, financial services, digital user experience and psychology, this new leadership team will be tasked with developing the experience planning proposition to include in-store and physical environments as they benefit from the increased remit DARE now has as part of the OLIVER Group.

The OLIVER Group has announced Mark Bell as chief experience officer for OLIVER Group, and John Gibbard and Roz Thomas as co-heads of experience planning DARE

David Russell, director at the OLIVER Group, said: “The experience planning approach pioneered by DARE offers brands a new way to define, design and create even more effective and memorable customer experiences. The senior team behind it are as unique, creative and perceptive as the process they’ve developed. Mark will now bring his expertise in this market-leading discipline to the entire OLIVER Group, while Roz and John will be the guardians of experience planning at the agency where it was born. Brands still have a lot to do to improve the customer experience across all their various touch points, and a focus on experience planning across the Group as a whole will help our clients build new, robust and fun ways to delight and enthral their customers.” Bell added: “This new role is a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of OLIVER Group. We are aiming to consistently deliver work that has a real influence on customer experience and our clients’ marketing efforts.”

Havas Helia


Havas Helia is strengthening its senior leadership with the appointment of Louise Whitcombe, current COO at LIDA, as Group Managing Director. Whitcombe will lead the Helia Group agencies across London and Cirencester. The current Managing Director of Helia in Cirencester, David Williams, has been promoted to Group Chief Operating Officer across London and Cirencester. Whitcombe will work with Group CEO Tash Whitmey to lead a business which has seen significant client and new business growth in 2015 with wins such as Westfield, Royal Mail and Peperami.

Havas Helia has appointed Louise Whitcombe as Group Managing Director

Whitmey said: “At Helia we want to be the best at what we do and to do that , we want the best people . Louise has a unique blend of experience and an awesome industry reputation . She is also great fun to be around . I am very much looking forward to working with her.” Whitcombe added: “I am very excited about joining Havas . It is a Group which is seeing exciting changes and I am looking forward to driving the business forward and overseeing two very significant agencies.”



Ogilvy & Mather China has announced that Michael Zhang will join as CEO of Neo@Ogilvy China. Zhang is a GroupM veteran, having worked across MindShare, Maxus, and Mediacom. His previous roles have included President of Mediacom China, and Chief Strategy Officer of GroupM China. Michael left GroupM last year for a sabbatical. He will also join the Ogilvy & Mather China Executive Committee, and in this capacity contribute to the larger group performance and growth strategy. In his new role, Michael will oversee Neo@Ogilvy China business across Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. His experience will take Neo@Ogilvy to the next phase of growth in this fast-paced market, especially as digital media increasingly shifts to mobile and programmatic buying and clients ask for more integrated digital media solutions.

Ogilvy & Mather China has announced Michael Zhang as CEO of Neo@Ogilvy China

Chris Reitermann, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather China, said: “Michael’s hire is a significant one for Ogilvy & Mather China. He was one of the first people I worked with in China more than 15 years ago, and I am extremely pleased to have him return to Ogilvy & Mather, the place where he started his career, to become part of our core management team and to drive the next chapter of growth for both Neo@Ogilvy and the group. It's crucial in this changing environment to have a close alignment between creative, content and media, and I see Neo@Ogilvy as one of the key weapons that will accelerate our digital transformation.” Zhang added: “I’m so thrilled to be back where I first began, and in a position to positively shape Neo@Ogilvy and O&M’s exciting future in China.”



This week, Droga5 announced the hiring of Juliana Cobb, the latest Group Creative Director for its New York headquarters. Cobb comes to Droga5 after five years at BBDO to work on the Prudential account under Executive Creative Director Kevin Brady. Cobb kicked off her career in advertising in 2001 in San Francisco, where she cut her teeth working at both digital and traditional agencies such as Fusion, Publicis and McCann Erickson. She relocated to New York in 2010 to join BBDO as a creative director, overseeing work for Starbucks, AT&T, GE and American Family Insurance. She joins Droga5’s senior creative bench, which includes nine additional group creative directors.

Droga5 has announced Juliana Cobb as the latest Group Creative Director for its New York headquarters

Brady said: “We are thrilled to have Juliana join Droga5. She has that rare ability to really get inside big, challenging brands in a way that combines unique insights and flawless execution while still connecting on a purely emotional level. We can't wait to see what she brings to Prudential and to the agency as a whole.” Cobb added: “I have always been struck by the incredible integrity that Droga5 possesses. I've admired the agency’s work for its ability to stand out from the norm, and I knew that when clients walk through that door, they're expecting to see work they're not expecting. That's exciting. That's something I'm honoured to be a part of.”



Somesuch has hired Holly Abey as head of Sales and Marketing. Holly will oversee commercials and entertainment working with the Somesuch and Anonymous rosters. Holly comes to Somesuch from The Sweet Shop, where she was a director’s rep and producer. Prior to that, Abey worked as a TV producer at agencies such as VCCP, The Red Brick Road and TBWA\Media Arts Lab. Sally Campbell, founder partner at Somesuch, said: “This is the hardest hire I've done, but the second I met Holly I knew she was right for Somesuch. She's bright, ambitious, has excellent taste, and a wicked sense of humour. She'll be a great support and guide for the directors, and our clients already respect her.”

Somesuch has hired Holly Abey as head of Sales and Marketing

Abey joins Somesuch as the award-winning commercial production company, which represents directors like Kim Gehrig, Daniel Wolfe, Aoife McArdle and Vellas, gears up for an exciting 2016. Last year saw Somesuch net award after award for This Girl Can for Sport England, and smash it out the park with spots for Honda, Samsung, Three, and John Lewis’ Man on the Moon Christmas campaign!

Porter Novelli


Porter Novelli, a global public relations leader, has announced Melissa Kraus Taylor as managing director of the agency's Atlanta office. Taylor is responsible for talent management and the strategic growth of the office, reporting to Brad MacAfee, president, North America. Most recently, Taylor served as executive vice president and deputy managing director in Atlanta, working hand-in-hand with MacAfee who she succeeds in the role. A 17-year Porter Novelli veteran, Taylor has extensive experience in strategic planning, training, facilitation, team development and strategic message development and positioning. She has led strategic planning in Porter Novelli's London and Atlanta offices. Taylor co-created and is a dean of Porter Novelli's formal global professional development program, Greater Than University, and helped create and lead the agency's client service excellence initiative.

Porter Novelli has announced Melissa Kraus Taylor as managing director of the agency's Atlanta office

MacAfee said: “Melissa is a true leader at Porter Novelli. She not only has been instrumental in the success of the Atlanta office, but she has also had her hand in countless significant global initiatives during her time at the agency. Her efforts have been particularly powerful when it comes to talent, and helping to build and enhance Porter Novelli as a workplace committed to constant learning and development for our team.” Taylor added: “Porter Novelli has been my home for nearly two decades. I am a passionate believer in our commitment to doing well by doing good -- through both our work for clients and our relentless focus on talent. I am so proud to lead the amazing team in Atlanta and build on the success we've seen under Brad's leadership.”



DigitasLBi has announced the appointment of Elizabeth Murphy as SVP of Media. Murphy will be based in New York and report to Adam Shlachter, Chief Investment Officer. In this role, she will lead all media initiatives, driving cross-channel solutions across multiple clients as well as supporting New Business initiatives for the agency. Shlachter said: “Elizabeth is a media rock star. She has developed innovative, results driven, award-winning solutions for a wide range of clients, and we're thrilled to have her join our team.”

DigitasLBi has announced the appointment of Elizabeth Murphy as SVP of Media

An industry veteran with over 15 years of strategic media and account leadership experience, Murphy joins DigitasLBi from Mindshare, where she served as Executive Director. Elizabeth's work has been recognised through multiple industry awards, including a Cannes Media Lion for GSK's Aquafresh toothpaste campaign, and a Silver Effie for Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish crackers campaign.

Jack Morton London


Jack Morton Worldwide has appointed Vijay Patel as the new VP/Director of Social Media and Interactive. The appointment is effective immediately. Based in the agency’s London office, Patel will be leading Jack Morton’s social media and branded applications offering, reporting to Adam Azor, SVP, Integrated and Digital Marketing. He comes to Jack Morton from content agency VCCP Kin, and prior to this was at Beattie McGuinness Bungay where he oversaw social media strategy and development. Within these roles Vijay worked with a wide spectrum of clients including More Than, Royal London, 02, easyJet, New Balance, KP Snacks, Molson Coors Brewing Company, Butterkist, TUI and Microsoft.

Jack Morton Worldwide has appointed Vijay Patel as the new VP/Director of Social Media and Interactive

Adam Azor, SVP, Integrated and Digital Marketing, Jack Morton Worldwide, said: “When mastered, the alchemy between social, content and experience can create some of the most effective and powerful marketing. Vijay is an expert in these areas and the perfect fit to lead our social media and interactive technology offering at Jack Morton. He is an industry leader with passion, knowledge and a relentless thirst for innovation. I’m delighted Vijay has joined Jack and excited about the added impact that he will deliver on our clients’ businesses.” Patel added: “Social media and live experiences are highly effective partners in the creation of extraordinary brand experiences. Jack Morton creates outstanding work in this field, where they integrate digital as fully as it is in our day to day lives. I am extremely excited to get stuck in and join the team.”



As part of Cheil’s global expansion plan, Richard Newman joins the agency as Asia Pacific Regional Chief Growth Officer. Newman joins Cheil’s global growth team, which includes recent hires Cat Davis in London, as well as Wassim Daniel in Dubai, led by Lotta Malm-Hallqvist, Cheil’s Global Chief Growth Officer. He joins from McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific where he was Regional Chief Marketing Officer. Based out of Singapore, Newman will be responsible for implementing and honing regional growth strategies, as well as building a culture of collaboration across Cheil’s Global Network of companies including Cheil Worldwide, Iris Worldwide, Cheil Peng Tai, BMB, McKinney, and The Barbarian Group.

Richard Newman joins Cheil as Asia Pacific Regional Chief Growth Officer

Newman reports into Aaron Lau, President of International and Lotta Malm-Hallqvist, Global Vice President, who said: “We are excited to have Richard on board at a time when we are enjoying fast growth in the region. He will play in important part in driving Cheil’s business growth in Asia Pacific, a region which consists of four of the biggest country ad markets and one which is expected to have the biggest growth rate over the next 5 years. As an agency with roots in Asia, we are best positioned to help clients fulfil their vision in this region with our agency specialisms. Richard is integral in seeing through our aspirations for Cheil.” Newman added: “This is a pivotal time to be joining Cheil, as the network embarks on building a truly global culture. The team at Cheil is fine-tuned to tackle client problems in this brave new world of marketing. With a deep understanding of technology, retail, digital and above-the-line campaign engagement, Cheil has a uniquely integrated proposition – a network built for now.”



Cut+Run this week welcomed James Rose back to the fold as editor and partner having spent three successful years editing commercials and music videos at Final Cut. Founding editor Steve Gandolfi, said: “He's a top talent. James has a great visual eye, is a positive voice in the creative process of the edit, and we're over the moon he's back to help continue the development of the London office.”

Cut + Run this week welcomed James Rose back to the fold as editor and partner

Rose said: “Having spoken with Steve and the guys, it seems like the logical development in my career to help build C&R London into the leading force it should be - there's an excellent production office headed by Kayt and Toby plus a developing online wing with colour grading. There's already a lot of exciting editing talent in the building, with more coming through. I'm excited at the opportunity to help nurture that to fruition.”

DDB Group Worldwide


DDB Group Worldwide has appointed Joji Jacob, Group Executive Creative Director, DDB Group Singapore as Head of DDB Asia's Creative Council. In addition to his creative remit covering Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Korea, Jacob will also take care of India working closely with Sonal Dabral, Chief Creative Officer of DDB Mudra. Spearheading DDB Asia's creative agenda, he will re-launch Asia's Creative Council with a focus on key clients and the agency.

DDB Group Worldwide has appointed Joji Jacob as Head of DDB Asia's Creative Council

Amir Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer of DDB Worldwide, said: “We have seen a rise in creative work coming out of Asia in the last few years. It is an incredibly key region for our worldwide, and local clients. Joji is one of our most powerfully creative thinkers. He is an innovator and an inspiring leader. I know he will do great things in this role and win both respect, and accolades for the DDB network.” Jacob added: “It is a privilege to assist Amir and David with DDB's Creative Council in Asia. It is my task now to help our offices in the region play as one for the benefit of our clients and our people. And of course, I look forward to working even more closely with Sonal Dabral, Tim Cheng, Clifford Ng and Jong-Sang Yoo.”


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