Digital 40 Over 40 2017: Scott Hagedorn, CEO, Hearts & Science

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Scott Hagedorn
Scott Hagedorn
CEO, Hearts & Science


In 1992, when advertising jobs were scarcer than a stray hair in Maurice Levy’s pompadour, Scott Hagedorn did what any recent University of Florida graduate would do: He created the Famous Flying Barracuda Co., which sold $400 fiberglass barracudas with fake owl wings. Hagedorn starred in his own commercials, which caught the attention of the founder of Atlanta agency WestWayne.

Hagedorn’s career is full of such surprises. Most recently, he convinced Procter & Gamble to get behind his vision of a new agency designed for the world of personalized digital marketing and real-time decision-making. He founded that agency, Hearts & Science, in 2016. Soon, AT&T came on as a client as well.

In just eight months, the agency became the No. 2 media agency for new business in 2016, according to RECMA. (Sister agency PHD is No. 1.) Hearts & Science currently has 800 employees in 10 countries.

How did Hagedorn get here? After joining WestWayne in 1995, he stayed for five years and then founded Breathe Interactive, which WestWayne bought in 2004 after Hagedorn grew billings to $125 million.

After that, he joined Omnicom, first as chief interactive officer for RAPP Worldwide (until 2006) and then as CEO of PHD. At the latter landed the $900 million GlaxoSmithKline account, impressing the client with the agency’s acumen in digital and mobile. In 2010, John Wren and Daryl Simm handpicked Hagedorn to create Omnicom’s data and analytics platform. Within five years Hagedorn had taken Annalect from an idea scribbled on a cocktail napkin to an 800-person global organization.

When not founding companies, Hagedorn is a conscientious dad (he recently bailed from an interview with one of the top trade publications when he heard his son was sick) and an accomplished guitarist and obsessive fan of obscure indie bands.


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