Movers and Shakers: Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R London, Pablo, VCCP, Initiative and more

Welcome to Campaign's weekly round-up of the hires, departures and promotions across the industry.

Guillermo Vega: new Saatchi & Saatchi CCO
Guillermo Vega: new Saatchi & Saatchi CCO

Saatchi & Saatchi London has ended its 15-month search for a chief creative officer with the appointment of Guillermo Vega, the former executive creative director at 72andSunny New York. Saatchi & Saatchi kicked off the global search for a CCO after Andy Jex quit as executive creative director to join TBWA\London.

Y&R London has poached Sophie Lewis, head of planning at Iris, to be chief strategy officer as part of a reboot of the agency. Lewis takes over from Emily James, who is stepping down after almost 13 years to set up a freelance practice.

Pablo has named FCB Inferno founding partner Tim Doust as chair and bolstered its senior team with hires from Grey and Ogilvy. Doust departed FCB Inferno in April, 18 years after co-founding Inferno with Frazer Gibney. Pablo has also hired Harriet Knight from Ogilvy as head of account management, while Grey’s Marcus Eley joins as head of production.

Invesco, the investment funds giant, has hired Lida chairman Matthew Heath as chief marketing officer of its UK division.

VCCP has picked Apple’s Sam Heath as creative director. Heath spent nearly three years as a creative director at Apple and has almost 20 years of experience in the industry, having previously worked at agencies including Fallon London and Wieden & Kennedy.

Brandi Stevens is joining Initiative as head of client service. Reporting to chief client officer James Shoreland, Stevens’ appointment follows the arrival of chief strategy officer Jed Hallam and head of insights and analytics Charlotte Eagland. Stevens joins from Carat UK and has more than 18 years’ experience in media.

Kindred has appointed behaviour change specialist Tara Austin as chief strategy officer, following her recent tenures at Publicis London and Ogilvy. Austin joins the management team alongside Sharon Bange and Sinéad Gray, who were recently promoted to managing partners. All three will report to Kindred’s chairman, Nick Mustoe.

MediaCom has named Bianca Best as managing director of Blink and Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Bianca will be responsible for growing Blink, MediaCom’s emerging technology division, and refining the company's media partnership strategy. She joins with immediate effect and will report to Deirdre McGlashan, global chief digital officer.

The Gate London has appointed WCRS group account director Vicky Janaway to the newly created position of client services director. Janaway’s responsibilities will include leading client business as well as growing the client services team and developing agency talent. She will report to chief executive Jamie Elliott.

VML London has bolstered its creative department with four hires. Eve Kemanes and Andreea Nedelcu have joined as a senior creative team, Paula Hochberg as a senior copywriter and Athina Collaro as a senior designer. 

Cult has hired Lauren Smeets as talent strategist. Smeets has worked in-house as a brand influencer at Asos and most recently as an influence manager at millennial e-commerce platform Student High Street.

Wieden & Kennedy has appointed Neil Christie as chief executive of its London office as part of a shake-up of its global leadership team. Christie will take on the newly created role as Wieden & Kennedy promotes Colleen DeCourcy and Tom Blessington to co-presidents of the global network, while Dave Luhr and Susan Hoffman are moving into chair roles alongside co-founder Dan Wieden. Christie is relinquishing his global responsibilities as part of the reorganisation. He was promoted to global chief operating officer in March 2017.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has made the first appointment under the Half Time initiative, a scheme set up to attract female creative talent back to work after a career break. The agency has appointed Verity Fenner, previously a creative director at Gravity Road. Fenner was hired in January, with an agreement that she could start work after her son had turned one. She also teaches part-time at the London College of Communication on the BA and MA advertising degrees.

We Are Social has hired Alberto Pachano as managing director of its new Madrid office, which is the agency’s 12th. Pachano was previously client services director at VCCP Madrid. Gabriele Cucinella, Stefano Maggi and Ottavio Nava, chief executives of We Are Social in Italy, will now also take on the same role for We Are Social Spain.

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