Former DunnHumby chief Hay joins data insight start-up

Former DunnHumby global chief executive Simon Hay has been recruited to spearhead new data insight company Outra, launched by Giles Mackay, who sold his property market analytics company Hometrack to Zoopla in January for £120m.

Hay quit the Tesco-owned business in February after 25 years, 16 months after Tesco failed to flog the company; a move which potentially cost him a small fortune.

He had joined the company from CACI in 1991 as an account director and over the years, moved up the ranks and also led the US division, but returned to London in 2009 to spearhead the UK & Ireland operation; he had been global CEO since 2011. Google’s vice president of advertising solutions Guillaume Bacuvier succeeded Hay in April this year.

The senior team at Outra also includes former Tory Party strategists Jim Messina and Lynton Crosby; the company claims it will connect data, insight and opinions to target consumers based on their attitudes and behaviour.

The firm will combine clients’ data with its own proprietary data, using advanced modelling, analytics and real-time opinions to help companies understand who their customers are and what influences them for micro-targeting purposes.

In addition, Outra will also offer a consultancy service to help clients navigate the implementation of GDPR.

Hay said: “We are starting with a blank sheet of paper and a new platform and approach to connect brands with consumers. Business has not harnessed the full potential of data to solve some of our biggest challenges and we’re excited by the opportunities that Outra offers brands to do this.”

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