Ogilvy hires data-driven duo for strategy threesome

OgilvythreesomeOgilvy UK is boosting its data-driven marketing expertise by hiring two senior executives for its strategy department, creating a threesome with head of strategy Gen Kobayashi to lead the 75-strong team.
Although the WPP agency has yet to officially replace chief strategy officer Kevin Chesters, who quit in October, Sarah Blackman and Kate Wheaton will create a triumverate with Kobayashi. He has been at Ogilvy UK since 2015, switching from Brooklyn Brothers.
Blackman joins from Accenture Interactive and has over 13 years’ experience leading strategy on both a European and global level for the likes of Nestlé, Philadelphia, Maybelline, NY and Wella Haircare.
At Accenture, she ensured the creative output of the agency was borne from data insights. Prior to that, Blackman was chief innovation officer at Proximity; she has also worked at Y&R, BBDO and MRM.
In her new role, Blackman will bolster data-driven creativity across the agency, harnessing her expertise in “well-rounded digital and innovation strategy”.
Meanwhile, Wheaton joins from TMW Unlimited, where she has been director of strategy since 2011, leading a team of 30 and bringing together capabilities such as insight generation, strategic planning, data planning, marketing effectiveness and web, social and data analytics. Prior to that, she spent 16 years at Havas Helia (then EHS Brann), latterly as executive planning director.
At Ogilvy, she becomes head of customer engagement strategy and will partner with head of customer engagement Louise Whitcombe.
Ogilvy UK chief customer officer Clare Lawson commented: “We’re incredibly proud to have two fantastic strategic leaders join the agency in Sarah and Kate. Their phenomenal experience bringing insightful, innovative, data-led thinking to the team. Gen, Sarah and Kate will together propel forward our capabilities and the work we do for our clients. All the more important as we enter an age where it’s the customer who really owns the experience they want from a brand.”

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