Oliver Group, the company which recently bought digital agency Dare, has recruited Proximity London chief Sharon Whale as its new group UK CEO as part of an ambitious expansion strategy.
Founder Simon Martin will now move into the role of chairman and global CEO to focus on delivering growth internationally, while continuing to support Oliver Group’s expansion in the UK.
The group, which specialises in in-house agency services, was set up in 2004, however, only came to prominence in the market when it purchased Dare in October. It also owns property marketing agency Aylesworth Fleming and Marketing Matters.
Whale will be responsible for all UK group companies, and will support the existing leadership teams as they continue to grow.
She started her career in 1991 at Sheard Thomson Harris, the agency which eventually rebranded Stretch the Horizon and merged into Mustard. By 1996 Whale had become managing partner and chief operating officer at Tequila London and following a stint at GGT joined Proximity as managing partner in 2003.
Since then Whale has worked across the agency’s largest accounts, including Lloyds Banking group, Volkswagen Group, John Lewis and The Economist.
As deputy chairman Whale also ran the new business function, leading to client wins such as Seat, VW Commercial Vehicles, Guide Dogs and The Telegraph.
Martin said: “This is the next stage in Oliver Group’s exciting evolution, as we build a global market leader for the 21st century. We have a unique proposition, a brilliantly energetic and passionate team, and the desire to build something special.
“Sharon brings with her unrivalled experience, honed at the UK’s leading customer engagement agency. She’s worked with huge brand names, brings great team, leadership and new business skills and has brought success at every agency she’s been at. She will be a real asset to the group.”
Whale, who will join in February, added: “Oliver Group has huge ambitions and exciting plans in place. It has had a tremendous amount of investment into all parts of its business, and I can’t wait to get started and be part of the next chapter – helping the group achieve its true potential as a world class, global market leader.”
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