Publicis appoints Microsoft data chief to top Spine role

ian thomasPublicis Group is bolstering the senior team for data platform Publicis Spine by appointing Microsoft global digital and analytics chief Ian Thomas as chief data officer.
His appointment comes just weeks after the agency hired Karl Weaver as UK country lead for the data platform.
Thomas was most recently Microsoft’s global leader of digital marketing, data, analytics and operations based in the US, working on Xbox, Windows, Surface and Bing brands. He will report to Publicis Spine chief executive Lisa Donahue.
In the new role, Thomas will focus on applying data and analytics to Spine’s strategy and bring together teams from across the group with expertise in data strategy, data science, and data engineering.
Publicis Spine, which launched in October 2017, comprises three core components: data matching from first, second and third party sources to inform when, where and how to engage consumers and with what message; PeopleCloud, a cloud-based platform that uses data to identify sources of client growth at the individual level; and a single data and analytics team using 3,500 engineers, scientists and tech leaders across Publicis Group that will help clients turn data into business insight.
Donohue said: “I am thrilled to have Ian join our executive leadership team. This role is critical to Publicis Spine’s mission to grow our clients’ businesses through the transformative application of data.
“Ian brings deep data and analytics expertise spanning both creative and media to the role. His unique background will accelerate our expertise and capabilities in this important area and help us continue to evolve our strong, data-driven culture.”

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