THE BRIEF: 

Prodigious is the in-house production company for the Publicis Groupe. Looking to bring in a COO to work with CEO to help grow the business.

Also looking to build a bench of Managing Partners for Saatchi London, ready for growth in 2019. These people need to have a mindset of nurturing their teams vs their own career.

Start date: TBC


Proposed ideas:

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MIKE WILTON - MD M&C SAATCHI LA

Mike is a Brit looking to return home. He went out to LA 4 years ago and has progressed to Joint MD. When he first took on the role of MD, the agency was in need of a new business turnaround. They had just lost a significant income earner, and Mike very quickly helped the agency return to a position of strength.

70% of the income at M&C LA comes from project based work. He has helped the agency build credibility in entertainment vs just advertising and really enjoys the new business hustle as well as knuckling down to get to work they can be proud of. They have moved from an agency which generates 5 big campaign films for a client per year to being able to produce 300 pieces of content.

Mike has been instrumental in driving the diversity agenda within the agency, and last year launched Majority - a production agency which seeks to champion female directors.

I have known Mike since he was an account manager. He is a thoroughly decent chap, who brings a very positive energy. A modern thinker who has the experience, but without being too long in the tooth.

Mike’s current salary is £150k.

CV is here

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DARREN HENDERSON - GENEral Manager Set LIVE

Darren Henderson, is currently at the experiential agency Set Live, working as General Manager responsible for the growth of the business. However, the founders have recently sold to WPP and Darren feels that they aren't invested in growing business in quite the way he was hoping. He has resigned and is due to finish in March.

Darren has a background in music having spent many years at Sony. During his time there he most notably brought back Take That. He moved to take on a role as MD at Jason Bruges Studio. He loved working with creative people and this was a role where he could flex his own creative muscle, working in partnership with the artist & designer Jason Bruges and growing that business. http://www.jasonbruges.com/art/. During his time there they created an aerial dynamic installation for Coke at the Olympic park and created the awarded Becks Green box project for Mother. He has also worked at Dare so is very familiar with agency culture.

But what impressed us most of all, is the work he has been doing for himself. Darren and his wife set up a vintage cinema company, hosting movies in unusual locations, such as Bat Man being hosted in the hell-man caves in Buckinghamshire which he went on to sell for a decent sum. Alongside this, he has also designed two immersive music experiences for the History of Electronic Music. He did secure £1m worth of investment but still needs to raise another £1m to get it up and running. The show would give music lovers a feel for this very special generation of music. A generation which democratised music, redefining what makes a musician.  Alongside this, he has also worked on an exhibition for Elvis, and a confidential exibition for Bob Dylan.

Darren is a creative entrepreneur at heart, is brilliant at networking and we thought could be an interesting left of field thought for this brief. He would love to meet you.

Here is a link to his portfolio here , and his CV.

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Simon HANKIN - CEO EXPOSURE DIGITAL

Simon started out in Music at Sony and then started Holler with two of his close mates. They used their music contacts to build the agency from the ground up. The did some standout work for the launch of Skins with Channel 4 which prompted rapid growth, that then saw them sell the agency to Leo Burnett. After Simon’s earn out, he joined Exposure Digital, and has been joint CEO. Simon has so much spirit, he has built an agency which takes clients well out of their comfort zones - his ambition for Exposure Digital has always been about being the most innovative creative agency on the planet, doing content, social, digital, all with in house capability (which he has built) and taking clients on a journey to different. The work is really impressive. However the founders of Exposure are now thinking about their exit plan and looking to collapse the P+L's of the group companies into one. Simon finds himself doing more work for the group, which he finds at odds with his entrepreneurial spirit of building a business. 

Simon may not be 100% on your brief for Prodigious. But he would be interested in a conversation. I could see him wanting to build Prodigious into the most innovative production house vs keeping wheels on the track.

His current salary is £190k.

CV is here.

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SERGIO LOPEZ - MANAGING DIRECTOR CRAFT EMEA/ CHIEF PRODUCTION OFFICER MCCANN WORLDGROUP EMEA

We love Sergio. He has basically built  in house production capability at McCann and has rolled the model out across Europe. He has grown the offering within the McCann group, building relationships with existing McCann clients as well as growing the client listing beyond their existing client roster. He leads every external new business pitch. Craft produced all the work for X-Box which won numerous awards at Cannes  and also all the MasterCard Brit Awards work was produced in house using the Craft network of talent. He saves the client lots of money and makes a lot more money for the agency, whilst retaining control of the craft. 

I was reticent about approaching Sergio about this role as it felt quite similar to the one he is currently doing at McCann. However, Sergio has a 12 year old son, and wants a role that is UK based, currently he spends too much time on a plane.

He would be very interested in meeting to talk about this role with Prodigious. Current salary is £260k plus he has share options and a bonus incentive too which I thought is worth mentioning upfront.

CV is here.

Bianca DORDEA - CEO at DDB BERLIN

Bianca is brilliant. One of the most impressive ‘first time’ agency leaders we’ve met in a while.
Bianca until recently lead global business for DDB Worldwide (Henkel) and has previously lead other global accounts too for the DDB network including Ebay and Sony. 

Bianca was handed a really difficult ‘gig’, being promoted into her first office/agency leadership role when made CEO of DDB Berlin in June last year 2017. They had just lost a large client, moral was really low and she took over just as the agency was shrinking from 100 to 60 people (having to make a number of the redundancies as a first task in her new role), losing also her ECD and having to hire in new ECDs.  She has since, for the last year been rebuilding the agency successfully. The recent satisfactions survey shows the working culture is moving back in the right direction and the agency had success at Cannes in the summer, winning a number of lions for ‘The Uncensored Playlist’. More widely work has improved and growth is on the agenda again. 

Bianca isn’t German and doesn’t speak German and while she loves Berlin has gone as far as she feels she can go with German clients who don’t value creativity (and at times don’t wish to work in English!). Henkel's Superbowl add was it seems (when compared to others efforts) for her a particular 'validation point'/negative experience!

Most recently Bianca was heavily involved in the European VW pitch. Much of the business from that win will come through the Berlin office, which is great for DDB. Creative and strategy will be mainly led by Adan&Eve DDB in London. While that was the right decision, their work won the pitch and their armoury is far bigger than Bianca’s it does mean DDB Berlin will take on more of a VW satellite agency positioning. 

Coming full circle to Bianca’s desire to drive creative agenda’s and her handicap in not speaking business German (which she feels the leader of the VW agency needs to be able to do) , she has decided she should move on. Her European and global CEOs understand. They are at the early stages of discussing some possible roles in the US with Bianca… she is also keen to explore opportunities in London. Bianca knows she wouldn’t move to the UK or US for a CEO role. She’s not ready for that, but would position herself at a Managing partner of MD type level.  Based on the conversation about ’Saatchi Client leadership 2019’ aligned with her timing being of the mindset to move we think she is someone you should meet to have on your radar. 

Bianca earns around €200k 
CV is here

RICHARD LAWSON - MD AT FCB INFERNO

At FCB, Richard is currently leading the operational transformation of the agency through a series of internal initiatives, including a partnership with performance marketing agency Cadastra, a tie-up with FCB Mumbai for studio and digital development, a new influencer division, and evolving their in-house production company Fuel. With Fuel, he’s hired a new Head Of Broadcast & Talent, staffed up (new editor, new production manager etc), over-hauled how they monetise the offering to ensure the best profit, helped create new creds, and led the internal sell-in.

At Anomaly, he injected rigour and process into the agency, partnering closely with the COO, and helped return it to profit within 12 months. He left because Camilla was too hands on. During his time at Anomaly he ran Beats By Dre, led the Budweiser Dream Goal work (which is some of Anomaly’s best and most successful work) and Diageo business.

While at BBH, he became known as a ‘trusted innovator’ (direct quote from his appraisal!) after leading various forays into the unknown, from their first piece of content (Johnnie Walker) to their first brand website (Axe). This culminated in his second stint on BA, on which he drove the transition to a new model after the 2014 pitch, doubling the scope and size of team as they took on loyalty strategy and e-CRM delivery from Ogilvy, and setting up the joint venture with 7 Seconds.

Finally, his time at BBH gave him a love of craft. The knowledge that, as John Hegarty says, "creativity is 80% idea and 80% execution".

FCB have had a tough year financially, and so Richard is starting to have a conversation or two as he is concerned for the overall health of the agency.

CV is here.


AMY GARRETT - ex-GEneral manager at droga5

Amy Garrett, was General Manager at Droga5 London. She helped set the London agency up. From pitching, winning and running the FarFetch business, winning the Impulse business, to getting 3 million views for the collaboration film between Rudimental and Beats by Dre, to launching a new channel for the BBC called Brit, to name but a few of her achievements. She has not only led every new business pitch, with a successful track history of success, she has operationally helped set up the agency here in London. Amy gets stuff done and knows how to make it happen. What she loves most is genuine creative partnership. She was very close to Nik Studzinski (ECD of Droga now at Karmarama) and he brought her over to Droga5 when they first opened.

Droga5 has been a turbulent journey and Amy had invested lots of time, energy and belief in the most recent senior management team, however this year has been a tough one financially and they could not justify a large salary on their P+L so parted ways only very recently.

Prior to Droga5, Amy was leading Boots and ran InBev Becks Green Box project at Mother, an award winning creative platform which featured an augmented reality networked art gallery.

Amy is someone we have long wanted to connect you to, and think could be very interesting for the Prodigious COO role but also as a senior figure within Saatchis.

CV is here.


ANNABEL HUNT - ex-CSD at Adjust your set

As a seasoned Client Services Director Annabel has taken on a client leadership role in several high profile agencies, being accountable for the financial health of the business, whilst leading, and growing client business worth in excess of £5m revenue and recruited/managed the team required to deliver this. With a solid New Business background she is also a tenacious business development professional.

She is a team player who thrives on building and mentoring a strong, effective, happy team focused on delivering results and profit. Being versatile, quick to react, a self starter and also believing the devil is in the detail she believes in doing things right, transparency and delivering the absolute best for clients, agencies and media owners alike. She is a hand’s on Client Services Director who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty whilst overseeing and/or managing all levels of productions.

In recent years her focus has been on audience first communication offerings, including building content strategies and frameworks for multiple brands, as well as delivering the production and distribution of digital and social content.

Most relevantly as Client Services Director of Adjust Your Set she was responsible for delivering complex content campaigns and social partnerships across all media channels (owned, earned and paid) for high profile brands such as Marks & Spencer, Bacardi Group, Baileys, Foster’s, Debenhams, Facebook and Barclaycard, to name a few. She has focused on this type of work since her time at Cake (back in 2003) creating content through events and experiences for PR coverage, through RedBee Media and Naked Communications. Activations have included bringing back Alan Partridge for Foster’s, content creation for and at a Bacardi event in the Bermuda Triangle, M&S: Food Love Stories, a series of Celebrity partnerships for ‘In The Moment’, an event called ‘The Table’, bringing chefs together for some epic food adventures, launching Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's makeup and perfume range, and many more. 

CV is here.