SAN FRANCISCO: Hotwire has appointed Laura Macdonald as its first head of consumer for North America, effective immediately.
As VP and head of consumer for North America, Macdonald will report to Gwen Murphy, EVP of client services for North America. To develop global consumer accounts, Macdonald will also work closely with Emma Hazan, MD of consumer at Hotwire in London, and Sandrine Atallah, consumer director at Hotwire in Australia.
Macdonald will oversee six staffers.
Most recently, Macdonald was a VP at Hotwire. She will continue to lead integrated communications campaigns for Hotwire’s consumer and tech clients, including Disney Star Wars licensee Plox, Brompton Bicycles, Varidesk, and Orion Labs. She will also focus on new business opportunities.
Macdonald explained that the role was created to contend with the growing number of consumer companies that are embracing technology. She noted that at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, many nontraditional tech brands such as Lego were present.
Macdonald said her main objective will be to emphasize that Hotwire is a consumer shop as well as a tech firm.
"I want people to know that we do fantastic integrated campaigns for clients that more traditional consumer shops wouldn’t do because they wouldn’t be coming from the same background we have in terms of future thinking," she said.
Macdonald has worked at the firm since 2008, when she joined Hotwire’s former sister agency, Skywrite Communications, as senior account manager. In 2009, she took a sabbatical and worked in Australia for Howorth Communications as a contractor.
The following year, Macdonald rejoined Skywrite as account director and was promoted to associate director in June 2011.
In 2012, Skywrite was folded into Hotwire to function as its consumer team, and Macdonald was named head of consumer at Hotwire’s London office.
She moved to the U.S. in October 2015 to lead Hotwire’s San Francisco office, prior to the firm’s acquisition of Eastwick late last year. Since then, the firm has had no official head of San Francisco.