M&C Saatchi Talk hires ex-Golin strategy and innovation chief for new role

M&C Saatchi Talk has made another senior hire following news of managing director Chris Hides' departure, with Will Cooke joining from Golin in the new role of head of strategy and creative.

M&C Saatchi Talk said Cooke (pictured) will join the Board and be responsible for "driving growth and leading on the agency’s proposition, process, and practice to deliver valuable brand conversations". He will also work with the M&C Saatchi Intelligence team to manage its insight and measurement tools to inform strategy and creative execution.

PRWeek revealed last month that Hides is leaving later this year to join The Academy as managing director.

His role will not be replaced. Instead the agency sought to 'upweight' existing department leads and make two senior appointments: Lucy Swan as head of consumer, and now Cooke to lead on strategy and creative.

Cooke joins from Golin, where he was most recently executive director, strategy and innovation.

He has experience across a range of sectors including alcohol, automotive, FMCG, tech and travel, and has worked on campaigns for Diageo, Honda, Adobe, Virgin Trains, Unilever and Mondelez, among others.

His clients at M&C Saatchi Talk will include Homebase, EE, Dixons Carphone, Johnson & Johnson, Pandora, Le Creuset and Pernod Ricard.

Ryan Woor, chief operating officer at M&C Saatchi Talk, said: “We are thrilled to have Will join our leadership team. His drive and ambition to make a real difference to audiences, brands, and culture, combined with his vast brand experience, made him a clear choice at this pivotal stage in the agency’s new chapter and vision ahead.”

Cooke said: “Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some very smart folk and truly remarkable brands. Those who had the fire and passion to create work that was not just seen but shared and talked about. There is a real potency to M&C Saatchi Talk’s offering, and with the insights, collaboration and scale of its network there is the assured ability to create the conversations that drive meaningful change.”

Another recent appointment at the agency is senior associate director Chloe Mitchell, who joined last month from Ready10.

M&C Saatchi Talk, which is part of the listed marcomms group M&C Saatchi, formed this spring from the merger of M&C Saatchi PR and sister agency Talk.Global.


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