Clarity names Edelman and Omnicom alumnus as Benelux MD

Global integrated communications agency Clarity has hired Thomas Cordes as managing director for its Benelux operation, following the departure of Karin Van Geelen after 17 years of leadership.

Clarity names Edelman and Omnicom alumnus as Benelux MD

Thomas Cordes (pictured) will sit on Clarity’s European leadership team, following the acquisition in September last year of Yellow Communications, now known as Clarity Amsterdam. It now serves as Clarity’s first owned office in continental Europe, and counts Citrix, Zoom, Solvinity and Boomi among its clients.

Cordes will be based in Amsterdam and report to Clarity president, EMEA, Rachel Gilley.

A former journalist, Cordes led content marketing at LVB Networks before moving to Winkelman Van Hessen, Omnicom/Porter Novelli and, most recently, Edelman, where he held leadership positions.

In his new role, he will lead a team of integrated comms experts and build out a senior team.

Karin Van Geelen led Yellow for more than 15 years prior to its acquisition. She has stepped back to spend more time with her family and to pursue outside interests, Clarity said.

Gilley said: “We’re delighted that someone of Thomas’ calibre and experience is taking over the leadership of Clarity Amsterdam and our Benelux offering. Having worked at some of the top international agencies and in roles where he has consulted the C-suite of some of the largest technology and enterprise clients, we’re excited about the new thinking that Thomas will bring, building on the brilliant team we have and our excellent client portfolio.

“Karin has built a wonderful agency and a year on, having delivered a highly successful global integration, she has made the decision to spend more time with her family and engage in new adventures outside of agency life, and we wish her all the very best.

“Our acquisition of an Amsterdam-based agency was strategically important for us as our first mainland European office, and it continues to be a pivotal geography for us as we continue to expand further into Europe.”

Cordes said: “I am truly honoured to lead Clarity Benelux through its next phase and I am very excited about the opportunities ahead. I want to thank Karin for her leadership over the years and for the global leadership teams’ confidence in me. It is an exciting time for the communications industry from both an agency and our clients’ perspective and I look forward to partnering with Rachel and the team here in Amsterdam to drive growth and success in the coming years.”

Clarity projects global revenue growth of more than 55 per cent in 2021, following record revenue growth in 2020 of 47 per cent, year on year. In 2021, the agency added a planning and impact division globally, acquired Cornwall-based creative, analytics and SEO agency 3White Hats, and expanded its global partner network to 35 agencies. Recent client wins include Staffbase, SurveyMonkey and Burt.

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