H&K appoints Habitat’s marketing chief as MD

Hill & Knowlton has appointed Habitat group head of marketing Richard Millar as managing director of marketing and new business development as the agency prepares to revamp its brand image in the UK.

Millar, who was previously an associate director at H&K before working at Habitat for seven years, took up his new position this week.

He reports to CEO Marie Louise Windeler and leads the agency’s eight-strong UK business development team, replacing Jon Rivett who left in November to found Paratus Communications.

Millar’s responsibilities include handling the UK section of H&K’s global initiative to refresh its brand over the next two to three months and to strengthen the agency’s marketing and new business function. He will also lead the agency’s retail practice, working with clients including DIY chain B&Q.

‘I am relishing the opportunity to apply my retail marketing experience in an agency environment, and to use the insight gained on the other side of the fence for H&K’s advantage and our clients’ benefit,’ said Millar.

At Habitat, in addition to his group marketing role, Millar had full profit and loss responsibility for almost 40 UK stores in a business with a turnover of £135m. Windeler said Millar played an important role in bringing Habitat back to profit in 2002/3.

‘We are always glad to have back people who have left Hill & Knowlton. The head of marketing position is key to the lifeline of any agency, and it is particularly critical for us in a time when the market is still varied in different parts of the business,’ said Windeler.

Windeler added that Josie Stevens, who has been acting as director of marketing since Rivett left in November, may stay on with the agency in another capacity.

H&K has 70 offices across 34 countries with a turnover of £150m.

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