Carat UK names McgarryBowen London’s Rick Hirst as first CEO
Dentsu Aegis has picked McgarryBowen London boss Rick Hirst to become the first chief executive for its Carat UK business in the hope his experience in the creative space can help differentiate its media arm.
He replaces managing director Matthew Hook, who has been promoted to the newly created role of chief strategic officer for Dentsu Aegis UK and Ireland, becoming part of chief executive Tracy De Groose’s core team.
Hirst is tasked with growing the business at a time when media is becoming increasingly fragmented and more commoditised. Like other media businsseses, Carat is looking for more creative ways to solve these issues, particularly as the industry accelerates towards the world of programmatic.
It’s why Hirst’s creative perspective of adland is seen as a fillip to Carat’s USP, which he will work closely with De Groose to hone when he joins in the summer.
Prior to leading McgarryBowen London, Hirst was at Engine where he worked simultaneously as partner and client managing director. He has also had stints at WCRS, BBH and Fallon.
"I'm incredibly excited to be joining Carat," said Hirst.
"Helping clients win in today's digital economy will take diverse teams and constant innovation. The boundaries are blurring and hybrid leaders are becoming more and more important. What hasn't changed is that it's still about brave ideas, client-centric ways of working and innovation. I'm looking forward bringing my years of experience in the creative business and adding it to the great Carat brand and leadership team that are already in place."
At Carat, Hirst is backed by chief client officer Matthew Landeman , who has been promoted to the managing director role alongside strategic officer Dan Hagen and chief marketing officer Stuart Newman.
"These appointments represent an exciting time for our business and are testament to the ability of our network to help our people build interesting and diverse careers,” explained De Groose. “The moves strengthen our leadership by bringing fresh new perspectives and expertise to our different agencies and to our clients."
The search for Hirst’s replacement at McgarryBowen is underway and will be announced in the coming weeks.