Reading Room ex-MD Sarah Vick resurfaces at Siberia to steer European growth
Sarah Vick, former managing director at Reading Room, has resurfaced at product design agency Siberia as European president to steer the growth of the business outside of its US headquarters.
Vick departed Reading Room in April after 13 years at the agency. Her move followed the agency’s acquisition by public service software solutions provider Idox for £5.6m. At the time she told The Drum: “It was time for me to move on and try something new”.
Now she joins a “new breed of consultancy” specialising in “cutting edge technological product design”, she told The Drum. Siberia centres around providing business solutions through product development, specifically in sectors like automotive, aerospace, sports manufacturing, “any industry that is having to change its game using technology” Vick said.
She said: “A lot of businesses don’t have innovation teams or product development teams, and need a third party to help.”
When quizzed on wider industry challenges facing innovation, embodied by the closure of Ogilvy Labs last month, Vick said “whether that was because their approach wasn't right or what they were offering was not right for the market, that is not indicative of the whole industry”.
“What we have found is that the market is open for it for any client that needs to evolve their business”, she added, “Automotive and aerospace need to change in order to move with the times. We haven't grown out of a traditional agency model, we are independent so we get to do it our own way.”
As European President, Vick will be responsible for further expanding the business in its European offices in London and Berlin, where it doesn’t have a big profile. The business plans to double in size in the next year.
Commenting on her decision to move from a traditional digital agency to a fledgling consultancy business, Vick said: “The thing that sets Siberia apart for me is that what we work on is always new. This reminds me of when I first started out in digital at the beginning of the 90s where the things we worked on had never been done before. I get that feeling when I talk to the people and look at the work we do at Siberia. And that's exciting.”
Founding partner, Darrell Whitelaw said: “When we entered Europe we knew that being a home for the best talent making the greatest products and services of their careers was our mission. Sarah's passion for the work and proven track record of success is what we look for and I'm excited to see where her leadership and vision takes us.”
Siberia will be recruiting in both London and Berlin in the coming months as the business grows.
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