Whatley joins after seven years at Ogilvy, where he worked closely with clients like IBM, Land Rover, Converse and International Airlines Group, helping them make gains in the tech and social space.
At Digitas, he will report into its freshly enlisted chief strategy officer Matthew Holt, who he worked alongside at Ogilvy. Whatley joins a senior team comprising chief executive Dani Bassil, his boss Matt Holt, creative chief Emma De La Fosse, managing director Gregor McQuattie and chief product officer Rafe Blanford.
Holt said: “I’m delighted James has decided to join us. He is smart, talented and curious and possesses a natural ability to connect the dots. While there is a deep heritage in brand, digital strategy and customer experience here, James will bring a different dimension to the team that I’m sure will benefit our clients in many ways.”
Whatley added: “I am so excited about this. The stars have aligned perfectly and the timing couldn’t be better. Matt is just great and I can’t wait to work with him again.
"However, the most exciting thing for me is being part of the wider Digitas family. Dani is amazing and it was her and Matt’s vision for the future that made me realise Digitas was the only way forward for me; I can’t wait to get started.”
Whatley left Ogilvy UK in December as part of its job cutting exercise, where just under 4% of staff took voluntary redundancies.