Grey London taps ex W+K MP Samantha Brookes as Head of Account Leadership Grey London taps ex W+K MP as Head of Account Leadership
Samantha Brookes, a former Bacardi exec, also becomes Managing Partner.
By Grey LDN | December 18, 2016
Grey London has appointed Samantha Brookes, formerly of Wieden + Kennedy London’s Management Team and Bacardi Global Director of Brand Learning and Creative Culture, as Head of Account Leadership and Managing Partner. It is the second senior female appointment to Grey’s leadership team in recent weeks, following the hiring of former AMV BBDO Head of Strategy Innovation Lilian Sor as its Head of Strategy.
In this role, Brookes will take on a specific remit championing account leadership within the agency: taking overall responsibility for cultivating great leadership within the account management department itself, nurturing and growing its existing talent and recruiting the best external talent to join the agency. As the agency redefines both the nature of its creative output and its commercial relationships, she will also champion innovative partnerships and new ways of working with clients.
Leo Rayman, CEO, says: “Sam’s experience is rooted in culture, creativity and innovation – values we share and fight for every day. I want her to champion those values across the agency, and specifically within our already excellent account management department – which, as the industry changes, is absolutely central to the work and more important than ever. Having run her own start-ups, she matches our own entrepreneurial spirit, while her experience at Bacardi gives her a great understanding of our clients’ perspective. I want her to redefine what account management can do in a creatively-led agency. We’re incredibly excited to have her.”
During her 10 years at Wieden + Kennedy, Brookes held three distinct roles – first as Group Account Director working on Coca-Cola and Sony, as Client Services Director & Management Team Partner, and, finally, as founder and Managing Director of its innovation lab, W+K Platform. She also launched the W+K Education programme, which was designed to inspire and build the knowledge and skills needed to work in a creative business.
Brookes has also spent a number of years’ client-side, as Bacardi’s Global Director of Brand Learning and Creative Culture between 2012-2015. There, she established a marketing leadership academy designed to build capabilities and inspire Bacardi’s marketers; managed the recruitment of global creative agency partners across its brand portfolio; and developed the Bacardi Global HQ environment to become a more creatively inspiring and culturally engaging place to work.
She began her career at TBWA Simons Palmer, before stints at RKCR and HHCL & Partners preceded her decade at W+K. She has also consulted for a variety of businesses, including ITV Creative, Pablo and as Founding Partner for Fabula Creative Studio.
Brookes adds: “This is an interesting and exciting time in the evolution of Grey London, as a creative and cultural force in the industry. I cannot wait to champion great people and to create brilliant work for great brands.”
Brookes replaces outgoing Client Services Director Nicola Wardell, who joins Havas in 2017 following eight years at the agency.