Havas Media Group has appointed Bret Leece in the newly created role of global chief data and innovation officer.
Leece, who will be based in New York, joins from Dentsu Aegis Network, where he headed the M1 data platform. He has previously held roles at companies including comScore, Initiative and AEG.
Tasked with overseeing the creation of data products and services to provide a platform for the planning and buying of "meaningful" media, Leece will also be responsible for data sourcing and governance, as well as audience planning.
Peter Mears, chief executive of Havas Media Group, said: "More than ever, clients want engaging, meaningful content to communicate with their customers – they want that content to be built on a data foundation comprised of what their customers think, feel and do.
"As such, [Leece] will work closely with Havas Media’s technology team, [which] focuses on platform architecture that leads to greater scale."
Leece added: "In a world awash with data about what people do, understanding the reasons why people do what they do is more important than ever. This is extraordinarily complicated.
"Havas has all of the right ingredients to solve for this: thousands of passionate and smart people, deep connectivity to content creators and great relationships with our clients’ media partners. Now is the time to pull these assets together and deliver a deeper understanding of why people make the decisions that they do and, ultimately, deliver our clients’ messages in a meaningful media experience."