Lida hires Cheil's Janie Rees as chief strategy officer

M&C Saatchi-owned customer engagement agency puts a tricky couple of years behind it as it completes its management team.

Rees, Golik, Goodman, Cootes and Calvert (l-r)
Rees, Golik, Goodman, Cootes and Calvert (l-r)

Lida, M&C Saatchi’s customer engagement agency, has hired the Cheil Worldwide strategy director Janie Rees as chief strategy officer and promoted strategy partner James Calvert to the new role of chief data officer.

The appointments follow Lida’s recent relaunch around the new proposition "Make work people welcome", following a tricky couple of years.

In her new job, Rees will spearhead Lida’s 12-strong strategy department, ensuring it helps the agency create work appreciated by people in the real world, in line with the new positioning. Calvert previously held the role.

At Cheil Worldwide since 2016, Rees became strategy director in October 2017, responsible for planning on the Samsung Home and corporate social responsibility business.

After starting her career as a WPP fellow at Ogilvy & Mather and JWT (now Ogilvy and Wunderman Thomspon), Rees worked at Imagination and Publicis Chemistry (now part of Digitas) before joining Sky’s marketing team as a planner.

Lida has charged Calvert with formulating its data offering as chief data officer, so that it feeds into the agency’s other disciplines, such as creative, media and technology.

Calvert steps up to his new role after almost three years as a strategy partner, helping to win accounts such as Costa Coffee, AXA and Experian and developing M&C Saatchi Group’s approach to data, alongside colleagues.

Before joining Lida, Calvert worked at FCB Inferno (and its predecessor DraftFCB) for six years, rising to commercial strategy director working on BMW and Sky. He also spent time at Wunderman.

The arrival of Rees and promotion of Calvert finalises Lida’s new management line-up alongside Jonathan Goodman and Claire Cootes, who became chief executive officer and chief operating officer respectively in November 2018, and Ben Golik, who joined the shop as chief creative officer in February last year.

Goodman said: "As we double down on creativity, it’s essential that we don’t lose sight of the importance of the role that data, tech and innovation play in delivering great work for clients.

"These two appointments, which represent the best of art and science, allow us to ensure that we are leading the industry on all of these fronts, and that we are well placed to deliver against our new proposition ‘Make work people welcome’.

"Janie and James are both amazing talents, and genuinely lovely people. I’m delighted to see them joining our exec team."

Lida said goodbye a number of major clients and senior members of staff in recent years, including the Boots and Ikea accounts and former chairman Matthew Heath and former chief executive Victoria Fox.