Lucky Generals has promoted Cressida Holmes-Smith, currently joint head of account management, to managing director.
In her new role, she will take responsibility for building the agency, overseeing the development of its 87-strong UK staff and diversity initiatives and steering the future of Lucky Generals as a workplace, when Covid-19 restrictions eventually relax.
Holmes-Smith’s promotion follows the departure of Lucky Generals' chief executive, Katie Lee, who left the shop last week to join the mental-health wellbeing app Clementine.
Having been at the Omnicom majority-owned shop since April 2018, Holmes-Smith quickly rose from business director to client director before becoming joint head of account management in July 2020.
She has significantly grown the Co-op account – Lucky Generals’ biggest piece of business – since she brought it on board.
Helen Calcraft, founder at Lucky Generals, said: “Cress is great at understanding people at a time when we’re all thinking about our staff, their welfare and our culture. And her success on massive retail accounts demonstrates her grasp of commercial issues and her ability to work with lots of stakeholders while being able to step back and see the bigger picture. She is an all-round general.”
At Bartle Bogle Hegarty for five and a half years prior to Lucky Generals, Holmes-Smith worked on Lynx and Tesco. She started her career in new business at JWT Paris (now Wunderman Thompson Paris) before joining Ogilvy’s Fellowship graduate scheme.
She said: “I like to keep learning, and I'm learning from the very best here. I love working with exceptionally talented (and fun) people and I love making exceptional (and fun) work.
"The chance to bring the agency together while we're still physically apart and going through challenging times is exciting. Ultimately, though, I’m most excited about delivering great work. Because with great work, comes everything else.”
Sarah Quinn, client partner and joint head of account management, will continue as the sole head of account management following Holmes-Smith’s promotion.
Lucky Generals has not had a managing director in the UK since James Fox moved to the US to run its New York office as managing partner in February 2019. The agency is currently working on a Super Bowl ad ahead of the event next month.
Lee was Lucky Generals' first chief executive when she joined in 2019. At the time, Calcraft said their relationship would be a "Thelma and Louise partnership, without the driving-over-a-cliff bit at the end."