Lucky Generals brings on Katie Lee as first CEO

Lee was the former MD of Y&R London before it merged with VML.

Lucky Generals brings on Katie Lee as first CEO

Lucky Generals has appointed former Y&R London managing director Katie Lee as its first chief executive.

Lee joined the agency this month with a focus on the UK, reporting to founding partner Helen Calcraft. 

Her hire comes shortly after the news that Lucky Generals plans to open its first international office in New York within the next two months. About 50% of the five-year-old shop’s income now comes from American clients such as Amazon and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Lee was previously the MD of Y&R London from July until September 2018, when it merged with VML and formed VMLY&R. At that point Lee, along with chief executive Paul Lawson and chief creative officer Jon Burley, was made redundant

Before that she served as MD of Sunshine, Gravity Road and Leo Burnett. She has also worked at Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Saatchi & Saatchi after starting her career at Collett Dickenson Pearce. 

Calcraft said: "This is a rare case of the perfect person being available at the perfect time for us. Katie is not only a brilliant practitioner, equally comfortable leading pitches and running an agency, but a great cultural fit for us. She joins us at a time when we are expanding rapidly, at home and abroad. I am not going anywhere but Katie's arrival will help us to grow and develop our brand without dropping the ball with our much-loved existing clients. It'll be a Thelma and Louise partnership, without the driving-over-a-cliff bit at the end." 

Late last year, Lucky Generals won the £45m global pitch for US-based cruise line Celebrity Cruises as well as Co-op’s £50m advertising account in the UK.

Lee added: "From all the conversations I have had over the past few months, what really stood out was the absolute passion and commitment that Lucky Generals places on its work and people. While others are getting distracted with structure and capability, this focus on what's important will continue to set Lucky Generals apart for the next five years."