Merkle has appointed Andy Ankrah to head of technology consulting to lead a new, dedicated UK practice that "aims to drive business value through technology investment and optimisation for clients".
A Media Week 30 Under 30 winner earlier this year, Ankrah has been at Dentsu's specialist customer experience management (CXM) subsidiary since graduating in 2014.
In his most recent role as senior director of solutions, he founded a customer experience optimisation (CXO) practice in the UK. This led the global deployment of new technology for clients such as Stanley Black & Decker and Volkswagen Group.
Ankrah will report to Niyi Duro-Emanuel, who leads Merkle’s UK strategy team. Duro-Emanuel took over the UK team in this new role in June.
The tech practice will aim to "provide senior brand decision-makers with deep technology planning expertise". It will include everything from "the deployment of specific technologies throughout the complete customer life cycle to establishing the business processes and talent required to operationalise the strategy at scale".
Ankrah said: “CXM requires us to make sense of a complex and fragmented landscape. This new practice will help clients slice through complexity to articulate what they really need. Ultimately, helping them accelerate and scale business value through technology and data delivered through outcome-based models."
Merkle recently named Dan Wigley as UK analytics practice lead – senior vice-president. He had been at Dentsu since 2013 and was most recently managing director – data and technology across the holding company. It also appointed Stephen Derbyshire to the position of Adobe experience platform practice lead for Merkle EMEA and Dentsu’s CXM Service Line.
Last week, fast-growing agency Jellyfish poached Dentsu Merkle pair Thomas Byrne and Adam Guilfoyle for global leadership roles.