Starcom names OMD's Habib as UK managing director

Starcom has recruited Hamid Habib from rival media agency OMD to be UK managing director.

Habib: prior to OMD he worked at Zenith for seven years
Habib: prior to OMD he worked at Zenith for seven years

Publicis Groupe-owned Starcom said Habib’s role will be to "develop the agency’s local business" and he will report to Jodie Stranger, Starcom’s UK group chief executive and president of global network clients, EMEA.

Habib, the chief strategy and innovation officer at OMD UK, has worked at the Omnicom agency since 2012.

He previously worked for Publicis Groupe’s Zenith, where he was head of strategy, from 2005 to 2012.

Starcom appointed Stranger to the newly-created role of UK group chief executive, overseeing both local and international accounts based in the UK, in June 2017.

The agency says its "unique structure" in London means it is "a truly integrated local and international leadership centre".

Stranger will retain overall responsibility for both Starcom’s local and international business in the UK.

Starcom picked up some large international accounts, including Fiat Chrysler and Visa, over the last year. Other clients include Samsung and Lidl.

Stranger said: "One of the key challenges for a truly global agency like Starcom is to drive and successfully align the strategies at a local and international level.

"By creating a UK-specific managing director role to sit alongside the international team, I believe that we’re building a new, integrated model that will deliver real value and impact for our clients, and new opportunities and synergies for our people."

Starcom, which split from sister agency Spark Foundry when Starcom Mediavest Group separated in 2016, styles itself as the human experience agency. 

Habib said: "Starcom’s human experience focus aligns completely with how I see brands’ interactions with consumers developing. The future of marketing will be marrying human creativity with new opportunities that technology provides."

He was ranked one of the top 10 media planners in the 2017 Campaign Annual and was a judge for Sales Team of the Year at the 2017 Media Week Awards.

Dan Clays, OMD UK’s chief executive, reorganised his leadership team and promoted three managing partners, Laura Fenton, David Josephs and Helen Walker last October.

That followed the exit of two senior figures, managing director Aki Mandhar and chief strategy officer Rian Shah, from OMD UK last year.

Clays said: "We wish Hamid well." Habib oversaw OMD Create, a creative hub, which will now be led by Gareth Orr as OMD’s head of Create.