Harwood, who has started at the indie media agency today, effectively replaces former chief strategy officer Dino Myers-Lamptey, who left to join MullenLowe London last May. He reports to founding partner Jenny Biggam and managing partner Liam Mullins.
Biggam told Campaign Harwood’s new role would include added responsibilities and that the agency had also hired two strategy directors to ensure clients had access to senior-level strategists.
She described Harwood as a "hybrid" talent who can tackle either the creative or evidence-based side of a media planning brief and was well-placed to work across all categories of client. The agency’s client roster includes Nintendo, Suzuki and Ladbrokes Coral.
The first new strategy director, former Syzygy director of strategy Chris Gilfoy, joined in October and another appointment is due to be announced soon, Biggam said.
At PHD, where he had worked for 12 years, Harwood was latterly head of creativity and innovation and is credited with playing an integral role in the "Oreo eclipse" campaign for Mondelez International and in the successful pitch for Volkswagen Group’s EMEA media business.
Harwood’s work has been recognised with a number of industry awards from Campaign, Cannes Lions, D&AD, Eurobest, the IPA and Media Week. He is also the author of the "Media Context for Comms Planning" module for the IPA Advanced Certificate.
He was also responsible for producing a series of Thought Leadership projects exploring the impact of touch and personalisation in advertising for AdWeek Europe, and also oversaw the development of PHD's proprietary operating system, Source.
Biggam added: "He has a fantastic industry reputation and will help us in our ambition of creating impactful and engaging campaigns that drive success for our clients."
Harwood joined PHD as a media planner in 2005, working on media accounts for Transport for London, McCain and Revlon, and was eventually promoted to media director in 2010. At the beginning of 2012 he was appointed as PHD’s first planning director, and became head of creativity and innovation in 2015.