Wavemaker hires Accenture MD to complete Toby Jenner's leadership team

Kathryn Spaeth joins as global chief transformation officer and will lead its consulting practice.

Kathryn Spaeth: Wavemaker's new global consulting lead
Kathryn Spaeth: Wavemaker's new global consulting lead

Wavemaker has hired Kathryn Spaeth, currently a managing director at Accenture, as its new global chief transformation officer. 

She succeeds Jason Dormieux, who was appointed Group M’s chief data and technology officer in June.

Based in New York, Spaeth joins a leadership team that has been bolstered by the recent additions of global investment officer Helen Price and global chief people, inclusion and culture officer Shipra Roy.

Spaeth has been hired to lead Wavemaker’s consultancy hub, which contains 2,250 staff consulting on commerce, precision, content, data, addressable, tech and analytics.

She will also be responsible for strengthening Wavemaker’s collaboration with media partners – including Google, Amazon and Facebook – to “deliver innovative solutions for brands”.

Jenner said Spaeth’s position is different from her predecessor's in that it will be closer to the role of management consultants and have a deeper focus on working with Wavemaker’s teams and clients. Dormieux’s remit had a stronger focus on product innovation.

Wavemaker’s consultancy hub has been one of the agency's best-performing divisions in the past year, with 25% revenue growth, Jenner said. Several of the agency’s larger clients, including L'Oréal, Danone, Huawei and Colgate use Wavemaker’s consultancy services in addition to traditional media buying and planning.

Jenner said: “That's really been an engine of growth because it's the area that our clients are specifically asking us to explore and support them in. So to have that depth and breadth of talent and capabilities is really a huge benefit to Wavemaker.” 

He described Spaeth as “intelligent, tenacious and experienced in everything we need to help positively provoke growth at a client enterprise level”. 

He continued: “As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, her expertise will be invaluable in supporting our clients’ digital transformation journeys.” 

At Accenture, Spaeth is managing director of Applied Intelligence and is responsible for advising executives on large transformation projects that use data and new technologies. She also led analytics engagements with consumer packaged goods, retail and life sciences clients.

She claims her new business work led to more than $20m in revenue growth.

Spaeth previously held senior transformation and marketing roles at Epsilon and United Airlines. At Epsilon she was director of client services and served as the client lead for Walgreens Boots Alliance.

She has also worked for Silicon Valley start-ups – including ActiveBuddy, Focalink and Realnames – and was part of the team that launched the first intelligent agent or "chatbot" called SmarterChild, considered the precursor to Siri and Alexa.

Spaeth said: “I believe that Wavemaker truly has an opportunity to offer best-in-class consultancy services, strategically guiding clients to generate incremental value from their media and creative by leveraging data, content and technology.

"I am eager to join the leadership team to shape Wavemaker's future, inspire innovation and help teams and clients leverage the power of our ideas to bring about transformational growth.”


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