Maxus UK head of strategy and planning Jen Smith has been appointed as the GroupM agency’s first ever global creative director.
Smith, who has been with Maxus since 2013, has been credited with restructuring the planning team and creating bespoke planning process ‘Change Planning’.
“Maxus is a super-fast and agile global agency and there’s a fantastic opportunity to drive creativity across our network,” said Smith. “Clients are calling out for work that is brave, problem-solving and with one foot firmly planted in the future.
“I’m looking forward to taking the initiatives that have delivered in the UK out across the world, creating creativity leadership programmes, along with developing stronger and senior creative opportunities for key clients across the globe.
“I could not be more excited to take up the opportunity to drive creativity across Maxus and to help the entire organisation lead change in a whole new way.”
Smith will still be based in London, reporting to Maxus worldwide head of planning Nick Vale and Maxus UK chief executive officer Nick Baughan, splitting her time 50/50 between Maxus UK and Maxus Global.
“Without any shadow of a doubt we are in the midst of a revolution in media; there’s a tremendous opportunity to create new types of work that sizzle with excitement, but to properly deliver it takes more than lip-service or hybrid strategy/ideas roles – it requires dedicated talent with the space to focus, explore and create,” commented Vale.
“As one of the most intuitively creative media thinkers in the business today I can think of no-one better that Jen to push us to new and exciting places.”
According to Maxus worldwide chief executive officer Lindsay Pattison, Smith has played a key part in gender equality initiative ‘Walk the Walk’, helping women identify their goals and find confidence to achieve them.
“Jen took these learnings on board and came to me with a proposal for this new role that both benefits Maxus and offers her the ideal step up; she is truly walking the talk,” said Pattison.
“Jen has been an absolutely integral part of Maxus UK; she’s a brilliant communicator and left field thinker, and has consistently come up with ideas that move the needle for our clients and make us a more efficient, creative business.”