VMLY&R London confirms Lewis as CSO

11 Oct 2018  |  David Pidgeon 
VMLY&R London confirms Lewis as CSO

WPP's newly merged VMLY&R London has confirmed that Sophie Lewis - who joined Y&R just last month - will be chief strategy officer, reporting to European CEO Jon Sharpe.

Prior to joining Y&R in the same role in September, Lewis was previously head of planning at Iris. At VMLY&R she will work closely with Andy Ortner, head of integrated strategy, who joined VML after a decade at Deloitte and Accenture.

Ortner will continue to manage the strategy department reporting to Lewis. The former CSO of Y&R London, Emily James will continue to work with VMLY&R as a strategy consultant.

With a career spanning more than 20 years in the industry, Lewis’ experience ranges from large global networks to independent creative agencies. She started at BBH in account management before taking on planning roles at Mother, JWT, AMV BBDO and Iris.

She has worked across a number of the industry’s most high-profile campaigns including Boot’s ‘Here come the Girls’, Sainsbury’s ‘Christmas in a Day’ and Libresse’s ‘No Blood’.

After much speculation, WPP announced the creation of a "new brand experience agency" by unifying digital agency VML and creative agency Y&R last month.

VMLY&R will employ more than 7,000 people and is expected to be fully operational early next year. WPP said it is to be one of the advertising giant's principal brands, and will be able to deliver a fully integrated digital and creative offering to clients on a global scale.

On Thursday, VMLY&R has also made changes in its strategy department with the hire of three new strategy directors: Mike Redfern, joining from Publicis Australia where he held the same role, Jennifer Cownie, joining from TMW, and Nicky Buss, from Saatchi & Saatchi.

“We want to hire brilliant people – and Sophie’s brilliant," said Sharpe.

"Her track record of big brand-building ideas coupled with her understanding of the connected consumer experience are a perfect match for VMLY&R. She also happens to be a genuinely nice person. I’m delighted Sophie is joining our brilliant team in London and helping us to take the exciting VMLY&R proposition to market.”

Sophie Lewis added: “The unification of VMLY&R is really exciting. We are now a truly integrated offering which means we can focus on delivering transformational ideas, wherever they need to live, for our clients. I can’t wait to get stuck in as part of the amazing team Jon has assembled.”

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