The Barbarian Group Expects Its New Leadership Team’s Work to Be More Ambitious

Both technically and creatively

The Barbarian Group—which recently became an agency partner for Kind Snacks, won digital/social media marketing duties for United Arab Emirates' Etihad Airways and turned heads with its "brick phone" stunt at this year's Cannes Lions festival—will move into the fall with a new executive lineup following a recent round of hires and promotions.

Most prominently, Edu Pou has been promoted from executive creative director to chief creative officer. CEO Sophie Kelly told Adweek that Pou—who joined the agency in late 2014 after stints as senior copywriter at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and head of creative innovation at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam—played a significant role in all recent new business pitches and "had an instrumental impact on the talent we've hired" in 2015.

Two of those hires are Ian Daly and Darren Himebrook, who will be chief strategy officer and head of operations, respectively.

Daly, who is the New York-based agency's first strategic lead, worked as a writer and editor before entering the agency world. He joins The Barbarian Group from TBWA's Apple-focused agency, Media Arts Lab, where he spent two years as group strategy director. Kelly noted that Daly brings "a blend of journalistic skills from time spent writing at Details and WIRED" to the new job, along with "a great appreciation of creating big ideas and strategies for brands." Prior to his time at MAL, he worked on the planning teams at Grey New York and Anomaly.

Himebrook, a veteran of multiple agencies' production departments, will oversee Barbarian's operations as well as its independent content studio, Lot112. Kelly said he was hired for his "beautiful mix of understanding how to produce fantastic film and curate stories" along with his "hardcore tech chops." He entered the agency world as a producer, working on the Burger King account at Crispin Porter + Bogusky before spending time at Wieden + Kennedy and helping Virginia's The Martin Agency expand its in-house production capabilities for such clients as Geico, Microsoft and Benjamin Moore.

The Barbarian Group also promoted tech director Robert Christ to the role of chief technology officer. Kelly told Adweek that Christ, who held similar positions at Crispin and Publicis, played "an instrumental role" in several new business wins utilizing the open-source coding platform Cinder and serves as "an inspiration to the tech community outside The Barbarian Group." In explaining the promotion, Kelly cited Christ's "fantastic ability to replicate his technical vision" while helping clients "understand new and different marketing experiences."

"Expect [their work] to be more technically and creatively ambitious," Kelly said of the new team. "We now have the blend of brand tinkerers and tech prowess to do this."

She added, "We are also obsessed with bringing data and creativity together in a harmonious way, and with the new team, we want to use these smarts to create a little more awe in the world."

Future Barbarian projects will include digital/social work for Etihad Airways, created in collaboration with Cheil Worldwide, as well as assorted marketing efforts for Kind Snacks.