Arnold CEO Kiran Smith welcomes chief strategy officer Guy Lambert and chief financial officer Lucia Ferrante as her first key hires since succeeding former chief executive Pam Hamlin in July.
“One of the things I wanted to do” coming into the role, Smith told Adweek, is “to make sure … as we continue to grow this organization and meet the needs of the modern CMO, that we have the right players in place. These two additions to our team really help round out … the senior leadership team at Arnold.”
Smith explained that her client-side experience before joining the agency led her to consider “the need to have a strategy-inspired, strategy-led creative.”
“As someone on the CMO side of the table, it needed to be creative with a purpose,” she said. “For me, having a head of strategy that really is able to translate those opportunities that we see on the client side—solutions, experiences, products—that was someone that we needed to have lead our business strategy and our business insights team.”
She added that Lambert “hits all of my criteria out of the park,” citing his “20 years of international strategy experience” and experience working with clients including Samsung, Nokia, General Motors and Toshiba.
Lambert joins Arnold from Leo Burnett, where he served as executive vice president, global strategy director. Prior to joining Leo Burnett in 2016, he spent a year as global strategy director for Team Vodafone at WPP and then four years as head of strategy, managing director at Williams Murray Hamm.
He succeeds Ed Castillo, who joined Arnold in the newly-created global chief strategy officer role from TBWA\Chiat\Day New York in 2016. Castillo left Arnold in April for undisclosed reasons and appears to be freelancing. The agency declined to elaborate on his departure.
Ferrante arrives at Arnold from Cone Communications, where she spent over three and a half years as chief financial officer. Before joining Cone Communications as director of finance in December of 2013, she spent nearly 15 years with Feinstein Kean Healthcare, most recently serving as senior vice president, director of finance.
“I’m so excited to have Lucy come on the team,” Smith said, adding that she “reflects a strong business acumen” and “is going to roll up her sleeves, help set us up in terms of the best relationships we can have with our partners and continue to help modernize the agency as we continue to grow.”
Ferrante fills the vacancy left with the departure of Scott Feyler, a 25-year agency veteran who was a global director of operations and managing partner, in addition to chief financial officer. Feyler left the agency in May, after announcing his departure at the same time as former CEO Pam Hamlin. He joined fellow Boston agency Hill Holliday as chief financial officer and chief operating officer in July.
Smith explained that the hires were specifically aligned to help the agency meet its future needs and create a team that is “agile” and “experienced in working in fast-paced environments.”
“The advantage I had by hiring some really key players with different perspectives, different backgrounds, different objectives is what was going to continue to create a leadership team that was effective at challenging one another but also that would work well together as a broader team,” she said.
Smith added that the new arrivals to the senior leadership team have “amazing” chemistry with the creative team, calling them “a great compliment” to CCO Icaro Doria and recent executive creative director hires Fred Saldanha and Max Geraldo.
Smith confirmed that Arnold’s restructuring also involved eliminating certain positions, but declined to elaborate on which roles or departments were impacted. Several parties confirmed that Minnie Damle, who served as chief talent officer for Arnold Worldwide and Havas Media Boston, had been let go, but the agency declined to comment.
Going forward, Smith said the key focus areas for her at Arnold will be new business, existing clients and the agency’s people. She explained that the new hires position Arnold to be a “more complete solution provider for our partners.”
“This is about partnership,” she added. “The agencies that are going to be successful are the ones that are an extension of their client partners and really are in that battle together with them, providing a unique perspective that they may not be able to get internally.”