Chris Kief, who has led the tech departments at several major agencies over the past decade, left his position as CTO at Saatchi & Saatchi New York earlier this month to become head of technology at 360i.
In his new role, Kief will report directly to 360i CCO Pierre Lipton, who was also CCO of M&C Saatchi from 2012 to 2014.
Kief will oversee the agency’s entire tech department, and the release also tells us that he will work on “advancing how 360i uses product development to deploy custom solutions for clients’ technical and big-data needs” and expanding the “360i Innovation Lab,” which the shop uses to play with new tech toys and figure out how to use them in client campaigns.
Kief’s most recent gig was his second stint with the Saatchi organization. In 2010-2011 he was the agency’s director of creative technology, and he also spent two separate periods with TBWA–first as its creative technology director overseeing the digital side of work for such clients as British Airways and Absolut and later as its global executive technology director based in New York.
While at TBWA, he also served as CTO of the shop’s product development unit Pilot.is, helping to create “brand agnostic platforms” related to marketing presentations, content distribution, et cetera.
Outside the agency world, Kief helped launch the L.A.-based tech firm Mindflood in 2002. Last year, he also co-founded VendorDB along with former BBDO/Saatchi/CP+B producer Daniel Murphy, who most recently worked in Google’s creative lab. Their product is “a comprehensive database of companies in the creative industries” designed to help interested parties find vendors.
Kief’s departure is the latest in a series of changes at Saatchi’s New York office this summer: EVP/global planning director Amy Martin Winhoven moved West and joined San Diego’s i.d.e.a. while former Jay-Z marketer Jeff Geisler became the agency’s first CMO and longtime employee Carol Miller-Repetto was promoted to COO on the Procter & Gamble business. In-house antagonist “Vox Saatchi” has yet to comment on these changes.
In other news, 360i’s tech department is hiring, so get out of [enter agency name here] while you still can.