Code and Theory Expands Global Capabilities and Leadership to Challenge Big Consultancies

By Kyle O'Brien 

Stagwell digital transformation and engineering network Code and Theory is looking to compete with the big global consultancies and is making strategic changes to get there.

The agency is now offering a combination of digital strategy, creative and technology to boost clients’ growth capabilities, and it has hired its first global chief technology officer in Pradeep Chelpati. It will also be intergrating YML into the Code and Theory brand and partnering with Oracle.

The Code and Theory network, which is at nearly 2,000 people, has a balance of 50% engineers and 50% creative talent. Under its new strategic vision and leadership, it is doubling down on its technology and engineering capabilities to create stronger end-to-end consumer experiences, which it said will allow for better business enablement and growth for its clients.


“We are now implementing the leadership and vision to create a competitive offering that has never existed before in the marketplace. Our experience led-approach allows us to build out client growth capabilities for clients for the long term,” said co-founder and executive chairman Dan Gardner in a statement.

Chelpati is an accomplished digital transformation leader who comes to Code and Theory from PwC, where he was managing director. Prior to that he held positions at EY (Ernst & Young), Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Morgan Stanley. At Code and Theory, Chelpati will drive a strategic, integrated technology approach across the network, which includes Kettle, Mediacurrent, Rhythm and Truelogic.

“Having been with the various consulting organizations and client side, I see the need for a partner who brings in deep engineering capabilities and creativity at scale to solve complex business problems. Code and Theory has all of the pieces and the momentum,” said Chelpati in a statement.

In addition, the network will be fully integrating YML into the Code and Theory brand by the end of the year to bolster capabilities and offer a more frictionless ability for offshore development and native expertise. Code and Theory will also partner with Oracle to provide AI at scale for its clients and extend its leadership in this emerging space.

The network will also launch its design transformation practice which allows business leaders and decision makers to actionably embrace transformation. The practice is founded on a set of cognitive, creative, organizational, strategic and practical approaches to help businesses generate future value, according to an agency statement.

“We are doubling down on technology and engineering to continue to live up to our name, Code and Theory, the balance of creativity and technology. The engineering side of the house just got much stronger and more connected to creative and design,” said CEO Mike Treff in a statement.

Treff continued that the network is continuing to bring changes to Code and Theory to enable business growth, faster speed to market and more end-to-end competency for its clients.