The Barbarian Group Adds More Seats to the Superdesk

By Patrick Coffee 

Back in August we learned that The Barbarian Group had promoted its ECD/W+K Amsterdam vet Edu Pou to the chief creative officer role in addition to naming Robert Christ as its lead technology officer and hiring two new team leaders: CSO Ian Daly (formerly group strategy director at MAL) and head of operations Darren Himebrook (formerly VP/director of digital production at The Martin Agency).

Barbarian also won the KIND Snacks and Etihad Airways accounts over the summer, but you already knew that.

This week, the agency announced four new hires via a release headlined “The Barbarian Group Adds Four More to Its Famous Superdesk,” so Barbarian has achieved self-awareness in addition to expanding its in-house team.


First, JoRoan Lazaro is the shop’s newest creative director. He joins Barbarian after spending one year as a VP/CD of experience design at The Martin Agency, where he worked on Microsoft, Benjamin Moore and, of course, GEICO (which may or may not save you 15 percent on car insurance). Prior to joining Martin, he was a CD at R/GA San Francisco working on Samsung and other accounts; during the year he spent there, he led work on the Microsoft Windows 8 and Surface websites in addition to the Galaxy #WinnerTakesEarth campaign. Earlier in his career, Lazaro led the UX design team at CP+B Miami–but he started his career as a designer at AOL who worked on Second Life and Electronic Arts.

On the zeros and ones side, the self-described “tech-centric creative company” hired software engineer and developer Michael Tseng as its senior designer. Tseng has been working with Barbarian in a freelance capacity on such projects as Pepsi Pass over the past few months while developing his own startup companies. At Barbarian, his work will range “from visual and interaction design to creative concepting and mark-up.”

Finally, Dave Kraftsow and Luis Santi–the duo otherwise known as New Object, which we are surprised to learn is not an electro-pop band–have joined the Barbarian fold after working on Samsung’s CenterStage project in a freelance capacity.

How will the new hires help Barbarian achieve its goals? Pou explains why the agency hired individuals who did not work in traditional advertising:

“There is a different breed of talent that’s needed to work in a tech-centric company, including an passion for design and a deep understanding of a brand’s needs and objectives, in addition to tech expertise.

These four are highly passionate, ambitious and experienced individuals, and we’re excited about what they’ll bring to Barbarian as we continue to transform our business and bring on new clients.”

More work and more Superdesk references to come, then.