VaynerMedia hired Justine Bloome as its first chief strategy officer.
Gary Vaynerchuck described the move to AdAge as “an effort to bring empathy to agency leadership.”
“The advertising industry needs more empathy internally. People need to be more empathic of other people’s roles to make these inner departments work well and it starts at leadership,” he explained.
“She’s going to be synthesizing culture and filtering it through her and her team’s filter to allow us to do to the best work on the creative and strategy sides,” Vaynerchuck said of Bloome’s role. He added that while hiring for the position was on his mind for some time, “had I not met Justine, it could have been another six months or a year. But when we met, I knew I had found the person. I was blown away by her emotional intelligence.”
Bloome arrives at VaynerMedia from Carat, where she has served as executive vice president, head of strategy innovation since December of 2014. She previously served as a senior brand strategist consultant for The Brand Institute of Australia, head of client strategy for the Victoria region for Nine Entertainment and business strategist at Jack Morton Worldwide, as well as founding and serving as CEO of The Village Agency, “a network of independently successful marketing and communications experts.”
Additionally, VaynerMedia launched a series of new practices: experiential outfit VaynerExperience, VaynerBeta, an accelerator for small to medium-sized business, VaynerTalent, which AdAge wrote “helps people build personal brands and businesses,” 4D’s, which Vaynerchuck described as a “one-day consulting session at VaynerMedia where you get a blitz for 10 hours of all disciplines in a small group” and VaynerSolutions, a consulting practice Vaynerchuck differentiated from 4D’s as “sometimes a four- or six-month project.”
The moves follow VaynerMedia going through a round of restructuring in April, parting with staff in both its New York and Los Angeles offices. Vaynerchuck told AdAge, “We didn’t have layoffs for any other reason than we had to have different talent to service all these things and we didn’t have enough of that internally.”
He added that “there hasn’t been one week since the layoffs that we haven’t hired,” and claimed the agency is “going to end up with more people working for us in December than we had in January.”