Annalect Taps Wunderman’s Samardzija as Analytics Chief

Has done data-centric work for brands like Nokia, Coca-Cola and Sony

Annalect has named longtime Wunderman exec Slavi Samardzija chief analytics officer at the Omnicom Group’s data and analytics unit. Samardzija had been with the WPP company since early 2000 and most recently headed analytics at Wunderman and its data unit, KBM Group.

Following Samardzija's departure on July 4, Caroline Worboys, the London-based head of Wunderman Data & Insights EMEA, will take over as interim head of customer insights.

Samardzija joined Wunderman in 2000 in Mexico City and moved to New York later that year. While climbing the ranks, he has developed data-centric work for Nokia, Citibank, Kimberly-Clark, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T and Sony. He added responsibilities for KBM Group in 2010.

Over the last six months, Annalect CEO Scott Hagedorn has overseen the creation of a cloud-based data exploration platform that can activate a quantity of data equal to that of 62.5 million 32BG iPhones.

Samardzija's arrival comes as Annalect repositions its service offerings under three main functions, aligning them to shifting client business priorities and needs: consulting, tools and technology.  

Hagedorn said Samardzija was attracted to Annalect’s amassing of data and desire to create a more integrated data approach.

“Slavi will create a multidisciplinary practice for us. There are a new breed of analysts who are more improvisational than the people who have been doing it traditionally, although they are still very valued,” said Hagedorn.

As for Samardzija’s other mandates, Hagedorn adds:

“We want to become best in class with machine-based modeling and new targeting for clients and we want to be best in class in attribution. Given my background at (Omnicom digital, CRM agency) Rapp, Slavi and I can speak direct marketing in addition to media and we will have oversight of building out a programmatic platform.”