Leo Burnett Names Hedger Global Strategy Head

London exec given new agency role

Leo Burnett Worldwide is creating the new position of global chief strategy officer, appointing Giles Hedger, who has been group managing director and chief strategy officer of the agency’s London operations. He is also joining Burnett’s global executive leadership team.

In the summer of 2012, Hedger was identified as part of Leo Burnett London’s succession plan when he was promoted to group managing director. He joined the Publicis Groupe network in September 2008 from MCBD, now digital agency Dare, where he had been planning director along with Andy Nairn since 2004. Prior to MCBD, known formerly as Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, Hedger, a planner since the mid-'90s, was deputy head of planning at JWT London and global planning director on HSBC.

In an interview posted by Burnett, Hedger explained his view of his new global strategy job.

“A cso should never seek to aggregate or trade in improved averages. Anyone can turn a thousand sparkling subjectivities into steady corporate kilowatts,” he said. “My job is to ensure that we are as imaginative at a global level as we are at our grass roots. It's about the power of local variation, and making this part of our global story. That's how we tell our clients their brands should behave, and we need to adopt that behavior too."

Hedger will split his time between London and Burnett’s Chicago headquarters in the coming months, as the Publicis agency finds a replacement. He and his family will relocate to Chicago in July.