Saatchi Names Global Planner

NEW YORK Saatchi & Saatchi has promoted Sandy Thompson to worldwide director of strategic planning. She had been Saatchi’s North American strategic planning chief.

Thompson, a 13-year veteran of the Publicis Groupe agency, left the network’s Hong Kong outpost in March 2005 to join the New York office in the North American planning role.

She will remain here and work closely with Saatchi global CEO Kevin Roberts and worldwide creative director Bob Isherwood, the agency said. Thompson, who reports to Roberts, is known for developing consumer insights by watching how people live—a process she calls Xploring.

The network’s last global planning chief was Kevin Dundas, who worked out of London as worldwide strategy director. He left the agency in August 2006.

Deputy chairman Richard Hytner had temporarily absorbed some of Dundas’ duties. Hytner, however, focuses mainly on developing the agency’s business strategy; Thompson, 43, is expected to be more client-focused.

To fill Thompson’s previous role of running the New York planning department, Saatchi has hired Kristin Volk, former chief marketing officer at Havas’ Arnold in New York. Volk, who started Monday as director of strategic planning, will partner with New York CEO Mary Baglivo and chief creative officer Tony Granger.

Volk, 54, spent 18 years at Arnold, during two tours. From 1986 until 1999, she worked in the shop’s Boston office on clients such as Volkswagen and Royal Caribbean.

In 1999, Volk left to help launch Deutsch’s short-lived Boston office, which closed in July 2001, after Interpublic Group acquired the New York-based agency. In 2002, Volk returned to Arnold, this time working at its New York office on clients like Hershey and Lee Jeans.