Serrano Takes Top Strategy Role at Publicis Kaplan Thaler [UPDATED]

Former shop Naked names Troy Kelley to fill her previous CEO role

Carla Serrano has been named the new chief strategy officer of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, joining from Naked Communications, where she was CEO.

She replaces Jeremy Holden, who was commuting to the New York agency from North Carolina, and left the post in August to return home and start his own consultancy.

Naked, meanwhile, has hired R/GA's Troy Kelley as its new U.S. CEO. At R/GA—where he spent nearly three years—Kelley was a group managing director. Before that, he was chief digital officer at Arnold.

"His deep digital expertise, broad management and strategic skills are a great fit for Naked," said Matthew Melhuish, chief executive of Naked parent company Enero Group.

In her new job, Serrano, who has a planning background, will lead strategy development across digital, brand planning, analytics and social channels, working closely with chairman Linda Kaplan Thaler and president and chief creative officer Rob Feakins.

Prior to Naked, Serrano was with Berlin Cameron United as planning director before being named president in 2009. She started her career at Chiat/Day in Toronto and worked on brands like Apple and Nissan before taking on Pepsi and Frito-Lay at BBDO. She then moved to New York, where she rejoined TBWA\Chiat\Day and went on to become that agency's chief strategy officer.

Serrano’s appointment is one of the first big hires since Andrew Bruce, president and CEO of Publicis in Canada, was named North American CEO of the agency in December.

Separately, Publicis hired Dylan Williams as global chief strategy and innovation officer. Williams, previously partner and chief strategic officer at Mother, will report directly to Arthur Sadoun, who was promoted to global CEO in October and has made strategy a key priority in further developing Publicis resources globally.

Williams joined Mother in 2005 and was their first head of strategy; he previously worked eight years at Bartle Bogle Hegarty as a board account planner.