On Thursday, WPP-owned media agency Maxus named former iCrossing executive Jonathan Adams as its chief digital officer. After previous stints at OgilvyOne and The Media Edge (since rebranded MEC), Adams is returning to WPP.
The appointment is Maxus North America CEO Steve Williams' first hire since he began in June. Williams spoke to AdExchanger about Adams’ new role, the state of digital and the agency’s strategic horizons.
ADEXCHANGER: What will Adams’ key responsibilities be at Maxus?
STEVE WILLIAMS: The key responsibility for Jonathan will be about working very closely with me and a couple other critical team members to ensure that the quality of our work is the best it can be. More specifically, given his role as digital officer, he’ll ensure that Maxus in North America is as fluent and agile around digital channels as we possibly can be.
What’s your vision for digital at Maxus?
I have a vision for the industry not having the conversation about digital. The reason agencies, and media agencies in particular, need deep expertise with first-class practitioners like Jonathan is because the world is changing so quickly. It’s important to keep up to speed. I am hopeful that with the team we’re pulling together now, and Jonathan being a key part of that, we can introduce a horizontal approach to media, platforms and technologies, and how data flows between them.
That means that the word digital becomes redundant. Because, at the end of the day, what isn’t digital? I’m looking for us to become as competent as possible working horizontally, because that’s how ideas travel. We’ve got to be experts at working vertically as well, because flawless execution is crucial.