Havas Group Media has created a new global C-Suite position — chief data and innovation officer — and has tapped media agency veteran Bret Leece to fill it.
Most recently Leece was U.S. president of Dentsu Aegis Network’s M1 data and analytics platform, a role he was in for just 10 months before departing in October.
The hire reunites Leece with Havas Group Media CEO Peter Mears — the two executives worked at Initiative when Mears was president of the IPG agency’s North America region and Leece was global chief analytics officer and chief product officer.
At Havas, Leece’s remit is to build data products and services, and he will be responsible for data sourcing, overall data governance, audience planning, and commercialization. He’ll also work with the strategy and research teams.
“More than ever, clients want engaging, meaningful content to communicate with their customers [and] they want that content to be built on a data foundation comprised of what their customers think, feel, and do,” said Mears. “As such,” he added, Leece “will work closely with Havas Media’s technology team, who focuses on platform architecture that leads to greater scale.”
Added Leece: “In a world awash with data about what people do, understanding the reasons why people do what they do is more important than ever.” Havas, he added, “has all of the right ingredients to solve for this...Now is the time to pull these assets together and deliver a deeper understanding of why people make the decisions that they do and, ultimately, deliver our clients’ messages in a meaningful media experience.”