NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 16, 2015) – J. Walter Thompson New York today announced the appointment of Matt Baker as Head of Planning.
A modern strategist with a strong background in communications planning, traditional planning and digital strategy, Baker joins from Anomaly, where he led communications strategy across Google accounts and global innovation projects for P&G. At J. Walter Thompson, Baker will lead the New York office’s integrated strategic planning discipline. He replaces Adrian Barrow, who relocated to San Francisco last year where he has been working for the agency from the West Coast. Baker will start on April 20 and will report to Lynn Power, President, J. Walter Thompson New York.
In his new role, Baker will partner with Power and Adam Kerj, Chief Creative Officer, J. Walter Thompson New York, playing a key leadership role in the agency’s New York office. He will also join the Global Planning Council, led by Guy Murphy, Worldwide Planning Director.
“Matt is a curious, ambitious doer; one of those rare people who can naturally un-complicate things,” said Kerj. "He pushes everyone for better work and results. Matt also recognizes that all great work starts at the fringe of both clients’ and creatives’ comfort zones, and his collaborative approach and way of working solves real business challenges. Lynn and I are very excited to partner with him at this exciting time for J. Walter Thompson New York.”
“I am thrilled that Matt is joining the New York office as our strategic lead,” added Robin Bardolia, Chief Strategy Officer, J. Walter Thompson North America. “He has an impeccable pedigree in integrated planning, combining analytical rigor with strategic imagination. His arrival will enable me to continue with my regional remit and expanded global responsibilities with existing clients, growth and our new retail practice.”
Prior to Anomaly, Baker served as Director of Digital and Vice President, Group Planning Director at Arnold Worldwide, leading digital and experience thinking across a diverse group of clients. While there he was responsible for the development of integrated capabilities and campaigns for clients including 23andMe, Del Monte, Volvo Trucks and Unilever, among others.
Baker has crafted the strategy for award-winning work, from social media gaming for the Travel Channel, to Micro-Documentaries for Viagra. He’s also created large-scale CRM and direct campaigns for Barclaycard Global and Mercedes- Benz, and helped Kohler explore service-design innovation. To that end, Baker has received many industry honors, including Webby Awards, OMMA Awards, CLIO Healthcare Awards, SAMMY Awards and IAB MIXX. He has spoken on collaboration and experience design at SXSW and Creative Week, taught Digital Marketing in the Master’s Program at New York University, and currently sits on the 4A’s Strategy Committee.
“I am excited to be joining J. Walter Thompson and am looking forward to working with this incredible team of creative and strategic talent in the New York office,” said Baker. “This is an agency that has consistently been at the forefront of planning innovation, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of the next chapter of great work for our fantastic roster of brands.”
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