AMSTERDAM — Technology specialist Clarity has named Thomas Cordes as its new managing director for the Benelux region, as Karin Van Geelen steps down after 17 years of leadership.

Cordes joins the agency’s leadership team from Edelman in the Netherlands, where he was a director. He has also held senior roles at Omnicom and Porter Novelli in Amsterdam, and started his career as a journalist.

The hire follows Clarity’s acquisition of Yellow Communications, led by owner and founder van Geelen, in September 2020. Upon acquisition, Yellow became Clarity Amsterdam and served as Clarity’s first owned office in continental Europe, servicing clients in the Benelux region, with a client portfolio including Citrix, Zoom, Solvinity and Boomi.

Van Geelen led Yellow for over 15 years prior to the acquisition, building it into one of the leading independent technology agencies covering the Benelux region. She has decided to step back to spend more time with her family and to pursue outside interests.

She said: “Looking back at the past year it has been an amazing ride with our inspiring team. The transition of Yellow becoming Clarity was a smooth process and we have grown our client base and service offerings since joining their global team. It is a bittersweet moment leaving the team and our wonderful customers and partners, while at the same time I am looking forward to spending time with my family and exploring opportunities as a life planner and business coach. I couldn’t be happier to hand over the reins to Thomas, who shares my same passion for, and dedication to, client partnerships and staff mentorship, and I know that the team I have built is in great hands.”

Cordes reports into Clarity’s EMEA president Rachel Gilley, who said: “We’re delighted that someone of Thomas’ calibre and experience is taking over the leadership of Clarity Amsterdam and our Benelux offering. Having worked at some of the top international agencies and in roles where he has consulted the C-suite of some of the largest technology and enterprise clients, we’re excited about the new thinking that Thomas will bring, building on the brilliant team we have and our excellent client portfolio.”

She added: “Karin has built a wonderful agency and a year on, having delivered a highly successful global integration, she has made the decision to spend more time with her family and engage in new adventures outside of agency life, and we wish her all the very best.  Our acquisition of an Amsterdam-based agency was strategically important for us as our first mainland European office, and it continues to be a pivotal geography for us as we continue to expand further into Europe.”

Cordes said: “I am truly honoured to lead Clarity Benelux through its next phase and I am very excited about the opportunities ahead. I want to thank Karin for her leadership over the years and for the global leadership teams’ confidence in me. It is an exciting time for the communications industry from both an agency and our clients’ perspective and I look forward to partnering with Rachel and the team here in Amsterdam to drive growth and success in the coming years.”

Clarity is projecting global revenue growth upwards of 55% in 2021, following revenue growth in 2020 of 47% year-onyear. In 2021, the agency made a series of investments in its business, adding a global planning and impact division, acquiring Cornwall-based agency 3 White Hats to bring integrated social, search and analytics offerings and expanding its global partner network to 35 agencies worldwide. Recent client wins for Clarity include Staffbase, SurveyMonkey and Burt.