Maja Pawinska Sims 07 Feb 2023 // 9:30AM GMT
LONDON — Global technology agency Hotwire has named its first UK CEO, appointing Jeremy Lucas, former managing director of corporate affairs at Edelman, to lead the business.
Lucas joined Edelman in 2019 to lead its corporate reputation practice. As MD of the practice, Lucas added global brands to its client portfolio and increasing headcount to around 100 consultants in London, advising the likes of Meta, FedEx, the United Nations and Disney.
Before Edelman, Lucas was head of corporate affairs at Ogilvy. He also spent seven years at Teneo, moving into communications after starting his career as a journalist for Sky News and the BBC.
Hotwire has been without a dedicated leader in London since March last year, when UK managing director Tara O’Donnell left the business after nearly three years. Global chief financial officer Adrian Talbot has been standing in as MD in the interim.
The move comes weeks after Hotwire, which is owned by Enero, said it had undergone a strategic review of its team in London. The number of redundancies has not been confirmed. Enero CEO Brent Scrimshaw spoke to PRovoke Media this week about how the group's agencies were navigating the technology slowdown.
Hotwire has made a number of acquisitions in the past two years: in 2021 it bought UK B2B sales and marketing agency McDonald Butler Associates, and last summer it acquired San Francisco B2B digital marketing agency ROI DNA and APAC B2B tech marketing agency GetIT.
Lucas reports into global CEO Heather Kernahan and joins Hotwire’s global executive leadership team. Kernahan told PRovoke Media: “Over the past couple of years we’ve had a lot of change in the UK, in terms of team clients and service mix. Since the McDonald Butler acquisition we had started orientating around reputation, relationship and revenue services, and the UK was a testing ground for those services, which are now expanding globally.
"We needed to bring our teams together so there were no siloes, and the restructure was driven by that understanding as we transform the way we work and deliver for our clients.
“We had been looking for someone for a long time with experience running large businesses who could create a vision to put the UK, which is an incredibly important market for us, back into growth. Jeremy has a strong vision and commercial experience, and a strong belief in the technology and innovation sector – the growth engine for the business. We’re really happy with have a new leader for the UK. The new CEO title signals our intention for the UK to be a high growth, exciting business.”
Lucas added: “It’s an absolute privilege to be joining Hotwire to lead the UK business into an exciting next chapter of growth. Hotwire is an organisation of formidable consultants, underpinned by a strong culture and an enviable client portfolio of some of the world’s most innovative businesses. I’m excited to deepen and accelerate an integrated proposition to help business leaders and brands successfully navigate complex and fragmented reputational environments and deliver against their commercial ambitions."
Last week, Hotwire announced it had launched a new global growth team, led by Laura Macdonald, who has been promoted to the role of chief growth officer from her former role of co-president of North America. Heather Craft has been appointed to lead the North America business as CEO.