LONDON — Hotwire stalwart Matt Cross is departing the agency after 10 years, latterly as head of B2B for EMEA, for an in-house role as global head of strategic and external communications at advertising, marcomms and media firm Dentsu International.

Cross joined the technology agency in 2012 after more than eight years at AxiCom, latterly as a director. He became managing director of Hotwire UK in 2016 and was promoted into his current role in 2019.

Hotwire’s UK managing director, Tara O’Donnell, also recently departed the company; group chief development officer Andy West left the agency last year after 13 years to set up his own advisory firm.

At Dentsu International, Cross will be responsible for developing an external communications strategy and having oversight of all external communications, in a new full-time role for the agency designed to raise its profile and highlight its thought leadership in the sector. One of his first tasks will be to support Dentsu at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity later this month, where Dentsu will be present for the first time since its rebrand from Dentsu Aegis Network in late 2020.

Cross will report to Dentsu International chief communications and marketing officer Dani Jordan, who said: “Matt brings nearly 20 years of experience working agency-side with some of the world's most well-known and dynamic tech brands. His leadership style, collaborative mindset and emphasis on social purpose aligns perfectly with our culture. Matt is a proven leader with a deep understanding of the client service model and joins at an important time as we continue our journey to become the most integrated agency network.

“Matt will partner with key leadership and communications experts around the world to bring a new focus to Dentsu's external communications strategy as we build upon the increasing momentum in the business and industry.”

Cross added: “Dentsu has made huge strides with its transformation and this brings many opportunities to share with audiences what it stands for today, sitting at the intersection of creativity, innovation and talent. I'm so excited to begin a position which combines some of the familiarity of the agency world with an in-house role representing one of the largest brands in advertising.”