A global brand communications group has announced its first ever Chief Operating Officer.
Helen Kenny has been promoted to the position at Manifest – making her responsible for operational innovation and rigour, whilst also continuing international expansion and evolution.
- Working in partnership with Alex Myers, founder and Group Chief Executive at Manifest, Helen will ensure Manifest’s international workforce, which operates a 24hr creative process spanning six studios and five timezones, operates effectively as one global team.
From technology stack to service integration systems, Helen will work closely with the agency’s all-female regional leadership team of Managing Partners to manage operational change and improvement, supported by Manifest’s Non-Executive Directors, Ete Davies, Dentsu Creative EMEA Chief Operating Officer, and Sarah Waddington CBE, Director of Wadds. Inc, who were both appointed last summer.
Alex Myers, founder and Group Chief Executive at Manifest commented: “As we continue to grow and evolve as a global organisation, we need to expand the C-Suite to accommodate a dedicated Chief Operating Officer for the first time, and it’s a privilege to promote Helen into the role.
- “As well as knowing the bones of Manifest, Helen is without doubt the most progressive operational brain I have met; passionate about innovation and disrupting the expected but often outmoded operational tropes of agency-land.”
Helen added: “After more than a decade supporting Manifest’s mission of building brands that change the world, and witnessing a huge evolution of both the business and our team, I’m thrilled to be taking on this new role to support its long-term growth and success.
“This year we’re supercharging our commitment to innovation and progress, so ensuring our global team can operate seamlessly and continue to evolve has never been more important.”
Joining the business in 2013, Helen has worked across multiple specialisms including Creative Production, Client Experience and Operations in the UK, before moving to a Group role two years ago to support its international studios. In the role of Group Special Operations Director, she has successfully implemented new systems and processes, spanning learning and development, employee engagement, new business process, workflow management and finance.
As well as knowing the bones of Manifest, Helen is without doubt the most progressive operational brain I have metAlex Myers
At Manifest, the COO role will oversee the development of the agency’s proprietary technologies and innovations, including its omni-channel reporting platform, The Loop and its creator collaboration system, ROGER.
Alex added: “Roger, The Loop, Toolkit.Global and our other tech innovations are integral not only to Manifest’s service provision, but our future proposition as an agency without borders.
“We continue to build technologies that advance our work and the potential of the industry, but in the coming years it’s our vision to roll these out as technology products in their own right for both agency and brand teams to adopt in their own work.
“Helen is the perfect choice to oversee that evolution.”
The appointment comes after a year of significant growth and expansion for Manifest, including opening its sixth studio in LA in last year, which contributed to over 57% fee growth in its US operation in FY23. In August 2023, it also launched its centralised branding unit, dedicated to delivering progressive brand strategy and design, which has exceeded its first-year targets in less than six months.
Manifest’s award-winning operation expanded its global client portfolio significantly in 2023, winning new briefs from a broad spectrum of global brands and brand houses including Diageo, SC Johnson, Reckitt, Tommee Tippee, Hotels.com, Pernod Ricard and Omio.
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