NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Essence, a global digital agency and the largest independent buyer of digital media, today announced the promotion of Oscar Garza to Global Programmatic Director, Michael Thomas to Global Analytics Director, Brian Krick to Global Search and Biddable Director and Eric Kirtcheff to Global Ad Operations Director. This is the agency's second organizational announcement this year; in March, Rob Reifenheiser was promoted to Managing Director and Cathy Carl to Director of Business Development, both North America-specific roles, while Mike Selman was named Managing Director of the Seattle office. These appointments are a result of Essence's accelerated growth; the agency has already experienced double digit revenue growth in the 2015 fiscal year from new business alone.
Garza joined Essence last year as the North American Programmatic Lead, charged with overseeing a team across the New York, San Francisco and Seattle offices, which he doubled in headcount in that time. In just one year, Oscar helped win two new programmatic accounts, increased programmatic spend by 15% and upleveled the offering across the board; revamping Essence's data usage guidelines and deployment processes. Garza came from Electronic Arts, where he served as Director of Acquisition, developing the programmatic audience targeting capabilities operated by the brand's in-house media teams. Garza's new role calls on him to ensure the practice's excellence and innovation across and between territories, serving key clients including Google and DoubleDown Interactive, and managing 30 people across the US, EMEA and APAC.
Thomas, who also came to Essence in 2014, started as the Director of Analytics for North America. While serving the role, he spearheaded the global agenda for the agency's largest client. Thomas was also responsible for strengthening and expanding Essence's North America analytics practice; overseeing the team's restructure, implementing best practices and more than doubling its headcount. Before Essence, he was EVP of data strategy for Deutsch, serving as the discipline lead for a cross-functional department of media, channel development and data intelligence. As the Global Analytics Director, Thomas will be responsible for setting the vision of the global team, driving scalable innovation and moving the agency's analytics business forward.
Krick has directed Essence's North America biddable practice since 2013. In that time, he more than doubled its size, and oversaw the rollout of new best practices across Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Krick was previously with Razorfish for over 12 years, serving a variety of media and search engine marketing (SEM) roles. By the time he departed the agency, he had achieved the title of Senior Director of SEM. In Krick's new position as Global Search and Biddable Director, he will now be accountable for Essence's global search and biddable product for all clients, regardless of geographic location.
Kirtcheff has been Essence's Director of Ad Operations for North America since April 2013. While in the position, he improved Essence's measurement of quality within Ad Operations to exceed 98% trafficking accuracy since its inception over one year ago. Kirtcheff also built out global Ad Operations ticketing systems and standards to allow work to be transferred to any of the agency's offices, and was responsible for leading the trafficking of the world's largest DoubleClick Campaign Manager Network. Before Essence, he held roles with Akamai Technologies, Yahoo! and DoubleClick. Kirtcheff's new role holds him responsible for leading Essence's practices and principles within Ad Operations globally, and to ensure the agency's clients are receiving consistent, quality and innovative work.
"Not only are these four individuals extremely smart and passionate people, the practices they lead are the source of our rapid growth as a business," said Christian Juhl, global CEO of Essence. "As our clients continue to evolve and expand their digital marketing approaches, it's important that we have the infrastructure in place to shepherd them globally. The promotions of Oscar, Michael, Brian and Eric ensure we are equipped to capitalize on opportunities around the world and help our clients stay ahead of the curve."
"I made the decision to come agency-side largely because of Essence's practice of transparency," said Garza. "Clients want to know exactly where they're investing their media budgets, and this can present a challenge for larger agencies with trading desks. I'm excited to grow our global programmatic practice and support Essence's mission of making advertising more valuable to the world."
"I'm eager to unite our global team and accelerate its already dramatic progress," said Thomas. "Each region brings unique strengths, opportunities and leadership to our analytics business. I'm energized to see what happens when we unify and leverage these respective strengths, and maintain global consistency of practices and standards for our clients."
"More than ever before, our clients are looking to truly operate globally," said Krick. "Not just by running global campaigns, but treating region as another optimization lever within that campaign. The technology at Essence has built the foundation I need to be successful in my new role; it gives me the visibility, control and scale required to forge new ground."
"Our Ad Operations practice is made up of extremely talented, hardworking individuals," said Kirtcheff. "The team is already so proud of what we've been able to accomplish in North America. I look forward to empowering our staff across the globe to improve the efficiency of our work and innovate new ad technology solutions for our global clients."
Garza, Thomas and Krick will report into Reifenheiser, while Kirtcheff will report into COO Richard Mooney. All promotions are effective immediately.
Essence is a global digital agency and the world's largest independent buyer of digital media. We blend data science, objective media and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers. Clients include Google, Viber, method, Tesco Mobile and the Financial Times. The agency is more than 480 people strong, manages over $700MM in media spend and deploys campaigns in 71 markets via offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore and Tokyo.
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