Dept accelerates with US global leadership hires
WPP, IBM executives join to lead people and operations teams
Dept is expanding its global leadership team with the addition of Amanda Schmidt to Chief People Officer and Missy Foristall to Chief Operations Officer. Schmidt joins from WPP/Group M’s Essence, where she was Global Chief People Officer. Foristall was previously Vice President at IBM within their Digital, Marketing and Technology groups.
“We founded Dept in 2015 to build one integrated company that offers our clients access to the best digital talent anywhere in the world,” said Dimi Albers, Chief Executive Officer at Dept. “Our vision has brought us from 120 folks in Europe six years ago to over 2,000 digital marketing, data, creative and technology experts working together across the globe today. We’re growing rapidly – 50 percent year over year – and as we continue our expansion in the United States, we need strong global leadership to scale our people, culture and operations. Amanda and Missy each bring a wealth of experience and share the same commitment and excitement to bring Dept to the next level.”
Schmidt brings deep expertise in resource management, people operations, and scaling organizations rapidly. At Essence, where she most recently served as Global Chief People Officer, Schmidt played a critical role in helping the agency scale globally, quadrupling in size during her five years there. She has also held resource and people leadership roles at R/GA, Interbrand, Havas Worldwide, and Spring Studios.
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining the team at Dept,” said Schmidt. “This is a company and a leadership team that truly values creativity – in their work, their people, and the way that they operate. We have a unique opportunity to build a different kind of agency network where a new generation of creative thinkers and makers are empowered to build products, experiences, and businesses that work for the world we live in now. I’m fully committed to helping Dept set new standards for creative and cultural excellence and stay true to its commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability in a hyper-growth environment.”
Prior to IBM, Foristall spent 12 years at Razorfish where she managed delivery, creative, user experience, technology and functional analyst groups. She’s also held executive roles at JP Morgan, MediaLink and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
“I joined Dept for a number of reasons, but mostly because I really connected with our focus on happy clients, happy people, and agency growth,” said Foristall. “I am glad to bring my experience to the team as we work towards building one unified brand and fully integrated team that continues to create award-winning work for clients around the world.”
Schmidt and Foristall will be the first Dept global leaders headquartered in the US, which currently accounts for more than one-third of Dept’s revenues. They will join the company’s existing leaders based in Europe, which includes Albers, Celestine Fransen, Chief Finance Officer, and Frank Schmid, Chief Development Officer.
In addition to the appointments, Dept is also future-proofing its global leadership with new regional management teams in Europe and the Americas and with the creation of Global SVP roles. Learn more here.