Former Annalect boss, Darren Stein appointed Forethought global CEO

Annalect CEO Darren Stein has been appointed as marketing analytics and strategic advisory agency Forethought’s first global CEO.

It was announced last week that Stein would be departing the Omnicom Media Group (OMG) agency Annalect last week, with Dentsu’s Clement Tsang appointed as his successor.

On his appointment, Ken Roberts, chairman and founder of Forethought said: “Forethought’s continued multinational success, and its plans for further growth, meant it was time to create the role of global CEO.”

Darren Stein

Stein has left his role at Annalect after two-and-a-half years, taking up the global role, which will focus on serving clients across North America and the APAC region.

He said: “Partnering CMOs and CCOs to drive demonstrable and long standing growth for their organisations has always been Forethought’s primary focus. I was a client of Forethought’s for 12 years and they were a stand-out partner due to their way of explaining consumer behaviour and drivers of market share. Their insights allowed us to manoeuvre brands into growth or market leading positions with efficiency and purpose.”

Stein continued: “But that’s not what got me excited about joining the business. Forethought have actually managed to develop an ecosystem based on patented IP, journal published thought leadership and analytical technology that is best in class. Their approach to improving advertising efficiency with creative efficacy and their ability to prioritise CX investment through their rationing centricity framework is second to none and represents a way of closing loops and joining areas of the marketing insights through to implementation ecosystem that data-led and insight-led leaders have always been looking to resolve.”

Stein’s replacement, Clement Tsang

After finishing up at the OMG specialist agency in September, Stein will then commence his new global role at Forethought in the same month.

Roberts added: “Anyone who knows Darren or has come across his work, would agree that he is uniquely qualified to lead the further expansion of the Forethought business and it is extremely exciting that he agreed to join the firm and lead this next phase. His experience in analytics, media, technology and consulting is unsurpassed, whether from inside the corporate environment of Optus or News Corp, or within an agency space such as Mediabrands or Omnicom, he brings superbly well-rounded credentials and know-how to deliver to the needs of tomorrow’s Chief Marketing, Customer and Experience Officers.”

Prior to his stint at Annalect, Stein was CEO of Cadreon, where he created an integrated insights, analytics, data, tech and programmatic offering through the merger of Anomaly and Cadreon, now Kinesso and Matterkind. Stein worked with his successor at Annalect, Tsang while at Cadreon.

Last week, Annalect said that during his time as CEO, Stein grew Omnicom revenue by 54%, raising engagement by 16%, halved churn and elevated employee capability through improvements to hiring practices, training and accreditations.

Current Forethought Australia CEO, Diane Shelton, will be staying with the business, however stepping back from CEO duties and taking on a specialist advisory role, and becoming an advisory board member.

Stein will carry out the role from Australia for the foreseeable future.



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