Hero appoints ex-carsales marketing leader Trudi Sampola as national head of people

National independent agency Hero has appointed Trudi Sampola to the newly created national talent role of people’s Hero.

An integrated communications professional and International Coaching Federation (ICF) qualified organisational coach, Sampola started her career in media with Naked London, then OMD Australia and Ikon Communications where she was Melbourne managing director and national chief talent officer, a role she also performed at CHE Proximity. Sampola most recently worked client side in several senior marketing roles at carsales. She joins Hero founder Ben Lilley and chief operating officer James Greet as a senior member of the national leadership team.

Trudi Sampola

“There are moments in life when you know you are in the right place with the right people getting the chance to do work you love,” said Sampola. “Joining Ben, James and the awesome team at Hero is 100% that. With our clear focus on bringing Borderless Creativity to life with our people, my whole focus is on helping to build the mortar amongst us and make sure we all have what we need to do the best work of our lives together in a place we all love working in. Simple!”

“I’m fortunate to have known Trudi for almost two decades now since we first worked together at OMD,” said Greet. “She is super qualified for this role as a leader who’s an experienced strategic marketing professional, a passionately curious collaborator who knows how to get the best out of a team, as well as being loved by children and small animals alike.”

“The unique benefits of our national offering, integrated under our philosophy of Borderless Creativity, have been embraced over the past 12 months by flagship clients like Toyota, Topo Chico, Maybelline and v2food. And have seen Hero rank in the top agencies at the Australian and APAC Effies”, said Greet. “We’re excited to now have the benefit of Trudi’s expertise to lubricate the wheels of Borderless Creativity through our people as we continue to grow and develop our integrated creative, media and technology teams and offerings.”

The creation of Sampola’s new national role follows a rapid 18 months of growth since the launch of Hero, starting in 2020 with Hero founder Ben Lilley’s acquisition of McCann Australia, which now operates under license for the global McCann Worldgroup. The McCann deal included The Red Republic and Smart and was followed by the acquisition of content and production businesses Red Engine SCC and The Engine Room, digital and design specialist JSA Brisbane and award-winning data and technology developer BBE. While Hero’s full-service media offering was significantly bolstered by the arrival of industry veteran Greet, who was appointed chief operating officer in 2021.

Greet said he intends to continue to maximise Hero’s national creative scope and scale by integrating more key senior talent, while also looking at further acquisitions in creative, data, design, media, technology and PR across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. “Hero will continue to pursue both organic and acquisitive growth opportunities,” Greet said. “Our growth to date has been – and will continue to be – built on taking an entrepreneurial approach to building the national Hero business and its capabilities for the benefit of its national clients. Our strategy is to scale our national suite of best-in-class solutions to best address each clients’ specific suite of marketing and communications needs.”


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