Jack Byrne steps down as Hatched MD; appoints first CEO and COO

2022 Mumbrella Media Agency of the Year, Hatched Melbourne has made a number of changes to its senior leadership team, with founder and managing director, Jack Byrne stepping down from his role.

Managing partners Stephen Fisher and Adrian Roeling have been promoted to chief executive officer and chief operating officer respectively, as Byrne moves to focus on his retail media, Zitcha. They are the first to be appointed to each role in the agency’s history.

Hatched Melbourne’s leadership team

Byrne said: “After 10 years of seeking out the best craftspeople in Melbourne and most recently Sydney, I’m happy to be able to step back from the day-to-day management of Hatched. It’s time for me to get out of the way and empower the real talent to take the business to the next level in 2023 and beyond.

He will remain non-executive director of the agency across both its offices.

While I will always remain a part of Hatched, I am genuinely excited to see how the leadership team progresses without the long shadow cast by having the founder in the room!It’s a change that has been a long time in the making.

Byrne’s managing director duties will now be shared across its senior leadership team, “helping facilitate a number of promotions”, the agency said.

Fisher joined the agency in 2016 after a 13 year stint at Initiative, departing as the agency’s Melbourne MD. He became managing partner in 2019.

Roeling was previously president of Dentsu’s Amplifi from 2017 to 2019, after he was managing director at Dentsu Mitchell (now known as Dentsu X). He joined Hatched in 2019 as managing partner.

Byrne [right] launched Zitcha last year alongside Troy Townsend [left]

Fisher said: “Jack’s vision for Hatched has always been a shared one. Knowing how aligned we are makes for an easy transition as he hands the reins over to the bestinthebusinessexecutive team. The past year was a phenomenal one for Hatched. As we head into 2023, this evolution will ensure an even greater focus on the craft of media and our people development.”

Byrne is chief operating officer at Zitcha. He co-founded it in early-2022 alongside Troy Townsend, its CEO.

Other promotions include Virginia Scully moving into the role of managing partner – people from her role as head of people and culture, while Rebecca den Braber has been appointed to the newly created role of general manager, and Lucy Seward moves from the planning team to become head of marketing.

Den Braber said: Hatched’s rapid growth over the past couple of years means there is a need for a role solely focused on the Melbourne team and our clients, one that supports the national business structure. I’m really excited to take on the role and work with the talented group that makes up the Hatched executive team.

Fisher becomes Hatched’s first CEO

Andrew Pascoe, who has led the agency’s move to place attention at the centre of its planning, has been promoted from head of planning to head of product. His new role includes oversight across all of its product offerings. 

The agency said 50% of its staff have been promoted in the past 12 months.

Other appointments to the executive team include Denise McCormack as head of digital, data and technology, Ashlie McIntosh as group business director and Regan Hancock as group strategy director.

In late-2022 Hatched appointed two managing partners for its Sydney office, after its launch in the market in August, with Mike Wilson as chairman, reining in a retail media focus.

The agency said no staff have left the agency within round of promotions.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.