Richard Smith departs Hearts & Science Melbourne as it plans ‘strategic reset’; OMD’s Pascoe appointed GM

Managing director of Hearts & Science Melbourne, Richard Smith is set to leave the agency, as the changes continue for the Omnicom Media Group agency.

OMD’s Kylie Pascoe will now shift across to take on the role of general manager in the Melbourne office, reporting to chief operating officer, Luke Hutchinson.

Smith and Pascoe

This comes as Hearts & Science Melbourne is currently looking to retain Victoria University and Forty Winks, with last week shifting across to independent agency, Match & Wood.

It also marks an ongoing shift at the agency, with managing director, Wendy Gower being made redundant in November before Darren Stein returned to the fold as national managing director. 

Pascoe was recently head of group at OMD, returning to Melbourne after a short stint as NSW Government transition lead.

The agency said the creation of the GM role reflects its plans for a strategic reset, with Pascoe “set to work with the Melbourne team to take full advantage of opportunities that arise to grow the brand”.

It also said Smith’s departure is the result of “lifestyle reasons”, and he will finish up at the end of the month.

Pascoe said: “I am excited to join Hearts & Science. We have so much to offer in Melbourne and I am determined to bring that to the fore to grow the agency. It’s a big, exciting challenge and I will be pushing hard with the national leadership team of Jane Stanley, Luke Hutchinson, and Darren Stein, to make sure we nail it”

Hutchinson said: “Our name is more than just a label; it drives everything we do. It’s a balance between Heart (emotionally connecting with customers) and Science (creatively using the power of data and technology). When we met Kylie, we instantly connected on this vision and the need to challenge some of the old media practices that don’t deliver to this. Kylie is a force to be reckoned with and has an incredible reputation in the Melbourne market. Speaking on behalf of the collective team, we can’t wait to get started on the road ahead.”

Agency CEO across ANZ, Jane Stanley added: “Currently, we’re on this incredible journey to move from a good media agency valued by our current clients to a market leader that delivers ground-breaking work. Our ambition is to challenge, collaborate and push the boundaries of media to create connections that matter for brands to grow. Kylie adds further serious firepower to our mission ahead working with our amazing Melbourne team.”

On Smith, she said: “Richard has been a fundamental part of the Melbourne team for many years. We respect and admire his decision to make a lifestyle change for his family, but we will miss him being part of this exciting new chapter.”

Pascoe starts on 17 April.


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