PHD UK has recruited Digitas’ Hattie Whiting to the newly created role of Chief Client Officer.

Verica Djurdjevic, Chief Executive Officer of PHD UK since early 2017, shared that Whiting’s role now completes her five-strong senior management team and will help the agency work faster to support clients.

“What we need is a much more fluid and instinctive way of working,” Djurdjevic said, “where we are able to take things and move them much more quickly than media agencies have been used to.

“It’s about gearing up to be faster and more agile to address the challenge that our clients and the market are throwing up.”

Hattie Whiting, Chief Client Officer, PHD UK

Before joining PHD, Whiting was Managing Partner for growth at Publicis Groupe’s Digitas and was previously Managing Director at Kitcatt Nohr, which became part of Digitas last year. She has 18 years of digital, direct and integrated agency experience, and Djurdjevic has credited Whiting for bringing “new thinking” to the agency.

“It’s about challenging mindsets and the way we think about the world,” Djurdjevic said.

PHD’s clients, which include Volkswagen Group, HSBC, The Guardian and Twitter, are finding solutions to challenging technological and digital transformations within their industries. The agency, in turn, is also looking to change to accommodate the new challenges their clients face.

“The questions and challenges being posed to us [by clients] are bigger,” she said.

Djurdjevic cited the difficulty in reaching the 16-34 audience and a knock-on increase in price inflation as examples of challenges that PHD is working on.

However, Djurdjevic ensures that the outlook is positive for the agency sector: “Media agencies have got an enormous opportunity because we’re fundamentally about driving growth – not just at a micro-targeted level, but at a macro level.”

Read the full announcement of Whiting’s appointment on Campaign.