Arrivals & Departures: Facebook boosts APAC creative team with four hires

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Facebook continues to grow its Sydney-based Creative Shop with the announcement of four senior hires to support the ANZ business.

Formerly US-based Andy Simpson joins the ANZ team as Creative Shop lead, where he will be joined by two creative strategists, Dan Walton and Karen O’Leary (both based in Auckland), as well as Sydney-based Lara Andrews who joins the Creative Shop team in the newly created role of creative research lead.

Singapore-based Creative Shop APAC head Fergus O’Hare said: “Our aim is that Creative Shop is a catalyst for collaboration throughout the creative industry, but especially with agencies.

“We want to be indispensable partners, helping businesses tell the best stories on our platforms and accelerate the shift to mobile. Brilliant ideas are the result of deep teamwork, and we prioritise work centered on collaboration and learning alongside each other.”

Established in 2011, Creative Shop is a team of creative strategists within Facebook and Instagram designed to support Australian and New Zealand brands, businesses and agencies to build the most creative and innovative work on the platform.

Currently, there are more than 150 people in Creative Shop, in more than 40 locations.

On the new hires, O’Hare said: “Andy joins directly from the Creative Shop team in the US. We’re excited to bring his skillset and vision to the local market. Having joined the company in 2013, he’s got a wealth of knowledge and a proven history of leading insight-driven creative programs that are focused on driving business objectives.”

The leader
Simpson has a strategic marketing background and held roles in brand management at Unilever and global gaming developer Ubisoft before joining Facebook. He will lead the Auckland team of five senior creatives, including the Karen O’Leary and Dan Walton.

O’Leary is a highly awarded hybrid mind
O’Leary has metal from every major award show globally including a Grand Prix in Cannes and a Grand Clio in Miami. Prior to joining Facebook, she was a judge at D&AD and has run her own social/PR/activations agency.

She also regularly creates large scale public installations for music festivals as an independent artist. Her most recent role was as CD at TBWA Auckland.

Walton ex AD at McCann NZ
Dan Walton joins with over 15 years of global experience. He started his career as an art director at McCann Erickson NZ, and has held art director roles in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania and more recently Sydney. Prior to joining Facebook, he was a group creative lead at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.

Three-year Facebook vet
Lara Andrews will be focused on increasing the data insights available to the Creative Shop team both in Australia and across the wider APAC region in her role as creative research lead. Andrews, a three-year Facebook veteran, will work across APAC in identifying projects that will demonstrate the value of data driven creative planning and development, aligning with the global Creative Research team.

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