Arrivals & Departures: Leadership change at Little Giant

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AUCKLAND, Tuesday: Auckland digital agency Little Giant, Linked by Isobar has announced that ceo and founder Mark Hurley will be stepping down after eight years. Ian Howard, current MD and previously chief strategy officer, has been promoted into the ceo role.

Hurley will remain as a hands-on strategic advisor to the business, and a member of the board.

Hurley said: “Building Little Giant has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. We have such an incredible group of people in the team, a terrific roster of clients and a strong business. It’s hard to take a step back, but I know it’s the right time for me personally, as well as the right decision for the company.

“Ian is one of the most talented people I have ever worked with; he has a great leadership team around him and terrific support from right across Dentsu Aegis Network, locally and globally. He is ready to step up and lead the agency and certainly deserves that opportunity.”

Ian Howard (who takes up the ceo role this Monday 1 April) said: “We’ve gone from strength to strength under Mark’s leadership. I’m genuinely humbled by the faith he’s shown in me to continue what he’s started and am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead a business I love.

“A ceo is only ever as good as the people they’re surrounded by, and I’m lucky enough to have access to some of the leading brains in the industry. I’m thoroughly looking forward to working alongside the whole team to lead Little Giant into the next phase of our journey.” 


“Mark Hurley will remain as a hands-on strategic advisor to the business, and a member of the board.”

DAN NZ ceo Rob Harvey said: “Mark has been instrumental in making Little Giant the leading agency it is today. The team are constantly delivering brilliant customer experiences for our clients – and with Ian moving into the ceo role I know there is much more to come. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mark and have greatly valued his contribution to our group, but I’m confident the team will continue to thrive and grow under Ian’s leadership.”

Matt Van Tiel signs up
Alongside the leadership changes, Matt Van Tiel has been hired as the head of delivery, bringing with him over 10 years’ digital agency experience. Most recently, he was operations director at Young & Shand.

About Little Giant, Linked by Isobar
Little Giant, Linked by Isobar, is an award-winning digital agency that transforms companies by creating best-in-class experiences that their customers love. They do this by combining strong strategic and creative thinking with expert data analysis and a deep understanding of current and emerging technologies.

Established in 2011 and now with 45 employees, Little Giant was acquired by the Dentsu Aegis Network in 2017 and became Little Giant, Linked by Isobar. Little Giant was named one of New Zealand’s fastest growing companies in 2015 (Deloitte Fast 50), one of Asia-Pacific’s fastest growing technology companies in 2015, 2016 and 2017 (Deloitte Asia Pacific Tech Fast 500) and was awarded Campaign Asia Pacific’s New Zealand Digital Agency of The Year in 2017.


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