Wavemaker Hires U.S. CSO, Filling Function For First Time Since 2018

After a series of victories at the end of 2020, the GroupM agency Wavemaker hired Dennis Potgraven as the first US chief strategy officer in over two years.

Potgraven comes to Wavemaker from Havas, where he was Chief Strategy Officer for Havas in the greater China area and led strategy teams in the creative, digital and media sectors. The hiring marks the first time Wavemaker has appointed a U.S. Chief Strategy Officer since David Gaines was named global head of media strategy for WPP in late 2018.

In his new role, Potgraven will report directly to Amanda Richman, CEO of Wavemaker US.

Broad strategic know-how

“Our success in 2020 was driven by our people and their commitment to positive growth for our customers,” Richman said in a statement. “Dennis’ strategic know-how in media, creative and data sciences, coupled with his client background, will make our work a more holistic and effective solution for client growth.”

Potgraven, a Havas veteran of nearly a decade, first joined the network in 2012 and served as Strategy Director for Havas Media’s Amsterdam office before assuming strategic leadership positions at Havas Media for the APAC region and greater China. Prior to joining Havas, he held customer-side marketing roles including marketing management responsibilities for Nestlé and the Dutch food retail brand Ahold Delhaize.

The setting follows the account winnings

“What continues to impress me about the US organization Wavemaker is the technical, data and content capabilities that are anchored in a culture of collaboration,” Potgraven said in a statement. “My experience in the Chinese market, where e-commerce and social behavior significantly influence successful growth strategies, convinced me that Wavemaker is best placed to deliver more connected solutions.”

The appointment follows a number of account wins for Wavemaker in the final months of 2020. Some of these new accounts include confectionery company Perfetti Van Melle, which Wavemaker named a US media agency last month, and spirits and wine company Pernod Ricard, the Wavemaker as US media names agency of the recording last fall. It also follows the new company of former US CSO David Gaines of Wavemaker as co-founder and CEO of Mother’s agency for new media, Media by Mother.

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