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Barbarian Hires Four Directors as it Powers Up Recruitment Drive



Melissa Fry joins as director for people and culture, Shannon Rutkowsky as director of production, Jo Hayes joins as director of data insights and analytics and Adam Smith as creative technology director

Barbarian Hires Four Directors as it Powers Up Recruitment Drive

Barbarian, the fast-growing digital creative agency backed by Cheil, has made a series of senior appointments as it builds a high-powered management team to cope with a surge of new business.

To oversee the search for new talent during this period of rapid expansion the agency has hired Melissa Fry from Keurig Dr Pepper as director for people and culture. Reporting to Barbarian chief executive Steven Moy, Melissa will scale and build a recruitment process for new talent and promote the agency’s progressive diversity and inclusion strategy. She will take on the key role of evolving Barbarian’s internal culture to make the agency the most desirable and exciting place to work in the industry. Previously director of operations at Dr Pepper’s internal agency Liquid Sunshine, Melissa has also worked at agencies including Vayner and Crispin Porter Bogusky and was studio manager for Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. 

Melissa says: “The goal of every People Team should be to create the most poach-worthy force of talent in the industry. This role is about creating sustainable initiatives that provide the challenges, mentorship and growth opportunities ( to attract the best creative technologists.) 

Barbarian chief executive Steven Moy says: “With Barbarian’s explosive growth, we have brought the best talents from the industry. As a leading 3% certified company, Melissa’s decades of experience and leadership will refine Barbarian’s culture and talent management. She will help every Barbarian grow and to create their future career faster.”

The agency has also hired executive producer Shannon Rutkowsky as director of production and business management. Shannon, who has a wealth of experience at agencies including Digitas, Wunderman Thompson and MRM/McCann, will take the lead on Barbarian’s original content creation. She will also oversee the newly-created Business Affairs department and report to Barbarian’s managing director Courtney Berry. 

Shannon says: “My passion in life is to be a storyteller, so I’m thrilled to join the Barbarian family. It is a huge privilege to lead production at the agency and bring to life our innovative creative ideas and experiences with craft and ingenuity.” 

CEO Steven Moy says: “Speed and craftsmanship are today’s competitive advantage for every brand. At Barbarian, we unlock growth for our clients within weeks, not months.  Shannon’s expertise in new content, product and service production helps our clients to create both remarkable and profitable customer experiences.”

A third senior hire is Jo Hayes, who joins from R/GA as director of data insights and analytics. Jo was co-founder of Agency DEI, the industry diversity database and has led measurement and solutions for brands including Samsung, Disney, Verizon and Uber. Jo, who reports to Barbarian CSO Eliza Yvette Esquivel, says: “I’m so lucky to join a team of especially intelligent and gutsy humans who understand the crucial importance of data-backed knowledge and solutions. Data is a dynamic entity; it morphs and evolves. Metrics are compelling but require purpose to be truly powerful. Together we will continue to collaborate and iterate on our analytics offering, developing a bespoke data ethos for Barbarian.” 

The agency has also hired Adam Smith, previously of Deutsch NY, as creative technology director. Reporting to director of technology Sunny Nan, Adam says: “I’m excited to join Barbarian and expand our Creative Technology practice. The talent at the agency is inspiring, and we are at a pivotal moment in history to define and create the future of human and virtual interaction.”

The new appointments complement other recent hires including Matt Longstaff as creative director, Ben Kravitz as group account director, Ricardo De La Cruz as IT director and Brad McGovern as software developer. There have also been seven promotions from within during the past six months. 

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Barbarian, Fri, 17 Dec 2021 15:44:46 GMT