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Hires, Wins & Business
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DARE Chief Executive Leigh Thomas Departs for Facebook EMEA Role, 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Appointed director of global client partnerships

DARE Chief Executive Leigh Thomas Departs for Facebook EMEA Role

DARE chief executive Leigh Thomas is handing over the top role at the digital agency to managing partner Richard Neish as she departs to join Facebook as its director of global client partnerships, EMEA.
The move sees Neish head up a new-look senior team, including DARE’s new chief technology officer Michael Olaye, managing partners Jamal Cassim and Reeha Alber-Shah, and joint heads of experience planning John Gibbard and Roz Thomas.
Neish has been at DARE since 2009 and has played a key part in the development of DARE, leading the agency’s Digital Transformation Practice and structural and organisational consultancy on key client accounts Investec and EE.
Thomas has been at DARE since 2013, and was previously managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi London. She has played an instrumental role in re-focussing Dare on its digital offering as an independent agency, and the subsequent acquisition of the agency by OLIVER Group in October 2015. 
At Facebook, Thomas will be tasked with leading a team globally, enabling clients and their agencies to connect and engage effectively with their audiences, everywhere, every day, on all their devices.  She reports to the VP of global client partnerships, Will Platt-Higgins.
Sharon Whale, chief executive officer, OLIVER Group UK, said: “Leigh has been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Facebook. It’s a natural progression in her career and we wish her all the best. We’re sure she’ll bring the same drive and devotion to her new role as she has to DARE.
“Promoting Richard to managing director is a no-brainer. He has DARE DNA running through his veins and he’s played a pivotal part in guiding the agency along its journey into a new era of digital. Richard is part of a new generation of passionate leaders at DARE. He, alongside Jamal, Reeha, Roz, John and Michael are fiercely determined to continue to develop ground-breaking ideas and work for clients, and will keep driving the business forward.”
Richard Neish, managing director at DARE added: “I’m humbled and excited to lead this amazing agency forward in the pursuit of remarkable work. DARE’s outstanding leadership team and rock-solid creative culture is a potent recipe for this age of disruption.”
Thomas added: “I am privileged and delighted to be offered the role at Facebook, where the mission to make the world more open and connected could not be more motivating than in the current climate.  I remain a passionate advocate for the wonderful people and clients of Dare, so thought hard about this decision.  But I am confident the business is in good health, and that Dare is going to continue to focus on delivering remarkable work for its clients.”