OLIVER Group has poached Havas London’s head of technology and innovation. Michael Olaye will play a pivotal role at OLIVER-owned digital agency DARE to harness the power of its digital offer. As well as this, Olaye will spearhead strategic technical planning for OLIVER Group UK overall as part of its ambitious growth strategy.
Olaye’s remit covers innovation, technology and new business development. He will join the agency in June and will report in to Brian Cooper, chief creative officer for OLIVER Group UK, and Leigh Thomas, CEO at DARE.
Olaye has been credited with building Havas London’s digital capabilities during his five-year stint at the shop. He led both Havas London and post-merger, Havas Work Club’s technology and engineering teams. His 17-year career includes time at Xplorer, Hyperlink-Interactive Creative Partnership and U-dox, the multidisciplinary creative agency where he was a founding member, working across clients as diverse as MTV and Credit Suisse.
Olaye has featured in Creativepool’s Top 100 Creative Industry Influencers list, The Drum Digerati, and as a guest speaker at events such as the Cristal Digital Festival. Olaye also mentors at the School of Arts and Communications 2.0 in London and is advisor and speaker at education charity Future First Alumni.
Leigh Thomas, chief executive officer at DARE, said: “Michael will be a great asset to our already strong and experienced team. His blend of technology, innovation and industry expertise will be essential as we create new, innovative ways to support our clients.”
Michael Olaye, chief technology officer at OLIVER Group, said: “OLIVER Group is at an exciting stage in its development – its inside model is challenging the traditional advertising status quo with its brilliant track-record of delivering innovative, disruptive thinking. I’m looking forward to working towards achieving the ambitious goals it has set out. DARE and the OLIVER Group are in an excellent position to grow its presence in the world of digital.”
Brian Cooper, chief creative officer, OLIVER Group UK, added: “Michael’s credentials speak for themselves. His experience and insight in marrying technology strategy and innovation will be hugely beneficial for our clients and he will play a key role across the business as we continue to bridge the gap between strategy and creative execution.”
Olaye’s appointment follows the opening of an OLIVER UK office in Manchester in April, and the appointment of Sharon Whale as OLIVER UK chief executive officer in December 2015.