Sir John Hegarty joins GENIE as Chairman – The new infrastructure for the creative talent economy

Ad legend joins the creative industry’s first automated talent agent GENIE aims to remove the obstacles between creative talent and work

GENIE, the creative industry’s first automated talent agent, today announces ad industry legend Sir John Hegarty as its new Chairman, as the team looks to shake up the way top-tier freelance talent is employed across the creative industries.

Sir John Hegarty

Sir John Hegarty joins GENIE to continue solving the creative industry’s biggest challenge: enabling creative companies and freelancers to manage independent, distributed talent more effectively. Workforces are more distributed than ever, companies need instant access to the best freelance talent, and the talent need a less stressful, more freeing process of securing employment. As agencies and corporations face up to the practical challenges of adapting to a post-COVID 19 environment, GENIE is stepping up to provide the infrastructure of the new creative talent economy – by removing the obstacles between talent and work.

GENIE has been developed from decades of industry experience, with the goal of engineering the intangibles of a talent spotter – creative insight, passion, and relationship building – into AI form to enable a leap in the speed and scale of recruitment. This gives creative companies direct access to best-in-class creative talent in an instant, and removes the pain of searching for work from the talent.

The GENIE AI matches hiring companies to top industry talent and handles the entire process through a messaging service, liaising with both parties. Clients pitch their brief, and her matching algorithm matches the best talent to the right projects, whilst she gathers live data on interest and availability, enabling companies to make a booking in an instant. She even sorts out the paperwork behind the scenes. She currently counts leading agencies amongst her clientele, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Virtue (Vice Media Group) and Droga5 – as well as huge consumer brands such as Warner Music Group and Philips. For talent, GENIE is invite-only, featuring best-in-class freelance talent, with talent from projects like Sainsburys 1914, Adidas – There Will be Haters, and ING – The Next Rembrandt, with an ever-growing waiting list to join. 


Sir John Hegarty will begin work right away to continue building on GENIE’s momentum, bringing unparalleled insight into top-end creative talent and company leadership. GENIE currently offers companies access to best-in-class talent on a pay-as-you-go basis, and Sir John Hegarty will oversee the addition of GENIE’s subscription-based platform, launching later this year, which will allow greater power to access the right talent at the right moment.

Nick Grime

GENIE’s co-founders bring expertise from the top of the creative sector and have now built a platform to address the problems they observed. Nicky badenoch spent years working on projects for the likes of LEGO and BBC, including launching BBC iPlayer, whilst Nick Grime and Bonnie Harold have been at the heart of matching talent in the creative industries for two decades, including shaping the management teams of a number of the world’s leading advertising agencies. All 3 were partners at the boutique headhunting business LIZH, where they perfected the arts of being headhunters that cared about the people behind creativity. It was here that the ideas behind GENIE were born.

Sir John Hegarty, Chairman, GENIE, commented: “Over the last 20 years the creative industries have undergone seismic change. Part of that change is the growth in freelance – allowing companies and individuals to work faster, smarter and more efficiently. Accessing that talent with speed and effectiveness is vital. GENIE is the answer. Their technology and years of experience deliver best-in-class creative talent. Serving both creative ambition and business growth. The companies, across all industries, that win the future are going to be those that can access the finest talent, faster and more efficiently than their competitors. That’s why I’m delighted to be their chairman.

Nicky Badenoch

Nicky Badenoch, Co-Founder, Genie, commented: “The creative industry’s most prized commodity is its talent. The chance meetings and the stories which all ladder up to work that delivers fame and moves the cultural conversation forward. At GENIE, we have been able to engineer the magic of serendipity, codifying our years of experience into a tech platform with soul. I am hugely excited to have Sir John Hegarty with us on this journey”.

Source: GENIE

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