Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi loses digital chief Curt Hecht to The Weather Channel

Curt Hecht (pictured), a 20-year veteran at Publicis Groupe and currently CEO of its 300-strong VivaKi Nerve Center in Paris, is leaving to join cable channel The Weather Channel as chief global revenue officer, in charge of TWC’s digital marketing and sales.

Prior to moving to VivaKi Hecht was chief digital officer of Starcom where, among other things, he oversaw the giant General Motors digital media account, now departed to Carat.

TWC is seen in 100m US homes and attract 60m online users a month. TWC chairman and CEO David Kenny says: “This is a huge win for The Weather Channel. Curt has a deep understanding of our industry, along with the knowledge and insight into the technologies and platforms that will enable us to serve our current and future clients as we grow our company both in the U.S. and globally.”

Hecht says: “The Weather Channel has a great brand, scale and leadership in digital, and a fully distributed cable network. This opportunity will allow me to be a part of the company’s global growth by sharing my perspective and experience on what agencies and their clients are seeking in a converging media landscape. This requires the right balance of brand experiences and data-driven marketing. The focus now is on implementation and revenue growth.”

VivaKi claims to be adland’s biggest digital media operator, bringing together Starcom, Zenith Optimedia, Digitas, Razorfish and more recent acquisition Rosetta Marketing Group. But there is pressure from elsewhere in the marcoms universe especially from WPP which recently announced an exclusive deal between independent ad management company DG’s MediaMind online unit and its own 24/7 Real Media, Vivaki’s biggest rival.

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