John Hegarty joins AI automated talent start-up Genie

You don’t necessarily associate Sir John Hegarty with AI, let alone dreaded algorithms, but the creative veteran has re-surfaced (not that he ever went away) as chairman of Genie, described as “the creative industry’s first automated talent agent.” Genie appears to be a her.

Founded by a group of former headhunters, Genie says it will “enable creative companies and freelancers to manage independent, distributed talent more effectively…by removing the obstacles between talent and work.” It’s invitation only, it seems.

Hegarty, one of the founders of BBH, says: “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.”

There are undoubtedly lots of talented freelances around; some because they’ve chosen that route, others because agencies cutting back in the pandemic have chosen it for them. Some agencies may wish to be Genie clients as their own creative resources have been thinned out. Hegarty, who’s been there and done it, certainly gives Genie credibility.

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