VMLY&R COMMERCE, has announced the promotion of Debbie Ellison, chief digital officer at Geometry UK, to global chief digital officer with immediate effect.
In this newly created role, Debbie becomes responsible for driving new business opportunities, revenue streams and enhanced capabilities for both clients and VMLY&R COMMERCE. She will identify and deliver innovative, effective digital commerce solutions to support clients and their digital transformation agendas across markets.
The global position comes as businesses continue to reimagine, at pace, end-to-end commerce strategies in light of the explosive growth of eCommerce. GroupM estimates that global retail e-commerce will hit a staggering $3.9trillion in 2020 – excluding food and delivery services.
Recognised as a digital pioneer, Debbie brings unique understanding of the changing consumer landscape and business needs. She has been the driving force behind UK change agency programs, identifying and creating new areas of brand growth for clients across channels including social commerce and D2C. Managing a multi-skilled team of commerce and digital talent, she is creating a strong bridge between data and technology to deliver people-first experiences that drive purchase behaviour across new and emerging retail channels.
“Clients want outstanding creative innovation, powered by technology expertise and delivered at a global scale." said Beth Ann Kaminkow, global CEO, VMLY&R COMMERCE. "Debbie’s new role is designed precisely to meet those needs and is another important step forward in accelerating our end-to-end commerce solution to drive client growth. Debbie has an intuitive and proven understanding of what consumers expect, what clients value, and what brands need. We’re thrilled to expand her talent and leadership across our global network."
Under Debbie’s leadership, the agency has broken new ground with The Flagship, a physical, immersive space using 360 projection mapping to re-create over 140 retail environments, helping clients to trial cutting-edge technology and growth solutions. In collaboration with Social.Lab, Debbie has launched Social Commerce+ - connecting social to commercial uplift.
Debbie commented: “I’m honoured to collaborate with our brilliant teams to accelerate growth for clients through connected, digital commerce experiences. In close partnership with Michelle Whelan, UK CEO, we’ve significantly transformed our UK business by expediting proprietary product development, delivering new routes to market at breakneck speed and developing stores of the future. I look forward to scaling our successes globally.”
Debbie joins VMLY&R COMMERCE global executive board, retains her role as UK chief digital officer and remains UK based.
A highly respected and active champion of inclusion and diversity, continues to sit on VMLY&R COMMERCE’s global IE&D and WPP’s Roots Steering Committee.
In 2020, Debbie joined the EMpower / Yahoo Finance Ethnic Minority Role Model List, and, was named 'Industry Shaper' in the Women in Marketing Global Awards. She is shortlisted as 'Inspirational Leader' at The Ethnicity Awards. Debbie is a Campaign / IPA Woman of the Future – winning the innovation / technology category in 2016.
This news comes on the heels of the official launch of VMLY&R COMMERCE, bringing together the scale, expertise and talent of WPP agencies Geometry and VMLY&R. VMLY&R COMMERCE operates as a distinct company within the VMLY&R family, led by Beth Ann Kaminkow.