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Omnicom Media Group’s high-growth agency brand Hearts & Science has promoted UK managing director Garrett O’Reilly to chief executive after he helped transform the agency’s fortunes in the UK market.

In his new role, O’Reilly will take greater responsibility for the agency’s growth and bolster his leadership team to provide operational support.

His promotion follows a year in which media billings grew by 20%, with client wins including Peloton, Hargreaves Lansdown and SumUp as well as the retention, without a pitch, of the GoCompare business.

Only this week, the agency was appointed by Virgin Voyages as its UK media agency partner.

O’Reilly, who was part of the management team that set up Hearts & Science in the UK in 2017, sits on the Omnicom Media Group UK board and will continue to report to OMG’s UK chief executive, Dan Clays.

“Under Garrett’s leadership, the agency has real momentum and I’m looking forward to him continuing that growth trajectory,” Clays said.

“They’ve grown the business, winning Virgin Voyages this week and Peloton, Hargreaves Lansdown and other clients. They are developing a reputation in the market for working with scale-up businesses. Garrett has also brought in fresh talent, such as [head of digital] Louis Wedgbury from ForwardPMX and this is starting to pay dividends.

“He is hugely trusted by his clients, everyone at Hearts and the rest of our OMG UK Board and, as a leader, has the mind of a strategic planner, the technical nous of a digital specialist and the way he has taken the lead on sustainability reflects his commitment to the wider industry.”

Clays said O’Reilly’s promotion provides space to build the Hearts & Science leadership team in the future, but would not be drawn on which positions the agency is targeting.

It could reasonably be expected that with O’Reilly more focused on growth and key clients, he will need a deputy that takes a hands-on role for running the day-to-day operation of the business.

O’Reilly helped set up Hearts & Science in the UK market as head of client experience before becoming managing director the following year.

Prior to this he spent nearly five years at M2M (which became Hearts & Science), having started his career at OMD.

“I’m incredibly proud of everything the team has achieved in that time. It’s a testament to our people, our technology and our work that we’ve so rapidly become one of the UK’s top 20 media agencies,” O’Reilly said.

Article originally published on Campaign here.

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