Barry Wacksman was named this summer as the Executive Vice President and Global Chief Strategy Officer of R/GA. In this important new role, he will assume global responsibility for all three of R/GA’s strategic functions: Planning, Analytics and Business Transformation, while continuing to lead the global Business Development team. Based in the company’s New York headquarters, he continues to report to R/GA’s founder, CEO and chairman Bob Greenberg.
R/GA is, of course, well known for its role in helping longtime client Nike develop its Nike+ FuelBand fitness tracker. Barry Wacksman has long been advocating “functional integration” as a foundation for new business models. Certainly the growing interconnection of brands and data, as well as what he calls “connected ecosystems of value” are changing the relationships between products and consumers, as well as the roles between clients and agencies.
Barry is a key architect of R/GA’s vision of “The Connected Age,” which focuses on growing brands through a connected ecosystem of products, services and communications. This vision seamlessly combines digital platforms that consumers use on an ongoing basis with the episodic, storytelling content of campaigns to help brands achieve differentiation in an otherwise commoditized marketplace for consumer goods. Barry is also the co-author of Connected by Design (2014, Jossey-Bass/Wiley) and his articles have been published in a wide variety of industry publications. He has presented on topics pertaining to the digital age at conferences and events around the world.
Since joining R/GA in 1999, the company has grown organically from an agency of under 50 employees to one employing over 1,500 staff in 15 offices globally. Barry led the charge to acquire many of the world-class brands that make up R/GA’s client roster, from Nike to Samsung to L’Oreal to Unilever.
Barry serves as Chairperson of the board of Miami Ad School and also serves on the board of directors of the American Advertising Federation, the Advertising Educational Foundation and Pilobolus Dance Theatre. He graduated from Ohio State University with a B.A. in philosophy and was a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Syracuse University.