Nitro London has appointed Gala Coral Group marketing director Kate Howe as managing director. The move comes as part of a drive to beef up the senior management team at the agency’s London office.
Howe takes over the position on February 25, leaving the gambling and gaming operator after four years.
She will report to global chief operating officer Stan Schwarz. Howe says her role will be to lead the agency into leveraging opportunities for its clients, which include Volvo’s global business and Nike.
Before joining Gala Coral, Howe spent a year at Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO at board level, working on the WH Smith account and handling a COI anti-smoking brief.
Prior to that she spent six years at Leo Burnett, joining in 1997 as an account handler on the Kellogg, Heinz and McDonald’s accounts. She was promoted to head of account management in 1999 and became managing director in 2002. She left the agency in 2003 following the company’s merger with D’Arcy.
Howe joined Gala Coral in 2004 and was promoted to group marketing director in 2006 after the group acquired Coral Eurobet, with responsibility for the Gala Casino, Gala Bingo and Coral brands both online and offline.
Howe says she was not looking to leave Gala Coral but had “missed the dynamism of agency life” and felt “too far from the creative work”.
Nitro global chairman Chris Clarke admits that Nitro’s London office has not had the success that the company has experienced in some of its other branches, such as New York. He sees the appointment of Howe, with her mix of agency and client-side experience, as a continuing effort to strengthen the management team there. Clarke is also seeking to appoint a head of planning as part of this drive.