James Greet Appointed COO at HERO

Hero has named industry vet James Greet Chief Operating Officer. The agency has seen significant growth over the past 12 months through both acquisitions and new business wins.

Greet has been working with the group for the past 6 months in an advisory role. In his new position, he will support agency founder, Ben Lilley and chief financial officer Zain Hoosen with the goal of further integrating marketing communications offerings and spur new organic growth opportunities.

The agency was first launched by Lilley in 2020 through the integration of a number of smaller entities across Australia and New Zealand, including McCANN Australia; B.B.E Technology, Data and Analytics; SMART Brand Innovation; The Red Republic Reputation Management; JSA Digital and Design; and Engine Room Productions.


“James has built his career operating at the intersection of creativity, comms strategy and technology, just like HERO,” said Lilley.

“His experience launching, growing and transforming wildly successful agency operations is precisely what we’ve been seeking to fuel our ambition to offer our clients of the very best integrated creative and technology business across Australia and New Zealand.”

Greets career includes stints with media and creative agencies in the U.K, Asia, and Australia.

“I’ve loved working with HERO as an advisor and now am thrilled to be stepping into this key new role. HERO’s integrated offering across Australia and New Zealand is genuinely unique. Offering the agility and spirit of an award-winning independent network, integrated with the scale and intellectual capital of the world’s largest agency group, McCANN,” added Greet.


“HERO delivers the best of both worlds: local smarts at global scale. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the next stage of growth of this remarkable model, with creative, media, production, PR, data and technology all under the one roof.”

Greet’s first regional leadership role was with Saatchi’s China. He then made the move to Australia, becoming CEO at OMD in 2002 before taking on the same role at Mindshare.

“We have further acquisitions underway to continue to build out our best-in-class HERO offering and James will now also be a key part of this acquisitive growth and integration. Too many clients spend too much time juggling too many agencies,” Lilley said.

“We’ve developed an operational and service model that provides a single point of contact for each client to our integrated group of best-in-class specialists, with a single job management and billing system that removes the layers of agency duplication and costs that can burden traditional agency rosters. This is something that is clearly already resonating with major clients and we expect to be able to make more announcements over the coming months.”

Greet’s appointment follows a string of major hires by Lilley over the past year.

“A lot of the hard work has already been done for me. HERO’s agencies operate under a single profit and loss across Australia and New Zealand, ensuring seamless collaboration without siloed decision-making or revenue tussles. And the total business runs with a single management team, made up of the leaders from each business offering. Our cloud technology is critical to delivering this model and will continue to evolve,” Greet added.

“But this doesn’t represent a shift from a creative core. The HERO model has been built around integrating and boosting the effectiveness of creativity. Creativity is the ultimate competitive advantage and the most powerful driver of marketing effectiveness. And with HERO’s Borderless Creativity, national award-winning talent is available to every brand and client, no matter where they may be based.”

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