VMLY&R COMMERCE Bolsters U.S. Leadership Team Amid Market Transformation

VMLY&R COMMERCE'S Michelle Baumann, Jacquelyn Baker & Curt Munk

Strategic move to align strategy, experience planning, and analytics for a holistic view of the shopper

VMLY&R COMMERCE announced the expansion of its US executive leadership team with the promotion of Michelle Baumann to Chief Strategy Officer and Jacquelyn Baker to Chief Commerce Experience Officer, as Curt Munk moves into newly created role of Chief Innovation Officer.  These appointments, effective immediately, reflect the company’s commitment to leading creative commerce transformation with a focus on key growth priorities including retail media, data, technology and innovation.

VMLY&R COMMERCE has witnessed incredible momentum since its launch in 2021, becoming the most creatively awarded US Commerce agency with wins across D&AD, Effies, Clio, One Show, Reggies and more. Commerce-led US assignments have doubled year over year with growth across new and existing clients including GSK, General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, and Conagra, among others.

“The power in Creative Commerce has been realized globally, with commercial reality elevated to the forefront of clients’ growth priorities,” said Tyler Murray, Chief Executive Officer, VMLY&R COMMERCE.

 “As marketers adapt to the new omnichannel shopper, the demand for data-led thinking and retail intelligence expertise has heightened.  I am thrilled to make these key appointments as they represent our end to end view of the customer journey, and bring together best in class leaders to craft creatively-inspired, insights-fueled commerce experiences across retail ecosystems,” Murray added. 

Michelle Baumann, Chief Strategy Officer

Michelle Baumann in the role of Chief Strategy Officer represents a strategic shift by an agency to align data, insights, strategy and measurement under a single leader.  The move brings research and data-driven rigor to VMLY&R COMMERCE’s category, brand, shopper and retail insights to optimize its strategic process and integrated media decision-making.  Most recently serving as EVP, Marketing Science, Michelle retains responsibility of the agency’s data capability and bespoke tools, including its AI-enabled “X-Drive” approach to unlocking category growth. She brings to her role previous background in Retail/Commerce Growth Consulting from Kantar Retail and Commerce Analytics at IRI.

Jacquelyn Baker, Chief Commerce Experience Officer

Jacquelyn Baker, recently recognized as Campaign US’ Account Person of the Year, becomes the first Chief Commerce Experience Officer in a move to unite the company’s ecommerce and retail media capability.  She will assume the responsibility of leading the retail media function, further building VMLY&R COMMERCE’s offer and infusing media activation at retail into consumer experience planning.  She continues to maintain oversight of Sygnl, its proprietary retail intimacy tool, and lead key commerce accounts including General Mills and Diageo. Jacquelyn’s additional accolades include being named by Forbes and Fortune as a top Cincinnati business leader and receiving the Women of Excellence Innovator Award from Path to Purchase Institute.

Curt Munk, Chief Innovation Officer

Curt Munk transitions to the role of Chief Innovation Officer bridging the future with reality for both VMLY&R COMMERCE and its clients. A sought-after industry speaker on retail and tech trends, he will help guide on tools and capability development connecting consumer behavior to commerce innovation to accelerate brand growth.  Curt’s behavioral economics background, retail and commerce experience and strategic planning credentials will accelerate the agency's application of human insights across cultural, social, technological, and economic arenas that guide consumers to buy.  He will work to deliver strategic thought leadership on key accounts, pitches and industry forums.

Additional appointments include: Amanda (Rosen) Bailey to Executive Vice President to lead several large and growing CPG client accounts with an emphasis on bringing retail media and commercial innovation strategies forward; and James Philips to EVP, Executive Creative Director and Nicole Seifert to SVP, Group Creative Director both whom have played key roles in accelerating the company’s creative transformation agenda, building brands at the moment of conversion across physical, digital, and mobile.

The news also follows recent talent investments within a growing Experiential capability including Laura Mignott as Global Chief Experiential Officer and McDonald Predelus as Web3, VP Creative Director, both US-based.