News | June 8th 2023

Code and Theory Appoints First Chief Communications Officer and Head of Brand Strategy

Originally published in Adweek

By Kyle O'Brien on Jun. 2, 2023 - 9:00 AM

Digital transformation and engineering network Code and Theory has made two key hires. Veteran editor and communications executive Kenneth Hein has been appointed the first chief communications officer of the Code and Theory Network in its 22-year history while 13-year Nike executive Stacy Tarver Patterson has been named head of brand strategy for Code and Theory, a network that is expanding its client growth capabilities.

Hein most recently worked at The Drum as the U.S. editor. Prior to The Drum, he was U.S. chief communications officer at Dentsu. He was promoted into the role after Dentsu acquired the business-to-business creative agency gyro, where he served as global chief communications officer. Hein also held leadership roles at J. Walter Thompson and Brandweek. He is the recipient of the Jesse H. Neal Award for Excellence in Journalism, a D&AD Pencil, and the Ad Club President’s Award, among other accolades.

“[Code and Theory] is the network of the future, whereas many are trying to retrofit models created for the needs of the past,” said Hein in a statement. “There is a great story and value proposition here.”

Tarver Patterson served in a variety of key digital leadership roles throughout her career, which began at Bear Stearns’ financial analytics and structured transactions group, where she built automated tracking and analytics tools. She then switched her focus to nonprofit fundraising and marketing for the YMCA. Later, she spent over a decade at Nike working across brand strategy, planning and marketing, including leading the marketing teams for Nike Beijing and Greater China digital commerce, two of Nike’s largest growth areas.

Tarver Patterson is currently CMO in residence at the Columbia Start Up Lab and had served as managing director at West Ventures as well as co-founder and CMO of COR, a lifestyle science digital tech startup.

“Everything about the DNA of Code and Theory aligns with that pull I had been feeling, across individual backgrounds and disciplines. It’s a brilliantly curious team of people who are not talking ‘digital-first creative’ out of fear of becoming irrelevant; we are doing this work because we love helping to guide change,” said Tarver Patterson in a statement.

Code and Theory, a Stagwell company, includes nearly 2,000 people with 50% engineers and 50% creative talent. Earlier this year it welcomed digital shop YML into the fold.

The hires come on the heels of Code and Theory’s new AI partnership with Oracle. The partnership combines Oracle Cloud Infrastructure capabilities with Code and Theory’s digital-first creative thinking to unlock AI-powered innovation at scale for the agency’s diverse client base, initially targeting the financial, automotive, hospitality and retail industries.

“Ken brings a serious background of communications and marketing expertise. He will put a bright spotlight on who we are today. Stacy’s background as a strategist has the right mix of global, startup and academic experience that our clients are looking for in solving their problems through creativity and technology. We’ve got a lot of firepower with more to come,” said Code and Theory co-founder and executive chairman Dan Gardner in a statement.

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