Kantar appoints Renee Smith as Chief Research Officer

In this newly created position, Smith - a recognised advocate of data quality and research innovation - will take a central role in the development and sustainability of Kantar's research capabilities. Working with Kantar's operating companies, she is briefed to improve the standard of deliverables and provide enhanced levels of actionability and added value to the group's clients.

Kantar has also announced the appointment of Tim Kelsall, previously global business leader for PepsiCo at Kantar company Millward Brown, as senior vice-president, client strategy, innovation and delivery. He will be based in London and also report to Dedeker.

Kelsall's primary responsibilities include taking a leadership role on Kantar's client service strategy development; partnering with Kantar's operating companies and Smith to identify priority areas for offer innovation; and developing integrated working models for those clients that use multiple Kantar services.

Kantar chief executive Eric Salama commented on the appointments: "As Kantar continues to evolve, we need to ensure that we innovate ahead of our competitors and that clients can access the best of our capabilities in a seamless, integrated manner.

"Renee is recognised as one of the top industry experts in the strategic application of research to improve business decision-making. She will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our goals for an integrated offer that adds unique competitive advantage," he said.

Dedeker added: "Tim has a detailed knowledge of client needs and expectations through his extensive experience in senior account-handling roles. Coupled with Renee's depth of technical expertise and commonsense approach to solving business challenges, we have a formidable team to help us identify and implement our strategy across a number of key issues."