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Ad Age Ad Lib

Aug 9, 2018

On the first day of her job as CEO, Kiran Smith broke her left foot. What could easily be interpreted as a bad omen turned out to be a blessing in a cast: Smith says the boot she’s had to wear these past five weeks have endeared her to new staffers and broken the ice with clients. She could use all the help she can get: In its second quarter earnings release last month, parent company Vivendi blamed weak organic results of its agency network Havas on “the impact of Arnold’s underperformance.” A veteran marketer — her most recent gig was as CMO at Brookstone — with no agency experience, Smith says she brings with her a fresh perspective to a gig that is sorely in need of one. She joins the podcast today to discuss the challenges she faces in her new job, what she brings to the table as a former marketer and what she’s learning from clients like Progressive and Jack Daniels.