Talent Champion – Tim Maleeny

Talent Champion Spotlight

2023 Talent Champion - Tim Maleeny

Tim Maleeny
President & Chief Strategy Officer
Havas Creative Group

Tim Maleeny is the Chief Strategy Officer for Havas North America and President of Havas New York, a global marketing and communications company.

The former Head of Strategy for Ogilvy North America, Tim is a true hybrid, having worked as a creative, account lead and strategist over the course of his agency career. He has worked at R/GA, Publicis, and held a variety of leadership roles at independent agencies, in addition to launching a new agency practice for Deloitte. And with a degree in computer science, he has a longstanding obsession with emerging technology and innovation.

Tim is known for pioneering a narrative approach to building campaign platforms, which makes sense since he’s the bestselling author of six novels and multiple award-winning short stories. He’s very active across the marketing community, mentoring and connecting great people wherever he finds them.

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF?

Advertising is all about talent and always has been, so it’s critical that we all give back and help good people connect, learn from people who came before us, and help everyone feel like they’re part of a creative community that extends beyond their own agency.

Why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

Despite all the disruption, this is still an industry driven by creativity and collaboration. All the tech and data are just tools, never a substitute for talent and curiosity, and I still get inspired whenever I meet someone coming into the business for the first time.

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room, be the most curious. Ask lots of questions, even the obvious ones, and never hesitate to throw out an idea, no matter how outlandish. If you’re not excited, you’re playing it safe.

Why do you feel it is so important to inspire the next generation of diverse talent?

Collaboration fuels creativity, so the more you can bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds and ideas to your team, the better the work will be…and the more fun you’ll have.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people and the puzzles. Creativity unleashed when you get in a room and start throwing ideas around, and the beautiful collisions of personalities and perspective as you work on an impossible problem against an unreasonable timeline. That rush never gets old.

What advice would you give to students as they consider entering the industry?

Read everything, from fiction to nonfiction to industry trades and blogs and trend reports. Watch films, study storytelling. Remember that nobody makes a rational decision, we all post-rationalize the emotional decisions we make, so bring empathy to everything you do.

2023 Talent Champions

"Our future marketing and advertising leaders are not just looking for a job, they are looking for a meaningful career that will make a positive impact on society."
— Gord McLean, President and CEO at ANA Educational Foundation