|WHY HE WAS CHOSEN:
"Curt has been able to help us put together logical road maps," says Betsy Lazar, executive director for advertising and media operations at GM. "He's an expert in traditional media who also happens to be a technology expert."
Mr. Hecht, 39, now SMG's chief digital officer, joined Leo Burnett in 1989 to work on traditional campaigns for marketers such as McDonald's and United Airlines. In 1998 he was tapped to lead the agency's San Francisco office, an assignment that put him at the forefront of the tech boom.
After the tech bubble burst, Mr. Hecht was assigned to GM, where he built a digital team on the auto giant's newly consolidated media account. In the years since, he's prodded GM to test new media technology.
That's led to a number of advances at GM, including the wholesale embrace of search marketing by its notoriously tough-to-sway dealer groups, as well as a new push into video-on-demand capabilities.
"He's an advocate of testing early, so you're high on the learning curve when some of these technologies move at scale," Ms. Lazar says.