Naked Co-Founder Neal Davies to Become CEO of Effie Worldwide

Succeeds Mary Lee Keane Who Will Retire After 20 Years

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Neal Davies
Neal Davies

Naked Communications co-founder Neal Davies has been appointed president and CEO of Effie Worldwide, the global non-profit behind the Effie Awards for marketing effectiveness.

Mr. Davies, who has been consulting since leaving Naked early last year, succeeds Mary Lee Keane, who is retiring this summer after 20 years atop the organization.

Mr. Davies is the first person from an agency background to lead Effie Worldwide. He will oversee the organization's staff in New York and internationally, and will report to the organization's board of directors.

Carl Johnson, co-founder of Anomaly and Chairman of the Board at Effie Worldwide, said the board knew 18 months ago that Ms. Keane was set to retire and began a search for her successor.

"The nature and the skills required are dramatically different from 20 years ago," Mr. Johnson said. Two decades ago, the position needed academic research skills because the Effies focus on asking marketers and agencies to prove "effectiveness" using hard numbers, based on sales figures, consumer behavior data and other key performance indicators, he said. As Effie Worldwide and its offerings have grown, strong industry contacts and a broader marketing background have become more important.

Under Ms. Keane, the company grew its global footprint, going from a North America-focused awards contest to a worldwide authority that creates case study databases, the Effie Effectiveness Index, white papers and other insights. According to the company's 2013 tax return, Ms. Keane received $243,000 in compensation from the company last year.

"This isn't just another agency job or another consulting gig or another client side gig," said Mr. Davies. "This is genuinely something new and different to me as an individual. Jobs like Mary Lee's don't come up that often."

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