- Country Manager & CEO, WPP & VMLY&R, Italy
- Executive Jury
Simona is an experienced strategy and communication professional with 15+ years in the industry from Clients handling to a management role. She has a huge international experience, having worked between Wien, Eastern Europe and Moscow for 4 years. She joined Y&R in 2004 after 3 years in Leo Burnett, where she started her career after a Degree in Marketing & Communication at Milan University IULM. Simona has been the driving force behind building VMLY&R’s presence and reputation in the market as a technology-forward brand experience agency. On the heels of Y&R and VML’s last year global merger, Simona has reimagined the organizational structure of the Italian agency with an eye towards fostering greater collaboration and supporting VMLY&R’s mission to create Connected Brands. She has introduced new roles in the agency: a Connections Leader to oversee social, content and influencer strategy, supported by a team of Data Analysts. She also launched a unit dedicated to Customer Experience, that focuses on incorporating fresh ideas and innovative technologies. Simona has been a respected advocate in support of female leadership and talent in the industry as President of Winspire Italy, the project dedicated to women empowerment, launched by WPP. She has nurtured a dynamic team of women who lead VMLY&R’s Italy office – a rare case in the Italian communications industry – and she has invested in ongoing mentoring, training and development to ignite profound and lasting change. For her efforts Simona was named Manager of the Year at NC AWARDS 2019 by ADCGroup, one of the most relevant publishers of the industry. In May 2020 Simona had been nominated WPP Italy Country Manager in addition to her role as CEO VMLY&R.