Our Leadership

Carat Australia attracts people who are brave; who want to challenge what has gone before; people who want to be the catalysts for change for our clients. Find out more about our leadership team.

Paul Brooks

Paul Brooks

CEO | Carat Australia

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Paul’s media career of over twenty years spans both the UK and Australia, with his sound commercial acumen honed at some of the world’s largest agency groups, including Dentsu Aegis Network and GroupM.

Previously the President of DAN’s media investment arm, Amplifi, Paul joined Carat ANZ as CEO in September 2016, bringing with him a wealth of experience across a diverse range of clients and categories. Well-respected for his proven investment expertise within the industry, Paul is now at the helm of Australia’s largest marketing communications group, Carat Australia.

When not at work, Paul can be found enjoying life on the Northern Beaches with his wife and three children. An avid sportsman and clearly skilled multi-tasker, Paul also loves to spend time cycling, running, skiing and playing golf.  

Sam Hegg

Sam Hegg

Chief Strategy Officer | Carat Australia

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Sam is one of the media industry’s foremost strategic thinkers, with over 15 years’ experience honed in agencies across the UK and Australia. 

Over the course of his career, including a combined 13 years with Carat locally and internationally, he has worked with category leaders in FMCG, finance, auto, gambling, insurance and entertainment. He now applies this experience & expertise to his current role, driving the strategic agenda of some of Australia's biggest brands. 

Inquisitive by nature, with a passion for innovation, Sam is dedicated to finding new and better ways to use communications to drive a business forward. 

As an Englishman living in Australia with his wife and three boys, he has also committed himself to living like a local, enrolling his kids in Nippers and adopting an AFL team. 

Sarah James

Sarah James

Chief Digital Officer | Carat Australia

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Sarah’s digital expertise has been developed over twelve years in digital media, working across range of categories including Automotive, FMCG, Food & Beverage, Retail, and Insurance.

She is fiercely passionate about new technology and the opportunities it presents to revolutionise not only the way we do business, but how we live our day-to-day lives.

In her role as Chief Digital Officer of Carat Australia, Sarah is the driving force behind Carat’s digital transformation, working closely with our technology partners, global media partners & digital agencies to keep Carat clients at the forefront of digital evolution.  

Andrea Rule

Andrea Rule

Chief Marketing Officer | Carat Australia

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Andrea is an experienced, versatile marcomms professional with over 14 years’ experience working client, agency and media owner side, with an emphasis on digital content marketing and strategic integration.

Andrea joined Carat from her most recent role as Head of Brand at Yahoo7, departing after five years with the business.

Now tasked with driving Carat’s brand story nationally, Andrea’s unique skill set is an invaluable asset to the business, with her remit including brand positioning, corporate communications, trade marketing, and new business development.

Brendon Cropper

Brendon Cropper

Chief Data and Experience Officer | Carat Australia

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With over 12 years in the industry, Brendon brings an incredible bank of data-driven marketing experience, passion and commitment to the Carat team.

Over the course of his career, he has guided the digital and data strategies of a number of the country’s leading agencies, as well as led several industry-wide digital marketing education initiatives. As Carat’s CDXO, Brendon is tasked with gearing the agency to deliver a market-leading data proposition for clients.

 

Joseph Pardillo

Joseph Pardillo

Managing Director | Carat Melbourne

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Joseph has over 17 years’ experience embracing all corners of the industry, including media management, brand development, sponsorship activation, business strategy, people management and sales.

He now channels all of this into spearheading the Carat Melbourne office as Managing Director, leading a team of 140 people, working on some of the country's biggest brands. 

 

Gabriela Merrick

Gabriela Merrick

Managing Director | Carat Brisbane

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Admittedly a fan of warmer weather, Gab's 20 year career has spanned agency roles in both Sydney and Brisbane, officially joining Carat in 2014 from fellow Dentsu Aegis Network Agency, Mitchells.

She is experienced in working with nimble, challenger brands, having spent time as the client lead on the likes of Virgin Blue and Virgin Mobile. She has also grown and developed her strategic expertise on large FMCG accounts such as Nestle. 

As Managing Director of the Brisbane agency, Gab is driven by industry's pace of change, and the daily opportunities this presents for learning and development.

 

Catherine Krantz

Catherine Krantz

Head of Operational Performance | Carat Australia

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As Head of Operational Performance, Catherine is tasked with spearheading Carat's ‘people’ agenda. She has proven her passion and talent for creating a diverse, inclusive, and inspiring work environment over the course of her 16 years at Carat, most recently as the General Manager of the Melbourne office.

She is a firm advocate for fostering and retaining talent – at any level – through flexibility and an understanding of how her people work best.  Catherine’s outstanding work at Carat has also recently been recognised by her appointment as Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Dentsu Aegis Network.

Christine McKinnon

Christine McKinnon

Head of Insight | Carat Australia

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Christine has over 20 years’ experience steering the strategic agenda of some of Australia’s biggest brands, including Proctor & Gamble, Hyundai, Woolworths, Revlon, and Freedom.

 

She has worked on both the creative and media side of the industry, having spent time GPY&R, McCann, Zenith, Mediacom & Initiative, before joining Carat in 2009.

 

Now Carat’s Head of Insights, Christine is able to channel her passion for both people & brands into finding new and creative ways to connect the two.