He has variously been president of network outfit Akami, managing partner of ad group VivaKi and co-founder of the digital ad company Digitas, acquired by Publicis.
Now heading one of the world’s largest sources of data, Kenny’s company is pioneering use of super-local, metereological data to target ads. But there is also a higher calling than marketing.
“Climate change is controversial in some parts of the world,” Kenny tells Beet.TV. “We just did a piece with military leaders and CEOs, who are more conservative, who can really speak about this without making it a bipartisan (sic) issue.”
That project, Climate 25, comprises interviews with 25 scientists, businesspeople and citizens about the weather effects of climate change. In the US, where many still debate the reality of climate change, that is a bold stance for Weather to take. The New York Times calls it “consciously designed to reach people who may be doubters about the causes of global warming”. And Kenny sees the potential.
“I’m happy to begin to move the population,” he says. “We reach 200 million people a day. Helping those people relate to climate change, I think, will make a difference in their actions.”
Kenny credits mentors from his three distinct segment backgrounds with having enabled him to take The Weather Channel to new heights – Bain & Company chairman Orit Gadiesh, Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy and Akamai CEO Tom Leighton.
He concedes he has sometimes slipped up at promoting people: “There are at least three occasions where I promoted someone too quickly, out of loyalty because they had done a great job in the past role. I’ve done better as I’ve gotten older, to be slower on promotion and make sure people are really ready for the management role before you give it to them.”
But Kenny is insisted that the collision of media and technology is a great place for graduates to be. “It’s a great chance to leave a mark on the world,” he says.
Kenny was interviewed for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital. Taping took place in Cannes in June, 2015. This video is part of a series titled the Media Revolutionaries, produced by Beet.TV and sponsored by Xaxis and AOL Please find the series videos here.