Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter
Partner, Chief Innovation Officer

I come from seven generations of missionaries. I’ve lived on three continents in three amazing cities: Hong Kong, London and New York. I’ve done business in 44 countries. I am driven to explore places and to understand what makes people tick. And I have the rare knack of always having my bearings (even in a runaway Beijing taxi). This all means that I am strategic by nature, but determined that everything works. And the missionary side means I have to do what’s right for the brand, customers and the company.

Oxford University trained my brain and gave me a love of big words. Working in the advertising business in London taught me about business and big results. I’ve been lucky to have explored a diversity of businesses: pharmaceuticals and healthcare (Viagra), beverages (Bacardi), financial services, packaged goods and travel. I have worked with Fortune 500 brands and the smallest startups. Finally, I learned that innovation is just another word for breaking rules brilliantly – probably a reaction to all those missionaries.

That is why CO OP’s strategic approach is so unusual – seeking distinctive ways of unlocking brands’ full potential.

I love projects that require unusual approaches to solve them: finding a way to get the tenants of Starrett-Lehigh to value the new owner’s creativity, wrangling internal politics to transform Cox’s digital companies into Gamut and galvanizing a community around Baltimore’s Eager Park to get behind a human vision of what the place could be.

I may be a bit of a “professor” but I make sure I indulge in some proper passions. I play soccer every Sunday (whatever the weather). A five-minute conversation with me will have me talking about my love for punk music while shamelessly promoting my radio show, “Another Girl, Another Planet” on WPKN. And I have a brother who is an “actual” rocket scientist.