Lucky Generals partner Sara Tate, a former managing director at Mother, is to be the new CEO of TBWA London. At the same time Lucky Generals co-founder Helen Calcraft is to become CEO of TBWA Group in the UK. TBWA bought a majority stake in Lucky Generals in February. Tate worked with newly-appointed TBWA CCO Andy Jex at Mother.
TBWA chairman Peter Souter and MD Brian Swords are staying on in their respective roles.
Tate (left) says: “TBWA is one of those brands that creatively minded people root for. It’s a brilliant brand with massive entrepreneurial spirit, but at the same time it has the support and opportunities that come with a network. It’s a killer combo.”
TBWA Worldwide CEO Troy Ruhanen says: “We are an agency group on the rise and not interested in looking for yesterday’s comfortable CEOs. We need masters of restlessness. Agitators, not politicians. So as we conducted the search and waded through the establishment, the answer became obvious. Sara’s track record at strategically rigorous, groundbreaking cultures is exceptional. She is not interested in recounting the old ways of working, but driving a team that wants to create tomorrow, today. Not to mention she has an outstanding reputation in the marketplace, and relationships with clients, talent and consultants that are second to none.”
Calcraft’s appointment as group CEO has been in the offing for a while but was delayed for personal reasons. It makes the TBWA Group offer in the UK much more coherent. TBWA, which has struggled to punch its weight in the UK, may now be seen as the equivalent of a start-up with the added benefit of Apple and Nissan.
On the face of it TBWA seems to be positioned for international work while the Generals have continued to pick up local business since the sale of the stake to TBWA. But it would be quite easy to form joint teams to pitch for regional and global accounts, the current fashion in holding company land.