Here’s a clue as to what WPP’s Wunderman Thompson will look like and what it hopes to do.
The recently-merged agency has hired former Publicis big hitter Ewen Sturgeon as CEO of Europe and South Africa, reporting to global boss Mel Edwards.
Sturgeon (below) founded the digital agency that became Wheel and then joined Publicis where he took on the seemingly Sisyphean task for COO of Publicis.Sapient, overseeing the merger of DigitasLBi, SapientRazorfish and Sapient consulting. Wunderman Thomson should be a cake walk by comparison.
Sturgeon says: “Wunderman Thompson has everything a modern agency needs and more. They are doing things differently in today’s ever-changing market, and I was impressed by their approach to business growth and ability to help clients’ future proof the way they engage with customers. Wunderman Thompson’s offering is the reason I am returning to agency life.”
CEO Edwards says: “I’ve been a massive admirer of Ewen’s for some time now. He is a well-respected entrepreneur and innovative leader with a brilliant history of leveraging breakthrough creativity, data and emerging technology to inspire growth for clients and partners. His experience of bringing together pioneering businesses to create something new and unique is why he is perfect to lead our European region.”
The performance of Wunderman Thompson is key to Mark Read’s reshaping of WPP. Until he stepped up at WPP Read was CEO of Wunderman and turned it into one of WPP’s strongest performers. Wunderman Thompson now needs to do that on a bigger scale while recapturing some of J. Walter Thompson’s former reputation for measured creativity and marketing nous.
Sturgeon is now key to that in an important region, as is newly-hired CCO Steve Aldridge, one of the founders of direct marketing agency Partners Andrews Aldridge.
As CEO of Europe and South Africa, Sturgeon will oversee 6,500 employees across 76 offices.