Wieden+Kennedy is ringing the changes in London with Ryan Fisher succeeding Helen Andrews as managing director. MD remains an important post in the W+K empire. Andrews, taking a break from adland, has been in post since 2017. Her successes include leading the Sainsbury’s pitch in 2016.
Fisher (above), currently head of growth, is a former MD of W+K Tokyo. He will work alongside ECD Susan Hoffman (parachuted in from W+K’s Portland HQ) and CSO Dan Hill. By its own stellar standards W+K London has flatlined for the past couple of years, losing a succession of senior creatives and long-serving MD (latterly network COO) Neil Christie who has gone off to be a student.
Fisher, who has been with the agency since 2007, says: “After spending the last 15 years working across the W+K network, it’s an honour to be given the opportunity to run the London office and get the chance to make work that has an impact in culture.
“I love this office, it’s packed full of amazing people, great clients and positive momentum and as we head into our 40th year as a global network, I’m hugely excited to lead W+K London through its next chapter.”
Andrews says: “To say it’s a hard decision to leave W+K London is an understatement – it’s a very special place and it’s been a privilege to be part of it as long as I have. Leaving is made a lot easier by the fact I know the agency will be in such brilliant and capable hands.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what Ryan and the team do next whilst I’m giving myself some time off and making sure my next adventure is as fun as the last. Thanks W+K and everyone who’s been part of the last 14 years – I’ve had an absolute blast.”
W+K network COO Neal Arthur says: “Helen has been a friend and business partner in leadership for years—she has done so much for the people, the work, and the culture of this place. We’ll miss her very much. Ryan is a massive talent. He has already had a great deal of success across the W+K network, and we’re fortunate and very excited to have him step into this role.”
Post (or almost post) Covid there has been a talent drain from London creative agencies after a pretty exhausting couple of years. A combination of the pandemic and the onrushing digital tide, compounded by procurement hassles, has has made running such agencies rather harder, even at W+K, still fiercely independent after 40 years.