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TBWA restructures; makes key executive appointments

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MUMBAI: In a major re-structuring exercise, TBWA\Worldwide is now planning to move towards a Global Client Market structure, reflecting the change in multi-national client structures and the nature of their businesses, away from a traditional, rigid regional structure.

As a part of this, TBWA\Worldwide has also made several key executive appointments among the global leadership team, restructuring around the strengths of the existing group.

The agency’s move to a more focused versus generalist model among global executives is reflective of a further change to the regional operating structure of the company away from a traditional regional setup.

TBWA's Los Angeles office chief strategy officer Nick Barham adds responsibilities as global chief strategy officer to his existing role. He will continue to lead the LA office's strategy department as part of its executive team, in addition to being charged with leading the TBWA network's Disruption practice and planning function.

Perry Valkenburg has been named president, international – global operations. Valkenburg will have oversight of TBWA\Digital Arts Network, TBWA\Worldhealth, Content & Production, Design and TBWA's Merger and Acquisition strategy.

James Vincent and Emmanuel Andre will also assume the title of president, international. Vincent, who was a founding member and CEO of TBWA\Media Arts Lab, will lead the charge in developing new and innovative client models for global client business and building out new partnership models within the network. On the other hand, Andre will be in charge of TBWA's network culture, training and development programs, with the goal of creating one of the most enviable talent development programs in the industry.   

TBWA's Digital Arts Network gets new leadership, with Luke Eid, global innovation director for TBWA\Worldwide, becoming president, TBWA\Digital Arts Network. Juuso Myllyrinne becomes VP and head of strategy for TBWA\Digital Arts Network.

TBWA\Worldwide president and CEO Troy Ruhanen said, “These appointments are a conscious move from a generalist model of operating to a more focused, less traditional model. We have a strong bench of talent to work with at TBWA and these moves are intended to build on the individual strengths of these people, allowing them to be more entrepreneurial and take ownership of the future of our company. These individuals are agents for change and will lead our agency to success in these areas.”

Fifteen core global markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Canada, U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Greater China, Singapore, Japan and global client business unit TBWA\Media Arts Lab (Apple), will all report directly to Ruhanen, with Keith Smith supporting Ruhanen with these markets and key global clients, in the role of president, international – global markets.

Toronto-based Omnicom agency Juniper Park becomes part of the TBWA network with immediate effect. Led by Jill Nykoliation as president, Juniper Park will strengthen TBWA's footprint in the North American market as well as broadening their design capabilities.

The traditional regions will be reorganized outside of the global client markets. Europe, Middle East and Africa will be consolidated into two groups headed by TBWA Belgium CEO Kris Govaerts and TBWA Istanbul CEO Cem Topcuoglu. Govaerts, will in addition oversee operations in Western Europe excluding the Global Client Markets. Topcuoglu, will also oversee Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Asia Pacific will be divided into three focused regions including Asia, Oceania and Greater China. Philip Brett will assume the role of president, Asia, with oversight of all three. TBWA's regional operations will relocate from Hong Kong to Singapore, in alignment with many of the region's key clients. Paul Bradbury continues to lead Oceania as CEO of Whybin\TBWA in Australia and New Zealand.

Two key appointments have been made in Greater China to strengthen the network's operations in that region. Nils Andersson joins TBWA from Y&R as president and chief creative officer for TBWA\Greater China, making China the fifth office in the network to appoint a creative to the most senior leadership role. TBWA\Hong Kong managing director Joanne Lao moves to the role of CEO for TBWA\Greater China to partner with Nils.

Ruhanen added, “We're adding some great talent to the network with the addition of Juniper Park in Canada and the appointment of Nils and Joanne in Greater China, strengthening our bench in two core markets. We are making a pledge to increase female leadership in our company with Project 2020, and having Jill and Joanne leading two of our key offices is testament to our belief in that initiative. Aligning our business with those of our global clients and moving away from a traditional regional structure will allow our leadership and markets to be more entrepreneurial because they are not operating in a traditional structure. Instead of being generalists, we'll be specialists with a critical area of focus.”

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