Initiative Australia names chief strategy officer and Melbourne head

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 15 November 2016
Tristan Burrell and Shaun Briggs.

Initiative Australia has appointed Tristan Burrell as national chief strategy officer and Shaun Briggs as managing director of the Melbourne agency. Their appointments follow Melissa Fein being named Initiative Australia’s new CEO.

“These are crucial hires and central to how we build the future of Initiative and our client relationships,” Fein says. “Both Tristan and Shaun are superstars and I am truly looking forward to welcoming both into the senior leadership team.”

Burrell has been with Mediabrands for 10 years and is returning to Australia after more than four years working in New York. He is currently global head of strategy and ideas UM’s J3 agency.

Originally with UM in Sydney, Burrell won the global Cannes Young Lions Award in 2009 and was involved in award-winning work for UM Australia clients including Microsoft, Xbox, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Federal Government.

He relocated to further his career in New York and contributed to award-winning campaigns for the Rogaine and Clean & Clear brands in the US. He also helped lead strategy for major new business wins in the US, including the global Johnson & Johnson business and Coca-Cola US.    

Briggs is general manager of Dentsu Mitchell and before that was head of client services at Mitchell & Partners. He will start work at Initiative Melbourne at a date to be fixed.

Mark Pejic, chairman of IPG Mediabrands Melbourne, said: “Right from the outset Shaun was our first pick to lead Initiative Melbourne. I have worked extensively with him in the past across many client portfolios and he has a great eye for media strategy and outcomes, as well as being highly respected by clients and a great team leader."

Briggs takes over Initiative Melbourne following the departure of previous managing director Stephen Fisher, who left the agency for personal reasons. Burrell takes over Initiative’s national strategy leadership from David Fish, who has joined GroupM.

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