JWT APAC CEO John Gutteridge will return to Australia to head up Wunderman Thompson across Australia and New Zealand.
Gutteridge has spent most of his career within WPP, relocating to Singapore in 2016 when he was named CEO of JWT across Asia Pacific.
Wunderman Thompson was formed in November 2018 as part of a wider WPP restructure that saw digital agencies paired with traditional shops.
Both JWT managing director Paul Everson and Wunderman-Bienalto CEO Hurol Inan still remain in the company, but it's unclear how their roles will continue in the future.
The agency has also appointed Annette Male to CEO of the APAC region, promoted from her role of Digitias APAC CEO.
As a result of the merger, the Bienalto name, which is part of the Wunderman-Bienalto brand in Australia, will be dropped.
Gutteridge, who will join the WPP AUNZ executive committee, says: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in APAC and there’s much to be proud of. I shall truly miss our clients, the diverse cultures and the great talent we have across the region.
“I am now relishing the prospect of being more intimately involved with the running of the business, the product and of course our clients, as we launch the exciting proposition of Wunderman Thompson.”
WPP AUNZ executive director John Steedman says: “John was an obvious choice. Wunderman Thompson is a formidable offering and the opportunity to lead the new agency and create a creative, data and technology powerhouse is just what John was after.
“Leading JWT in APAC John successfully established himself as one of the most forward-thinking leaders in today’s marketplace — blending his award-winning creativity with his deep expertise in data and technology marketing will create an industry powerhouse. His appointment is great news for Wunderman Thompson staff, its clients and WPP AUNZ.”
Tamara Ingram, chairman of Wunderman Thompson adds: “John has been a very strong and effective leader in APAC and brought considerable talent and new business to the region. The business is now more diversified and modernised both in terms of skills and output. John and I have been in discussions since last year about his need to be closer to his family in Australia, this is a great outcome for John, Wunderman Thompson and WPP AUNZ”.
Gutteridge will start during the first quarter of this year.
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