John Gutteridge steps down as CEO of Wunderman Thompson ANZ

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 2 June 2020

Wunderman Thompson ANZ CEO John Gutteridge is stepping down from his role after a decade of leading the agency.

Former Initiative CEO Lee Leggett has been named as Gutteridge's replacement.

Gutteridge has been working within the agency's global network since 1999 when it was previously named JWT, first in London as global account director and then as managing director of JWT New Zealand.

In 2008, he became managing director of JWT Melbourne before being promoted to CEO for ANZ in 2011.

He was then appointed the youngest ever CEO of JWT and Mirum Asia Pacific in mid-2016 returning to Australia in March 2019 to lead the agency through a merger with fellow WPP agency Wunderman to become Wunderman Thompson.

Gutteridge says now that the merger is complete, he is ready for the next phase.

“It’s been a fulfilling experience and thanks to the hard work of the team we’ve got a very strong proposition. But with the two brands now successfully working together and the business heading into its next phase, it was always my intention to hand the business over once the merger was complete," Gutteridge says.

"It’s the perfect time for Lee to take over and I wish her all the very best. I’m now moving onto a new and very different opportunity, which I’m feeling really energised by, I look forward to sharing more details in due course.

"My time with WPP and Wunderman Thompson has been a very positive experience, providing the chance to work with some really talented and inspiring people from around the world, I look forward to watching their continued success.”

Leggett brings more than 20 years’ digital and international experience gained from a range of management roles where she led diverse teams, managed complex stakeholders and built strong relationships between senior clients, cross agency teams and media partners.

She has spent the past four years consulting to a range of agencies including Havas and Publicis, in addition to working with WPP AUNZ’s Hogarth and other company brands on production partnerships.

Prior to this, she held a number of senior management roles including CEO of Initiative, CEO of Dare, and managing director of Grand Union working in both London and Sydney.

“I’m delighted to be joining the Wunderman Thompson business. I’ve always looked for opportunities that provide the chance to both lead and work side by side with teams that are driven by new and innovative approaches," Leggett says.

"I believe I’ve found that at Wunderman Thompson and am looking forward to working with Jens and the broader global team as we further consolidate the agency’s leading market position.”

WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees welcomed Leggett to the role, recognising her previous experience to deliver impact through partnership, relationships and collaboration.

"Together, Lee and her team will start a new era at Wunderman Thompson utilising her vast digital knowledge and international experience to closely align the brand with the global WT positioning," Monsees says.

"I look forward to her contribution to the broader company, as we continue our transformation.”

Leggett starts immediately and will be based at Wunderman Thompson’s Sydney office.


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