UM appoints new national chief strategy officer

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 29 March 2019
Raj Gupta

UM Australia has appointed Raj Gupta to the role of national chief strategy officer, after a "detailed national and international" search.

Gupta, who joins from Wavemaker where he had been the agency's APAC chief strategy officer, will join UM’s senior leadership team and report to CEO Fiona Johnston.

UM says he would be leading the national strategy for the agency, and tasked with bringing his "unique" level of human, data and design thinking to the role.

“At this time of change at pace in our communications world, it is vital we offer clients as much counsel and perspective as we can on their businesses and media investments,” Johnston says.

Gupta had been with Wavemaker (then MEC) for over 15 years and was part of the "strategic foundations" for the agency's APAC operations over the past 10 years.

He also has a background in digital and data, having led the transformation projects for clients' digital and data acceleration initiatives, including Citibank, Chanel and Colgate-Palmolive.

 “Too much of our professional world has become reactive, or even schizophrenic, and so we need to respond at pace but also protect solid brand and business ideas if they are to resonate beyond constant noise. Certainly UM is widely respected for its strategy-driven performance and I am looking forward to the new role," Gupta said.

This is the second major appointment for the agency, which last week announced Liam Loan-Lack as general manager of its Brisbane office, as UM looks to strengthen its presence in the "overlooked" market.

Earlier this year Johnston outlined her plan for the agency in 2019, stating there will be a focus on balancing work between "simplifying changing media” and "delivering on its wins" of 2018.

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