VMLY&R has announced that its Commerce unit CEO Sean Taylor is stepping down to focus on his other business interests, after a two-year succession planning process.
General Managers Ben Walker and Kate Warren-Smith have taken the helm, after being identified by Taylor as the next generation of leaders when the business operated solely under the Geometry brand in 2019.
VMLY&R Commerce launched worldwide in January, combining the forces of Geometry and VMLY&R to become the world’s most comprehensive end-to-end global creative commerce company.
Taylor: “Ben and Kate have increasingly taken responsibility for the business over the last two years so this is a natural step.
"Personally, I’ve loved the challenge of building and growing businesses, initially on my own and then within WPP, but after 30 years in the industry working across a variety of leadership roles, it’s now time for me to utilise my experience in a more advisory capacity.
“Ben and Kate have proven themselves as outstanding leaders, and I look forward to seeing VMLY&R Commerce continue to emerge as a force in our market.”
VMLY&R Australia & NZ CEO Thomas Tearle: “Commerce is a critical part of VMLY&R’s ‘Connected Brands’ proposition. To us, it’s about Brand Experience and Customer Experience working together, with Commerce at the core.
Sean has done a great job nurturing Ben and Kate while growing a powerful business. I thank him for his contribution and have no doubt that Sean will enjoy similar success in his new direction.”
Tearle says Walker and Warren-Smith bring a wealth of experience in both local and international markets to their leadership roles.
Walker has held a range of international executive positions in Activation, Shopper Marketing and Commerce for more than a decade – including a stint in Dubai for Geometry.
Warren-Smith worked in London on major brands such as Tesco, and has spent the last eight years building the Geometry business in Australia.
Both join VMLY&R Australia & New Zealand leadership teams.
Taylor officially leaves the VMLY&R Commerce office this month but will be on call to the team and clients until October.
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