BMF announced today that CEO Jeremy Nicholas is leaving the agency by mutual consent after 12 years at the helm.
The man who put the M in BMF, founding partner and executive chairman Matthew Melhuish, will be “highly involved” with the once-feted agency until its new CEO is installed. B&T can confirm that the new CEO has been appointed, but will not commence until later this year.
BMF’s CEO in waiting is currently based overseas and as he has existing client sensitivities, his identity cannot be revealed, Melhuish, who is also CEO of Enero (BMF’s parent company and formerly known as the Photon Group) told B&T. He added that a subsequent announcement will be made in the coming weeks.
“This is a structured transition and we have an exceptional successor waiting in the wings, with an impeccable pedigree from world-class agencies,” Melhuish said in a statement.
“[Nicholas] has been a great colleague for 12 years and is a truly gifted strategic thinker. He has made a valuable contribution to the agency and goes with our very best wishes,” he added.
“After 12 years at BMF and 19 years in the industry, I want to have some time out and take my working life in a different direction. I leave knowing that the agency is creating outstanding work and is in great hands with the existing leadership team. I wish all the staff and clients the very best,” Nicholas said in the same statement.
“As a founding partner and former CEO for 15 years I have a huge affection for BMF, our clients and our staff, so it is a bonus for me to spend more time with them,” Melhuish concluded.
Crowned B&T’s agency of the decade in 2010, BMF has fallen on harder times of late, most notably losing its long-held account with the Commonwealth Bank in August 2012.
It still has an impressive register of clients including Aldi, the Commonwealth Government, Lion, George Weston Foods, the football Federation of Australia and Weight Watchers.
Parent company Enero has also been the subject of industry speculation and its share price (trading at 36 cents today) leaves it with a market capitalisation of just $31 million.
However the company is now debt free and has divested the bulk of its former poor purchasing decisions, reducing the group to 11 from 55 companies.
"We have been working very hard to improve Enero’s operating structure and processes and strengthen the foundations of the Group. We have secured some extremely talented individuals in leadership roles, we have achieved a new level of cross collaboration between our operating companies and have embraced new ways of doing business to bring the Group together. I am confident that we will see the benefits of these initiatives. It is vital we continue to stay true to our strategic goals to deliver results in the long term," Melhuish told B&T.