M&C Saatchi has hired New Zealander Jaimes Leggett as its new CEO, taking over the role held by worldwide chairman Tom Dery for the past three years.
However, Dery has made it clear he is “not going anywhwere” and will be carrying on in his other role along with creative director of Asia Pacific Tom McFarlane.
Leggett was previously managing director of Ogilvy & Mather London, driving double digit growth each year since taking on the role in 2012.
Dery called the appointment a “watershed” for the 18-year-old agency, which has 400 staff across Sydney and Melbourne offices.
He added: “Jaimes is a proven leader, problem solver and generator of new business. His experience in dealing with global ideas and digital businesses has equipped him well to lead our group into the future.
“Most importantly he recognises the value of ideas. And, aside from everything else, Jaimes is a great guy who’s personality will endear him to our staff and our clients.”
He added Leggett will be given “total autonomy to drive the business forward”.
M&C had a successful year in 2012, winning work with Commobwealth Bank and launching the 'Can' campaign, as well as retaining Optus, and were named B&T's NSW Agency of the Year in November.
Leggett himself described the move as an “ideal scenario” and a “World Class opportunity to work with some of the great talents in the industry,” he added.
“What’s more it’s in my part of the world”.
During his career he has won and managed business for the likes of British Telecom, Coca-Cola, Stella Artois, Waitrose and Heinz.
In his five-years prior to the O&M role he was managing director of digital shop Grand Union, London, and had a key role in developing Ogilvy’s global digital strategy.