Naked Promotes Tim Kirby To Boss, Poaches Saatchi’s Jon Burden

Naked Promotes Tim Kirby To Boss, Poaches Saatchi’s Jon Burden

Naked Communications has appointed a new three-person leadership team for the agency in the wake of Carl Ratcliff’s defection to One Green Bean announced in February.

David Hovenden
Posted by David Hovenden

Tim Kirby has been promoted to managing director, Brett Rolfe has been promoted to chief strategy officer and Jon Burden, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, will join the team as executive creative director.

Ratcliff’s role as CEO will not be replaced, in step with fellow Enero agency BMF’s similar move, when it did not replace the CEO role there when it was vacated by Dominic Stinton.

Matthew Melhuish, CEO of parent company Enero, told B&T that Ratcliff finished up at Naked last Friday.

On Ratcliff’s departure, Kirby told B&T exclusively: “Carl brought a lot of good stuff to the agency and he has left it at the agency.”

He also added that he aimed to build on the foundation that Ratcliff had laid for the agency and the he couldn’t “wait to get his hands on the steering wheel”.

Kirby denied that the failure to replace the CEO role was a cost-saving measure and that “a triumvirate management structure was a very common way to manage an agency”.

Ratcliff said that he intended to accentuate Naked’s reputation as “brilliant misfits” and hoped to attract clients that wanted to do work that fitted that mould.

Burden brings impressive creative credentials to the agency having started his career at Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, co-creating Nike’s Joga Bonito campaign for the FIFA World Cup.

Kirby told B&T that he thought Burden brought a “steely determination to produce great work” and “a willingness to challenge the status quo that made him a natural fit for Naked”.

Since moving to Australia in 2006, Burden has been with Saatchi & Saatchi where his most notable work included last year’s Penny the Pirate campaign for OPSM, which has already collected more than 50 creative and effectiveness awards globally.

“I’m looking forward to joining Tim and Brett at the helm of Naked – a team with exceptional talent and the rock solid support of Matthew Melhuish, it’s an exciting sum of the parts. We’re aligned in our passion to create great work,” Burden said in a statement.

Matthew Melhuish, Group CEO for Naked added in the same statement, “Tim, Brett and Jon combine all the elements we need to form an outstanding leadership team to take Naked forward. The business is well set with a great roster of clients in Sydney; I’m excited about where the team will take it from here.”

Naked quit its Boudouir-inspired offices in Foveaux St Surry Hills last year to share office space in Pyrmont with BMF along with another three Enero agencies.

When prompted as to the synergies afforded the group from sharing a location, Kirby was quick to point out that “any synergies with other Enero agencies were generally only operational . . . such as shared back office systems” and that “Naked remained very much an independent agency”.

Naked Sydney’s client roster includes Red Rooster, SBS, Taubman Paints, Weight Watchers and Brown-Forman.

Jon Burden will take up his role as ECD with Naked in July.