PG Mediabrands Australia CEO Danny Bass (left in photo) has named Fiona Johnston as CEO of UM Australia. Johnston will take over the leadership of UM in a continuation of an international career with senior management positions in executive consulting, media and creative agencies working with world class marketers and brands.
“Choosing a new leader for UM at such an important period in the media industry’s evolution is one of the most important appointments I have considered,” said Bass. “Fiona is a very rare executive in terms of her experience and achievements. Also, having worked alongside her previously, I am fully aware of Fiona’s expertise and commercial savvy. I am delighted she has agreed to lead UM Australia.”
Johnston is currently founder, executive consultant and coach in the Australian based business Wild and Safe, working with clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, eBay, the AFL and other media focused businesses. Her primary focus has been working with C-suite executives on career and company transition, leadership and corporate development initiatives.
Prior to her current consulting business Johnston was chief marketing and business development officer for MediaCom/GroupM Australia. She was a key architect and driver of the agency’s growth and annual business planning and was specifically tasked with business development from new and existing clients.
Prior to this Johnston was managing partner with Publicis Mojo/Triangle where she was hired to lead the integrated business operations with a focus on agency culture, working efficiency and creativity. She also led the creativity agency Lowe Hunt & Draft, being attract ted from London as general manager to drive agency innovation, business development and account management, subsequently growing the business year on year.
Prior to moving to Australia Johnston was a company board director and senior client ambassador for PepsiCo EMEA international creative agency Havas/Euro RSCG. She helped lead and reorganise PepsiCo’s international marketing development for the UK, USA and EMEA and at that time was the youngest and only female on a board of six. Her remit also included oversight of 200 employees and a stint running one of the UK’s largest music festivals, T in the Park.
On her appointment to CEO at UM, Johnston said; “I am incredibly excited to lead the team at UM. I look forward to supporting some of the best in class talent and working with a great portfolio of clients and supporting media owners. It is an interesting time for our industry where our only constant is change, so navigating change with intelligence and speed is both a great challenge and opportunity.
Johnston will be winding down her consultancy work and is set to join UM on October 9.
The previous CEO of UM Australia Ross Raeburn took over as CEO of Mediabrands’ mobile marketing business Ansible earlier this month. Currently and until Johnston starts at UM in October, Danny Bass is overseeing UM Australia working closely with the agency’s national management team.