Leadership Transition Announced at VMLY&R Commerce, As CEO Sean Taylor Announces Departure

Leadership Transition Announced at VMLY&R Commerce, As CEO Sean Taylor Announces Departure

VMLY&R has announced that its Commerce unit CEO Sean Taylor is stepping down from the role to focus on his other business interests, concluding a two-year succession planning process.

VMLY&R Commerce general managers Ben Walker (pictured below) and Kate Warren-Smith (main photo) 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 commented on his move: “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,” he explained.

“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 added: “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 said 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 is similarly experienced, having worked in London on major brands like Tesco, and has spent the last eight years building the Geometry business in Australia. Both will 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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