One of Australia’s most famous adland ex-pats, former Clems Melbourne superstar Stephen de Wolf, is returning to Australia due to personal reasons.
Reports out of the UK overnight have revealed de Wolf has quit his post as chief creative officer at London’s Bartle Bogle Hegarty London – a role he has held since June 2020 – due to “a family member’s ill health”.
Before joining the UK agency, de Wolf was Clemenger Melbourne’s ECD for just shy of seven years.
The highly-regarded creative became the toast of adland everywhere when Clems’ famous ‘Meet Graham’ road safety campaign scooped the pool at Cannes in 2017, snaring the prestigious campaign of the year and the Melbourne agency the Gold Lion for global creative agency of the year.
It’s unclear if de Wolf has plans to return to Clems Melbourne and when B&T contacted the agency for clarification, a spokesperson revealed that he was unaware that de Wolf had even resigned from his UK role.
In his time at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, de Wolf has overseen campaigns that have included Tesco’s Christmas ad, Burger King’s “Tiny Tinie performs Whoppa on a Whopper”, “Moneyverse” for Barclays and Justice4Grenfell’s “Remember the 72”.
Announcing his departure, Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s CEO Karen Martin said in a statement: “Stephen de Wolf, our CCO, will sadly be leaving BBH and returning to Australia in July, due to a family member’s ill health. This is very sad news, particularly given the circumstances. Wolfie was just getting started, but sometimes these life situations are taken out of our hands.
“Wolfie has made a big difference to the creative department in the short time he has been here. He has continued to diversify our creative offering and delivered brilliant work for many of our clients… Wolfie will be a tough act to follow, but I am excited that our esteemed worldwide CCO, Joakim (Jab) Borgström, will be returning to the UK to take up the London CCO role alongside his global remit.
“Jab, Helen and Wolfie’s creative ambitions are incredibly aligned. Together with the leadership team and you all, we will continue doing what we all set out to do – ‘making the best work of our lives’.”
De Wolf will be replaced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s worldwide CCO Joakim Borgström.
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