Publicis Groupe’s Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) has a new leader. Neil Munn, the current Chief Operating Officer of BBH Group, will become the new Group CEO at the beginning of 2015. Gwyn Jones, the current Group CEO, is leaving the agency after 27 years to pursue interests outside advertising.
“The timing is great for Neil," says Simon Sherwood, BBH Group Chairman. "We are a more mature business, owned by a Holding company. Neil is perfect casting for what is now needed from the Group CEO, he has proper marketing and comms pedigree, is highly commercial with a deep understanding of client organizations and brands, and has a truly global perspective. I know that his leadership style will be very effective for the business we now are.”
Neil's COO role will be split between Niall Hadden, Global Head of Talent and David Pearce, Chief Financial Officer. Hadden has been at BBH since 2006 and Pearce since 2009.
Munn has been at BBH for ten years. He joined from Unilever and launched and ran BBH's venturing company ZAG. He was promoted to COO of the BBH Group in 2012 and, with Jones, has worked on integrating the agency after it was acquired fully by Publicis Groupe in 2012.
Meanwhile, founders Sir John Hegarty and Sir Nigel Bogle will continue to work at BBH for the foreseeable future. Hegarty works part-time, largely on the development of BBH's creative profile globally as well as work on outside ventures. Bogle continues to work across a number of key accounts including British Airways, Audi and Weetabix.
Both serve as figureheads that embody and reinforce the strong culture at BBH, and help ensure that creativity remains at the top of the agenda, say BBH executives.
This executive shuffling is reportedly due to lifestyle changes. "Culture is the thing that binds and builds a business more than anything and BBH has the best culture going, it isn't easy to leave," says Jones. "But 27 years is a long time and variety is the spice of life." He expressed interest in pursuing other investments and opportunities and "maybe spend a little less time on planes."
BBH was founded in London in 1982 and employs 1,000 people across eight offices: London, Singapore, New York, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Los Angeles and Sweden.