BBDO has named Chris Thomas CEO The Americas, with responsibility for 21 BBDO agencies in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Thomas will also remain chairman of I&S BBDO Japan and Chairman of Proximity Worldwide.
Thomas is filling a post that has been vacant since 2013, when Troy Ruhanen left for an Omnicom corporate post before being named president/CEO of TBWA Worldwide last July.
Commenting on Thomas’ new role, Global CEO Andrew Robertson said: “In his nine years in Asia, Chris has led a sustained transformation of our network there into the most creative and effective in the region…Revenue and profit growth has followed. Chris established our offering in West and East Africa and has provided Proximity Worldwide with the leadership and glue it needs. He is truly a global citizen who will have a valuable impact on his new time zone when he moves to New York in May.”
Thomas has been CEO of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The agency said that Jean-Paul Burge would succeed Thomas as CEO BBDO Asia. Burge was most recently president of Southeast Asia and CEO BBDO Singapore.
Dani Richa, currently chairman and CEO of BBDO Middle East and North Africa, will add the remainder of Africa to his responsibilities.
In Greater China, Carol Potter, president/CEO for the past nine years, will be leaving the company. Succeeding her will be members of the current Greater China management team: Tze Kiat Tan is promoted from managing director to CEO; Wai Foong Leong becomes chairman/chief creative officer; and Hans Lopez-Vito becomes chief strategy officer.
“These changes demonstrate the benefits of our commitment to strong succession planning and will further strengthen the leadership team that will help me deliver our goal of the world’s best work, year after year, and through that, growth for the next five years … and beyond,” said Robertson.