VML has hired Jon Sharpe as CEO, Europe. Sharpe will focus on the growth of VML London, where he is based, as well as oversee the agency’s European operations and future expansion throughout the continent.
The appointment is effective January 2018, and Sharpe will report to VML Global CEO Jon Cook.
Current VML London clients Bridgestone, Colgate-Palmolive, the International Olympic Committee and PepsiCo.
Sharpe is currently CEO at sibling agency Y&R London, where he is credited with revitalizing the agency and leading it to a number of new business wins, including Chanel No5, Premier League, Lombard Odier, Visit England, JD Williams, TUI, CenterParcs and the Department of Transport.
Sharpe also has installed a new management team and oversaw the agency’s rebrand from RKCR/Y&R to Y&R London.
Previously, Sharpe served as Chief Innovation Officer at the agency. Earlier, he was Chief Digital Officer at M&C Saatchi Group and CEO of digital agencies Agency.com, i-traffic and Play. He has also consulted for WPP and the digital educator HyperIsland.
Cook stated that Sharpe is “a brilliant and innovative agency leader. He is also one of the few CEOs to have led both digital and advertising agencies. As such, he is a perfect fit to drive the growth of our European offering and specifically our office in London."
The agency started as a digital shop but in recent years has been pursuing full-service AOR clients.
Chris Wood, acting CEO of VML London, will resume his global development role within VML and continue to lead a number of the firm’s global accounts. Succeeding Sharpe at Y&R will be Paul Lawson, who is joining from Leo Burnett.