J. Walter Thompson has confirmed it has hired Simon Bolton, FCB San Francisco's chief executive, as new chief executive at JWT London as predicted in Campaign on February 2.
He will oversee operations in the UK, and joins the London office at the beginning of April.
The post has been vacant since the departure last October of the previous chief executive Stephen Carter. Carter is now chief operating officer at the cable TV and telecoms operator NTL one of JWT London's biggest clients. Tim Davis, the agency's chairman and global head on its Unilever and Shell business, has been in charge of the agency as an interim measure, while a number of other candidates from the UK were considered.
Bolton started his career as a graduate trainee at Ogilvy & Mather in London where he rose to the top job on the global Amex account a role that involved managing a massive integrated communications budget.
He left O&M for FCB where he was managing director of FCB Malaysia and regional director for FCB Asia. In December 1998 he was appointed to the managing director's post at FCB San Francisco, which has long been positioned as the creative jewel in FCB's network. He was made chief executive in December last year, succeeding Geoff Thompson who became chairman of the San Francisco office and continues as FCB's worldwide creative director.
Bolton, who is 42, is highly rated at FCB for his team-building skills, his determined pursuit of new business and his understanding of brands and creativity. He stabilised and grew FCB's Malaysia agency, which lost its key Colgate account shortly before he joined. He moved to FCB San Francisco, a $1 billion-plus billings shop, soon after it had been rocked by losing its $90 million flagship Levi Strauss US account to TBWA/Chiat Day after 68 years. Working with Thompson, Bolton hired Rooney Carruthers from WCRS as the shop's executive creative director, briefing him to "get FCB back into the A-league of creativity".
JWT's European chief executive, Michael Mädel, said: "Simon is a premier addition to out UK management team. He brings energy, passion and an ability to connect with clients and colleagues alike to deliver highly creative business solutions. We're confident he will accelerate the growth momentum our agency has achieved in recent