DDB names Woodford new CEO

Engine restructures as WCRS veteran Stephen Woodford quits for DDB chief executive position.

Stephen Woodford, the chief executive of Engine Group, has been named the new chairman and chief executive of DDB London, ending the seven-month search for a successor to Paul Hammersley.

Woodford joins with a brief to return DDB London to good health and restore momentum at the agency, which has recently lost flagship accounts including PG Tips, Weetabix and The Guardian.

Michael Bray, the president of DDB Europe, has been caretaking the London role since Hammersley quit at the end of last year to join The Red Brick Road. Bray could not confirm when Woodford would take up the DDB role.

Woodford, a one-time IPA president, has spent the past 12 years at WCRS and was a key member of the management buyout team in 2004. Over the past eight months, he has been running the Engine Group, the holding company parent of WCRS, Personal, Meme, Dave and Woo.

It is unclear what happens to Woodford's 5.8 per cent stake in Engine, which he secured for a £150,000 investment. Woodford was not available for comment.

Bray said: "We're delighted to have found someone of Stephen's calibre to take DDB London forward. He is universally admired within British advertising, and his intellect, passion for creative work and proven ability to build businesses beyond traditional media make him the perfect fit. With Stephen at the helm, DDB London will be in good hands."

Chuck Brymer, the president and chief executive of DDB Worldwide, said: "DDB London is one of the jewels of our network and it was vital we found someone who would nurture everything this great agency stands for. Stephen's huge experience will be vital as DDB continues to set the standard in delivering leading creative business solutions."

- Perspective, page 19.

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