- MindShare's deputy managing director, Mike Wood, is to leave the agency before it opens its doors for business to become UK managing director of the poster buying specialist, Portland Outdoor.
Wood, who has been with J. Walter Thompson for 15 years, as media director since 1994, was appointed deputy managing director of MindShare following the merger of JWT's media department with the Network to create MindShare last September.
However, the arrival of TMD Carat's former deputy managing director, Simon Rees, in a more senior role to Wood earlier this year caused industry speculation about his long-term future at MindShare.
Wood said this week that it was the right time to move on: "I've been on the agency side for exactly twenty years this month and that's a lifetime. I thought I was probably half way through my working life and it would be nice to move on."
Wood has sat on the board of Portland, in which the JWT and MindShare holding company, WPP, has a major stake, as a non-executive director for the last two years. The position of UK managing director is a newly created role at Portland, which is the third largest outdoor planning and buying in the UK.
Dennis Sullivan, Portland's chairman and chief executive said: "Mike can bring us new business and grow us at least into second if not first place over a period of time. He brings experience from the other side of the fence, as well as the experience of being a Portland client agency."
He said the company was keen to give the UK greater managerial focus as it expanded both its domestic and overseas business. He added: "From a management point of view, everything we do internationally has to stem from the UK."
Although WPP has a 33 per cent stake in the company, Sullivan said that the appointment was made independently. . Wood said he was looking forward to becoming part of dynamic medium. "The next three years will be a watershed for outdoor. As Internet and digital broadcast spawn hundreds of new channels and ever more niche audiences, then outdoor will become increasingly unchallenged as the fastest, most effective way to create universal business."
He joins the company at the end of next month.