Movers and Shakers: Diageo, R/GA, Wunderman Thompson, Smart Energy, AKQA, Elvis

Welcome to Campaign's weekly round-up of the hires, departures and promotions across the industry.

Clockwise from top left: Smith Bech, Roth, Brooke, Bezzina, Ellis, Altmann, Diezhandino and Saller
Clockwise from top left: Smith Bech, Roth, Brooke, Bezzina, Ellis, Altmann, Diezhandino and Saller

Syl Saller is retiring from Diageo after more than 20 years at the owner of Smirnoff and Guinness, the last seven as chief marketing and innovation officer. She will step down on 1 July and focus on leadership development, executive coaching and non-executive roles.

Diageo has promoted Cristina Diezhandino, currently global category director for Scotch and managing director for Diageo’s luxury division Reserve, to succeed Saller, with the altered title of chief marketing officer.

R/GA has lured back former Australia chief Rebecca Bezzina to run the agency’s London office as managing director, a year after she resigned. Bezzina has been appointed senior vice-president, managing director, at R/GA London and replaces the long-serving Matt Lodder, who left in November.

Wunderman Thompson has poached Caroline Foster Kenny from IPG Mediabrands to be global chief client officer of the WPP agency. Foster Kenny currently has dual roles at the Interpublic media division as global president of client solutions and UK chairman and chief executive.

Smart Energy GB, the government-backed campaign for smart meters, has hired former Channel 4 chief marketing officer Dan Brooke as chief executive. Brooke takes over from outgoing chief executive Sacha Deshmukh, who is leaving to become chief executive of Unicef UK.

AKQA has promoted Johnny Budden to executive creative director for the London and Sweden offices. In his new role, he will work with Map and Universal Design Studios, the companies that AKQA acquired in 2018, and report to Ron Peterson, managing director of AKQA London, Gothenburg and Stockholm studios.

Uncommon Creative Studio has appointed award-winning creative team Jonas Roth and Rasmus Smith Bech. Roth and Smith Bech join after two years at 4Creative, where their work included "Complaints welcome", in which on-screen talent read out real complaints made by viewers. 

Elvis has elevated associate creative directors James Hudson and Rob Griffiths to creative directors. The pair will now oversee the creative department, allowing executive creative director Neale Horrigan to focus on clients, reputation, new business and new ventures. Hudson and Griffiths’ recent work includes Unilad’s "Blood without bias" initiative and Cadbury Creme Egg’s streaming platform Eatertainment. 

Xandr, AT&T’s advertising company, has named Austin Scott head of video market development for EMEA. Scott has relocated to London for the role from New York, where she was previously senior director, demand side platforms sales and business development at FreeWheel. 

Creative agency JDO, which has offices in Tunbridge Wells, London and New York, has picked Peter Droy as head of client services and Helena Graves as client business director. Droy’s previous role was managing director at Biles Hendry, while Graves was client director at Marks.

Exeter digital shop Organic has appointed Clare McCombe as senior paid media and analytics consultant. She joins from Riverford Organic Farmers (no relation), where she was campaigns marketing manager. 

Andy Altmann and David Ellis, founders of design studio Why Not Associates, have decided to explore new opportunities under their own respective names. While existing clients and projects will continue to be supported by WNA, the collective brand name will gradually cease as the founders branch out with new personal projects.

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