Saatchi & Saatchi appoints Red Cell's Daley to top post

LONDON - Saatchi & Saatchi has appointed a new chief executive, hiring Lee Daley, the former global chief executive of Red Cell, to replace Kevin Dundas at the helm of the agency.

Dundas becomes the worldwide strategy director, working alongside the network's chief executive, Kevin Roberts, and the creative director, Bob Isherwood, while Daley has a brief to build the London agency into a pre-eminent ideas company.

Daley, who parted company with Red Cell earlier this year, joins Saatchis this week and will have a handover period, working with Dundas through to the beginning of next year.

Richard Hytner, the chairman and chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA, described Daley as "utterly inspirational and a fantastic ideas guy. He's from the same strategic stock as Kevin [Dundas] and he will really raise our game."

Daley said he had a number of key objectives in his new role: "I want to bring new ideas to the fore, look at our productivity and have a clear focus on how we're going to grow our clients' and our own business.

"This is an agency brand that is really alive and passionate and already living the ideal of being an ideas-led creative business; all those values are already there, now I want to build on them and shape a new creative agency model."

One of Daley's first tasks will be to appoint a new executive creative director for the agency. Tony Granger, who was appointed to head the agency's creative department 18 months ago, is currently dividing his time between Saatchis' London and New York offices, before taking up the creative directorship full time in New York.

Daley said he was keen to continue the diversity of Saatchis' creative culture and that the shortlist of candidates for the post includes a number of creatives from overseas agencies. "We're not looking for a prima donna, but someone with a really open mind and open heart who will drive a commitment to creative excellence."

Dundas' new role will embrace working on strategy for some of Saatchis' key clients, such as Procter & Gamble and Toyota, as well as spearheading the network's own strategic development and redefining the role of planning. Dundas will also chair a new worldwide strategic board.

"It's about knitting our component parts together more effectively, fusing the agency's intellectual capacity and its creative excellence," Dundas said.

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