Sara Tate quits TBWA\London

Chief executive plans to develop a new career as a consultant and leadership coach.

Sara Tate: leaving TBWA\London
Sara Tate: leaving TBWA\London

Sara Tate, the chief executive of TBWA\London, has resigned from the Omnicom agency to pursue a new career.

After publishing a self-development book and completing a masters in organisational change, Tate plans to develop a consultancy advising companies on their internal culture. A planner by trade, Tate wants to help companies take a strategic approach to how they run their businesses.

Tate said: "As a strategist I have always been fascinated by what makes people and cultures tick. Creating healthy and thriving cultures is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses post pandemic.

"My plan is to focus on helping clients and agencies create environments that embody their brands and values and play a driving role in their success.”

TBWA\London, which works with Adidas and Nissan among other brands, has appointed Tate’s replacement but is not in a position to announce who it is. Tate will depart when the new CEO starts in September.

The new CEO will work alongside the existing team: chief creative officer Andy Jex, chief strategy officer Anna Vogt, managing director Katie Jackson and TBWA\UK group chairman and Lucky Generals founding partner Helen Calcraft. 

Under Tate’s direction, TBWA\London has risen from 11th in the top 100 agencies table in 2017 to eighth last year, according to Nielsen in Campaigns annual School Reports, and it brought in clients such as McVitie’s, Facebook and software giant AMD.

The agencys #StealOurStaff work for Beco won a Grand Prix Health and Wellness Lion on Monday.

Tate joined TBWA\London as CEO in October 2017 after eight months as a partner at Lucky Generals. She had previously worked at Mother London for nine and a half years in roles including strategy director and managing director. Earlier in her career, Tate spent time at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Troy Ruhanen, chief executive of TBWA\Worldwide, said: “Sara has been a catalyst for TBWA\London and we’re immensely proud she’s going to pursue her passion, and ultimately make a broader impact in the industry. 

“The mark of a successful leader is one who builds a strong team that will flourish when that leader steps away. We’re fortunate to have an exceptionally strong group in Andy, Anna and Katie, and look forward to announcing our new CEO in the very near future.”

In March, Tate was named on the Timewise Power List, a collection of business leaders who have achieved success in C-suite roles despite working four days a week or fewer.

Tates exit is the third CEO change at one of the UK's top ten ad agencies this week. 

AMV BBDO, the fifth largest agency by Nielsen billings, has recruited Sam Hawkey from Saatchi & Saatchi London, to fill the vacancy left by Sarah Douglas’ departure.

Saatchi & Saatchi London, the sixth largest agency, responded by hiring Chris Kay, global partner and Asia Pacific CEO at 72 & Sunny, to replace him.

Campaign has broken the news of each of the agency job changes.


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