Wunderman Thompson taps Publicis Sapient's Neil Dawson for global CSO role

Dawson will be 'driving force' for agency's strategic leadership.

Dawson: joins in November
Dawson: joins in November

Wunderman Thompson has poached Publicis Sapient’s Neil Dawson to be global chief strategy officer.

Dawson will report to global chief executive Mel Edwards in the newly created role and be based in London when he starts on 11 November.

As global chief strategy officer, Dawson will be responsible for being the "driving force" of the WPP agency network’s strategic leadership.

The appointment has prompted Guy Murphy, J Walter Thompson’s global chief strategy officer before the agency's merger with Wunderman, to take on a new role as chief strategy officer, global clients.

A spokeswoman for Wunderman Thompson told Campaign that the newly formed agency needed someone who could strategically talk about its complete offering. 

WPP merged Wunderman and JWT last year, with Wunderman chief executive Edwards taking the same role of the merged agency, while JWT chief executive Tamara Ingram became chairman.

Dawson was seen as an attractive choice because he has worked with brands all the way through to consultancy and commerce.

Edwards said: "We are thrilled Neil is joining the team at Wunderman Thompson. He has a blended background of digital transformation combined with brand strategy, which is the perfect fit for our business and, more importantly, what our clients are asking of us. Neil’s passion for consistently connecting creativity to commercial effectiveness makes him the right person for this role."

At Publicis Sapient, Dawson was chief strategy officer, international, and is credited with leading large-scale digital transformation projects. He led a team responsible for shaping digital products and services, as well as developing new business model innovation and the digital experience ecosystem.

During his tenure, Publicis Sapient was named a Digital Consulting Leader by IDC and a Digital Transformation Acceleration Leader by Forrester.