Wunderman Thompson unveils UK management team

Steve Aldridge joins newly merged agency as creative chief, but few senior JWT staff remain.

Wunderman Thompson: (clockwise from top left) Aldridge, Steward, Muir, Curran, Dunn, Hulbert and Forster
Wunderman Thompson: (clockwise from top left) Aldridge, Steward, Muir, Curran, Dunn, Hulbert and Forster

Wunderman Thompson’s new UK management team features few senior members of J Walter Thompson after the recent merger.

Pip Hulbert, who has been Wunderman’s UK chief executive since 2017, has been named UK chief executive of Wunderman Thompson.

Her counterpart at J Walter Thompson London, James Whitehead, is moving to a global client lead role. 

Meanwhile, Partners Andrews Aldridge co-founder Steve Aldridge has joined Wunderman Thompson as UK chief creative officer. Aldridge left PAA after 18 years in 2017 to start a new venture, he told Campaign at the time.

Ian Haworth, previously Wunderman's chief creative officer, will take a global client creative lead position.

JWT executive creative director Lucas Peon will remain at Wunderman Thompson in the same role, reporting to Aldridge. 

Wunderman's former executive creative director, Abi Ellis, who had worked under Haworth, resigned earlier this year amid a disciplinary investigation.

WPP announced in November last year that it was merging digital agency Wunderman with JWT, one of the world’s oldest ad agencies. Mel Edwards, Wunderman’s global chief executive, was named global chief executive of the new entity, while JWT boss Tamara Ingram was appointed chairman. 

Richard Dunn, Wunderman’s strategy chief, is staying on as chief strategy officer at Wunderman Thompson, as is Matt Steward, who is chief client officer.

Wunderman and JWT's respective heads of planning, Marcus Reynolds and Neil Godber, are to jointly lead their department at the merged agency, although their job titles have not yet been determined. Rob Curran, Wunderman's chief experience officer, will hold the same position at Wunderman Thompson. 

The only senior JWT management to be named in the Wunderman Thompson top team are marketing director for growth and new business Kate Muir and director of client partnership Simone Forster. Muir becomes chief business development officer and Forster is named chief growth officer. 

Wunderman Thompson UK will have 1,000 staff, making it one of London’s biggest agencies alongside WPP stablemate Ogilvy UK. 

Staff from JWT London will move into Wunderman’s office in Greater London House, next to Mornington Crescent station in north London. However, that move is being delayed as WPP finds an alternative home for VMLY&R, which currently shares its office space with Wunderman.

Edwards said: "I’m excited to have Pip and this brilliant team lead our new agency in the UK. Each person will play an instrumental role in creating and building a type of business and culture that stands apart from others. I have no doubt that this leadership team will help bring these two iconic brands together seamlessly in the UK."

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