BBH group chief executive Gwyn Jones is to leave the agency after 27 years, stepping down at the end of the year to pursue other interests out with the world of advertising.
Jones has spent his entire career with BBH moving up the ranks from graduate trainee to UK CEO. During his time with BBH Jones had a spell running BBH New York before returning to the UK to take on the role of chief operating officer and the CEO of the group.
Since the sale of BBH to Publicis Groupe Jones has been focused on keeping creativity at the heart of the agency’s agenda and developing BBH’s global offering including the acquisition of mobile agency Monterosa and the recently announce joint venture with SB Projects in Los Angeles to launch The Creative Studio.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to spend my whole career at BBH. It has been a hugely rewarding time and has given me the opportunity to do most jobs in an agency, to live and work oversees, and to do so alongside the best and nicest people in the business,” said Jones. “27 years is a long time and variety is the spice of life so, when I've taken a break, I have some other investments and opportunities that I want to pursue and maybe spend a little less time on planes.”
Simon Sherwood, BBH group chairman, added: “We met Gwyn 27 years ago as a super keen young graduate. It quickly became clear that he would become one of the outstanding leaders of his generation and that he would almost certainly have more than one, perhaps even several careers. So to have kept him doing all he has done for BBH over this time, and he has accomplished a huge amount, is something we are hugely grateful for. He's a great guy, super smart and deserves all success in his next adventure.”
Current chief operating officer Neil Munn, who joined BBH from Unilever 10 years ago, has been named as his successor. Of the appointment Sherwood commented: “Neil is perfect casting for what is now needed from the Group CEO, he has proper marketing and comms pedigree, is highly commercial with a deep understanding of client organisations and brands, and has a truly global perspective. I know that his leadership style will be very effective for the business we now are.”
Founders Sir John Hegarty and Sir Nigel Bogle will continue to work on a reduced time basis at BBH with Hegarty working part time in his role of champion of creativity. Bogle remains working across a number of key accounts including British Airways, Audi and Weetabix.
Munn’s role as COO will be split between global head of talent, Niall Hadden, and global chief financial officer, David Pearce.