Y&R London CEO Jon Sharpe opens door to successor Paul Lawson with VML move

Y&R London names Paul Lawson as incoming CEO

Y&R London has revealed Paul Lawson to be its incoming chief executive, succeeding incumbent Jon Sharpe who has resigned from his role as CEO in order to accept the position of CEO Europe at VML.

For his part Lawson will join Y&R with effect from 1 November, making the switch from Leo Burnett London where he has been in post since 2004. He will report to the agency's global president David Patton.

Lawson commented: “I am excited about coming to Y&R London, particularly at this pivotal moment. There are terrific people in place, a great client base, wonderful proprietary resources, all of which are gaining traction.

"I am really looking forward to working with David and the full team as we build new capabilities that will help our clients have impact in the marketplace. As we go forward, I think we are optimally poised to demonstrate both our local power and our global strength.”

Outlining his own reasons for moving Sharpe added: "I believe VML’s offer of combining marketing and advertising with platforms and experiences in order to create impact across the connected consumer experience is extremely relevant and valuable in the market right now."

Justin Billingsley, global COO, Publicis Communications, offered his own response: “I would like to thank Paul for his commitment to the business over the past years and wish him all the best in his next endeavour. Leo Burnett is about to start an exciting new chapter and we look forward to sharing this soon.”

From 2010 onwards Lawson has served as Burnett’s Group chief executive in London, having risen through the ranks as group managing director and group managing partner, gaining experience with key global clients such as P&G and McDonald’s in the process.

Sharpe meanwhile is credited with revitalising Y&R London under his tenure, spearheading a number of pitch wins including Chanel No5, the Premier League and Visit England.

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