Jaguar's joint venture Spark44 appoints Ralf Specht to CEO role

Specht, one of the firm's co-founders, most recently filled the role of chief operating officer

Spark 44, the joint venture agency in which Jaguar Land Rover has a 50% stake, has appointed Ralf Specht as chief executive, to replace Steve Woolford who is retiring from the business.

Specht, one of the firm's co-founders, most recently filled the role of chief operating officer. He will be now be tasked with extending client partnerships beyond the agency's founding automotive client.

The chief operating officer role will now be assumed by Eric Markgraf, who joins Spark44 with a wide range of experience from TBWA\Chiat\Day, having previously held roles Nike and Sky Media.

In 2015, Jaguar consolidated its global creative and digital accounts into Spark 44, having previously these responsibilities had been divided between a number of agencies including Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy.

The creative shop was behind successful campaigns like the Jaguar's 'Birtish Villians' ads and Range Rover's 'Night Sounds'.

“Spark44 is a powerhouse – it has been demonstrating that amazing things happen when people are empowered to challenge conventions," said Specht. "A business model that is 100% transparent and offers shared risk and reward between client and agency is tremendously powerful in today´s environment. It is time to share that success with companies in other sectors."

The leadership shakeup follows on from Jaguar Land Rover closing in on selecting Dentsu as its global media agency; a move that will end its longstanding relationship with Mindshare - which held the brief since 2000.

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