Catherine Harris, currently at Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, will cross the ditch to take on the role of managing director at TBWA Auckland in December.
StopPress understands that current TBWA Auckland chief executive Andrew Scott, who joined in October 2015, will be leaving the agency to make way for Harris.
Harris is a returning Kiwi, having spent the last 15 years working in the UK and Australia for agencies, including Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi and Havas. Notably, Harris also worked at TBWA in London during a seven-year patch, which saw her manage the Nissan business across Europe.
TBWA chief executive for Australia & New Zealand, Paul Bradbury welcomed the arrival of Harris to the agency.
"We see Catherine as a superb fit for the TBWA\Auckland group," Bradbury said in an statement from the agency. "New Zealand has always been a unique market for us with Digital Arts Network’s User Experience practice making up half the group’s business. So we’re excited to have a new Managing Director join us whose specialty is integration and transformation. Having spent seven years at TBWA\London we also have someone who is passionate about the TBWA philosophy of Disruption."
Harris will be working closely with Digital Arts Network head Che Tamahori and executive creative director Christy Peacock as she takes on the new role at the agency, which has been relatively stable in recent months following a period of executive shuffling.
"Christy creative leadership and Che’s expertise leading the Digital Arts Network create a powerful opportunity for us here," Harris says. “I am also thrilled to be rejoining the TBWA network. My time at TBWA\London and in particular Disruption® thinking had a profound impact on my career. The network has a clear perspective and is continuously developing new ways to use the Disruption® philosophy and tools to innovate and deliver better outcomes for brands.”
StopPress is awaiting further details on where Scott is headed.
Scott has confirmed to StopPress that he will be starting his own agency, called Scott & Partners, based in Auckland.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a number of years now and I’m excited to be finally making it happen," Scott says. "After nine years with TBWA, I’m ready for the challenge. The timing is right as TBWA\Auckland is now back on track and with fresh new talent they will be in good hands.”
Scott wouldn't be drawn into naming the "Partners" referenced in the name of the agency, but he did say that they were well known in the Auckland agency scene.
“We will bring in the right people with the right skill-sets and experience to suit our clients’ business needs," Scott says. "I know the model is right for today’s market because clients want to work directly with senior people who can make decisions about their business, in the moment, without all the overheads.”
He says he will reveal more about his new agency as soon as he has ended his partnership with TBWA.
"I’ve had a great run in the network game, working with some of the best people in the industry and fantastic clients along the way. Scott & Partners is the next chapter. It’s exciting times."