Executive creative director Talbot is currently in Singapore for Spikes Asia and was unable to be contacted, but DDB NZ's managing director Justin Mowday says he will remain with the agency for the next three or four months and will assist in the search for a replacement and in the development of a new creative management structure. As if he won't be busy enough, he will also be doing the world's only creative MBA at the University of Berlin, "whatever that is", Mowday says. And he will also continue to work with the new team on big projects throughout 2012.
"It's going to be great for him. He's a superstar within our network. And he's internationally respected. We call it a people investment," Mowday says.
Mowday has no doubt Talbot will be back, because he has kids in school and university, he's got a nice place in Devonport and "they love New Zealand". But it was a good chance to be closer to their folks for a year, add to his professional development and work on global campaigns for VW and McDonald’s. As Mowday says about the Dan Carter analogy, "it's not like he's going to play for a B team".
“Only a great agency would allow me to take a once in a lifetime opportunity like this,” Talbot said in a release. “Anyone who knows me knows New Zealand is my adopted home and I look forward to my European secondment but I can’t wait to return to New Zealand in 2013.”
The obvious question, Mowday says, is who will be replacing him. Mowday doesn't have any definitive answers just yet, but he's pretty close to making some announcements.
“Toby is one of DDB’s creative stars and people are our most valuable asset,” says Marty O’Halloran, chairman, DDB Australia/New Zealand. “Which is why we are pleased to invest in his future by sponsoring his MBA and his time with DDB’s European network. When Toby returns to DDB NZ the experience he gained during his secondment will make him even more of a force to be reckoned with.”