Update: Following Chuter’s impending departure being announced on StopPress, we’ve spoken to him about his decision to resign and where he’s going next.
He says he has some ideas he is currently exploring and in the meantime, anticipates making himself available for consultancy.
Chuter joined FCB six years ago, and has led the media division for the last three. Reflecting on those years, he says he is proud of everything the agency has achieved and credits the strength of the team for that.
“My news might seem surprising to people who don’t know me well, but probably not to those who do. I’m someone who loves having a challenge and pushing myself. While it’s definitely not 'job done' at FCB Media, because it never is, there is definitely a sense of collective achievement in what we’ve achieved over those three years."
He adds that he leaves knowing "a strong talented team at the top of their game” remains.
On a personal level, he explains his decision to hand in his resignation was driven by his love of a challenge and need to push himself. He adds the growing importance of strategic thinking in the wake of fragmented consumer attention and the rise of specialisms is exciting for people with strategic marketing and media skills.
"Lots of businesses are reassessing their needs and exploring what the right model looks like – whether that’s from agencies, consultants or resourcing in their own teams," he says.
"I think communication planning has never been more important as the glue to drive integration in our fragmented landscape."
And when responding to suggestions that his departure may be to the arrival of Dan Martin, FCB's new CEO as of August last year, Chuter says: "A change in leadership last year may have been one of the catalysts for me to consider what my future looks like – as is natural with the arrival of any new leader, with their own vision and values – but it’s certainly not the reason for my decision. The reality is that after three years running the team, and six years at the agency, I was always going to have to consider whether my next step was with FCB or whether I needed to find a new mountain to climb. That’s a conversation that pre-dates Dan’s arrival. I’ve got the highest regard for the agency, its culture and wish the leadership team there every success."
Managing director of FCB’s media division, Rufus Chuter, has resigned from FCB and will leave in May.
Chuter has been with the agency for six years and has managed the team for the last three. He started as communication planning director before progressing to joint management of the media agency as head of media – strategy in 2015, before taking on the managing director - media role at the start of last year.
Chuter says he loved his time with FCB and what has been achieved together, culminating in being named Campaign’s Media Agency of 2017.
“So now feels like the right time to explore a fresh challenge. I’m proud that I’ll be leaving one of the most talented teams in New Zealand well placed for further success.”
When asked where Chuter is heading to next, FCB says he hasn’t informed the agency of what his next steps are. The company says it will be working with Chuter to transition new leadership at FCB media.
Commenting on Chuter’s departure, chief executive, Dan Martin says he would like to thank Chuter for the contribution he has made to the business.
“We’re lucky in that we have an excellent media leadership team who have worked alongside Rufus to make the media offering at FCB as strong as it is, and I will be working with them to develop the best possible management solution for media going forward.”
FCB says it will update on the new management structure in due course.