As one Simon says goodbye, another says hello: Simon Lendrum has been appointed as the new managing director of JWT New Zealand, taking over from Simon Fitch, who has chosen to return home to Sydney after spending two and a half years in Auckland.
“I’ve had a wonderful time in New Zealand, but with my wife and family remaining behind in Sydney, the monthly commute has taken its toll and it’s time for me to return home," says Fitch. "I am delighted that Simon Lendrum has chosen to join JWT. I believe he’ll be the perfect person to take the agency forward and importantly to work with the very talented team that is JWT NZ, and who I’ll miss very much.”
JWT NZ had become something of neglected outpost within the international network but Fitch's predecessor John Gutteridge did plenty of hard work breathing new life into it during his two year reign, growing its staff roster from eight to 20. And Fitch says he inherited a thriving, albeit small agency.
Lendrum spent nine years at BMP DDB, one of the London’s leading agencies, before joining Ogilvy New Zealand in 2004. During his six years with Ogilvy, most recently as general manager, he was primarily responsible for the agency’s brand clients including Sanitarium, RaboPlus and BP. He left Ogilvy at the end of 2009 and has been consulting to both clients and agencies since then, along with some unbridled summerly leisure.
“I chose the best summer in living memory to take a break from full-time involvement in the business, but along with the change in seasons came this great opportunity to return to agency life," says Lendrum. "JWT has a great team in New Zealand and I’m looking forward to joining them and doing great work together for our clients.”
Noel Magnus, chief executive, JWT Australia & New Zealand thanked Fitch for all his efforts during the past four years in the Sydney and Auckland offices and says he's looking forward to bumping into him a little more often now that he's returning to Sydney.
"Equally, I’m very happy to welcome Simon Lendrum on board. He has a terrific track record at BMP and Ogilvy, so I know he’ll be a stunning addition to our team. His obvious determination and intellect will be a great asset to both JWT and our clients."
Fitch will be leaving New Zealand on 18 June and Lendrum will officially be taking the reins from 22 June.