Anthem announces leadership transition

Communications and marketing agency, Anthem, has announced its co-founders will assume new roles as of April 1.

Jane Sweeney moves from managing director and assumes the executive chair while Carolyn Kerr moves from general manager to MD. The change in leadership roles is part of a succession plan put in place when the pair founded the agency in 2014.

Anthem attracts some talented professionals in their field who devise and deliver advisory and agency services, from corporate and reputation-defining strategies and stakeholder and government relations to creative campaigns and consumer marketing initiatives.

Jane will utilise her extensive industry experience to provide strategic thinking for clients and governance oversight to the agency. As managing director, Carolyn will continue to lead the agency’s talented team to deliver innovative communications for Anthem’s diverse range of clients including the likes of Auckland Airport, Contact, Cure Kids, Fronde, Fullers360.

“It is a dream come true for both of us that we have been able to plan succession like this and ensure Anthem continues to go from strength to strength. We decided to proceed despite the pandemic to bring real focus to strategic co-leadership of the business,” says Sweeney

“Jane and I are extremely proud to have grown our independent agency into an agile workforce made up of around 50 members, who work in small, cross-functional teams, at speed. We have a focus on appointing the right people working on the right projects, aligned with our client’s strategic goals and priorities, to achieve the best outcomes for them,” says Kerr.

Last year Anthem invested in researching business and industry leaders, from Board chairs and CEOs to CMOs and corporate communication leaders, to gather insights into what the ‘agency of the future’ needs to look like to keep pace with the changing requirements of business.

Overall, the research confirmed high demand for a new breed of agency led by smart thinkers and well-connected, trusted advisors who offer nimble, bespoke, creative services and effective strategic partnerships. Several business leaders called for more results-orientated remuneration models. Culture continues to be a major definer of external reputation and understanding a company’s “social licence to operate” is exercising many Boards and management teams, now more than ever before.

“We took heart from what we heard and the advice we received. Anthem’s unique model reflects a desire from some of our business leaders for a more agile, strategic and creative style of agency and communications partner. As we face a global recession, more than ever agencies need to adapt to help clients achieve business goals and bring the best talent to the table,” adds Sweeney.

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