KPEX appoints Contagion’s Richard Thompson chief executive

Richard Thompson, a partner at creative agency Contagion, will be taking over the KPEX reins from consulting chief executive Duncan Arthur in mid-April. 

KPEX was founded in November last year as a joint partnership between Fairfax, MediaWorks, NZME and TVNZ with the aim of providing a premium exchange of online advertising in this market. 

With over 17 years of experience in senior digital media roles across London, Europe and New Zealand, Thompson seems well suited to the task of taking over the responsibilities of managing this initiative.

In addition to working at Contagion since 2012, Thompson has also served as digital strategy director for Universal McCann and as general manager of digital across the VivaKi group in New Zealand.

“Richard has a proven track record of digital innovation and building successful digital teams,” said KPEX board spokesperson Robert Hutchinson. “KPEX has performed ahead of expectations in its first three months of operation.  Buyers have responded positively to having a New Zealand-based, brand safe, highly liquid exchange for premium advertising inventory.”

Contagion’s founder and managing partner Dean Taylor says that the departure is “a huge loss for the agency on a commercial and personal level”, given Thompson was integral in building Contagion to an organisation that today employs over 35 people (in related news, Contagion is also rumoured to have recently won two new accounts—StopPress is awaiting confirmation on this speculation).

Taylor went on to say that it’s a great opportunity for Thompson and that he wishes him the best in his new role.

 On the KPEX side, Arthur was only intended to serve as a consulting chief executive, responsible for launching the initiative and then handing it over to someone else on a more permanent basis. 

Arthur was also involved in launching the Pangea Alliance, during his time as the commercial director of the Guardian Australia.

Arthur recently told StopPress that he has started “a growing collective of digital media consultants” called CoLab. 

Read more of our of our coverage on KPEX here

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