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Lee-Ann Morris joins MBM as CEO

MBM has appointed Lee-Ann Morris to the newly created position of CEO. Morris will join the agency in February 2022 from PHD Media where she has been Managing Director for the past five years.

The three Managing Partners, Sean McCready, Matt Bale and Alysha Delany will be taking on new governance, strategic and product-focused roles respectively within the business and remain committed to MBM long-term. Morris will also be working closely with the broader management team that is unchanged.

Sean McCready, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of MBM says: “After 11 successful years, MBM is ready to take the next step in its evolution. We have experienced significant growth, more than doubling the size of the business in the last three years and while our joint leadership model supported by a nationwide agency management team has served us well, looking ahead, we can see that a single CEO is best placed to take MBM forward. This is a different type of role to that which we’ve had at MBM to date, and requires experience leading a large and complex agency, across two distinct markets and across multiple successful lines of business. Lee-Ann is an incredibly talented and experienced leader and the right candidate to take MBM into the next chapter.

“A single CEO role is one that the three managing partners fully support and initiated with Publicis Groupe. We recognise that as MBM grows, introducing additional talent can only strengthen the agency. Matt, Alysha and I are excited about the energy a new CEO will bring to help us build on the great momentum the MBM team has achieved to date.”

With over twenty years in the industry, Morris has developed a focussed understanding of how insights, innovation and communications touch-points can be leveraged to deliver growth for her clients. Originally from South Africa, her first decade in media was forged in the furnace of FMCG in the UK, with Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. After moving her family to Auckland and taking up New Zealand citizenship, Lee-Ann spent the next decade working with many of New Zealand’s leading agencies and brands including Fonterra, Vodafone, Spark and ANZ. Lee-Ann also sits on the Comms Council Media Board and is passionate about making a contribution to the broader industry, in particular to promoting diversity and inclusion in the media sector.

Lee-Ann Morris says of her appointment: “Over the past decade Matt, Sean and Alysha built MBM into a world-class agency—then secured this to the formidable capabilities of the Publicis Groupe. The next few years promise to be extraordinary, which is why I’m genuinely delighted and honoured to able to share in this enduring success story. It’s been my privilege to be a part of the PHD team for almost ten years. In that time the agency has gone from strength to strength, and I leave them with the deepest respect and mutual goodwill, having loved my time with this amazing team.”

Morris will assume leadership of MBM across both the Auckland and Wellington offices.

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