Mark Cochrane has been appointed to the newly created dual role of CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and Chief Growth Officer, Publicis Groupe New Zealand.
Publicis Groupe has undergone significant expansion and transformation over the past year in New Zealand – with the acquisitions of Digitas Affinity ID and MBM, and the launch of PR Network MSL.
Michael Rebelo, Publicis Groupe’s CEO of New Zealand and Australia says: “As a result of this expansion, we have needed to look afresh at the leadership structure in New Zealand and have taken the decision to create this new role. I am delighted that Mark will be returning to his Kiwi roots after seven stand-out years with the network, building his experience.
“I have every confidence in Mark’s leadership. It’s fantastic to have him return home.”
Cochrane has worked with Saatchi & Saatchi and the Publicis Groupe in New Zealand and around the network for over 10 years.
He spent the last five years as Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Melbourne, having launched the agency in 2015. Cochrane created a progressive creative offering and culture there, growing the agency to over 55 people, with clients including the Bank of Melbourne, Visit Victoria, L’Oréal, Devondale, Bike Exchange, Victorian Election Commission and the Royal Australian Mint.
Cochrane says: “I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to come home and lead Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand’s next chapter. When I think of the leaders that have walked the hallowed halls of this office, it’s an absolute privilege. I also revere the recent work created by the agency. It’s a testament to Paul Wilson and the team’s NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE spirit, and the clients who lead those great brands. I look forward to continuing and adding to the momentum.”
With this new model however, comes the need for change.
Rebelo says: “As part of this process, Paul Wilson and I have agreed that it is the right time for him to hand over the reins and for a new leader to take us forward.
“Paul has had an incredible track record with the agency – building a strong, inclusive culture and delivering world-class work for our clients.
“Always hands-on with the work and with a deep care for his people, Paul leaves the agency on a high and in a strong position. We would like to thank Paul for the contribution he has made to Saatchi & Saatchi during his nearly eight years with the agency. From Group Business Director to General Manager and then Managing Director, he has been a stellar performer and all-round good human to work with.”
Wilson says: “Although naturally it is sad to be leaving after eight years, I also feel a huge sense of pride and satisfaction to be departing on such a high, having produced the world-class work we did for Chorus and Hilux in particular, and in a year like 2020. No one has more Saatchi & Saatchi blood in their veins than Mark, so I know he’s the ideal person to build on this momentum and take the agency forward.”
Cochrane starts his role early in the New Year.