Big news in ad land today with the confirmed resignation of David Walden as head of Whybin\TBWA, the agency he helped set up 14 years ago.
Todd McLeay has been announced as his successor for the group CEO role, while Toby Talbot has been appointed as chief creative officer, replacing Andy Blood who is stepping down as executive creative director.
More reading: David Walden’s year in review 2012
McLeay comes to Whybin following his year-long stint at as chief operating officer at APN New Zealand, and prior to that as the CEO of New Zealand Lotteries, where he worked for six years. Talbot, who previously worked with McLeay during his time at Lotteries, comes to New Zealand via London, where he was the executive creative director at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R.
Walden’s departure was signalled last year, when he sold all of his 16,804 shares in TBWA back to Omnicom. Walden said at the time it was a prudent move to ensure a smooth transition and make sure the business has fresh thinking.
“It’s simple. When you get to this stage you’ve got to take steps to ensure an orderly transition,” he said.
“What you don’t want is that [ownership issue]hanging around. If I sell some of my equity that frees me up for the succession plan so that when the time comes it’s not pie in the sky, or a case of ‘it will happen when I sell my shares.'”
Walden will continue on in a consulting role during McLeay’s transition into the CEO portfolio, and similarly Blood will do the same for Talbot.
More as this story develops.