Ben Lightfoot, the can’t-do-no-wrong boss of McCann Worldgroup’s New Zealand operations, has been appointed chief executive officer of McCann’s Singapore office, a promotion that’s just reward for Lightfoot’s efforts in relaunching a Kiwi face for McCann two years ago, according to Michael McLaren, regional director of McCann Worldgroup, Asia Pacific.
“Ben has done a great job in New Zealand and has helped us build a thriving and creative business there. He is one of the rising stars in our network and I am excited to see him move into Singapore,” he says.
As for boy-wonder himself, he’s stoked. “This is a big jump up for me. Asia is a key region for McCann and many of our biggest clients are hubbed there,” he says.
The Singapore office has had its challenges. He is replacing Tony Savarimuthu, who held the role for 12 months and returns as chief cheese of McCann Worldgroup Malaysia. Just why the 36 year-old was appointed over the heads of other McCann honchos may come down to the double whammy: he’s both a creative director and managing director. Not only that, he’s also bionic, filled with titanium rods and screws from multiple mountain bike accidents as a one-time professional downhill biker.
Every agency needs its Terminators, but it’s his ability to bring creative solutions to the board room and to clients’ problems that McCann values.
“In just two years McCann Worldgroup’s New Zealand operations have grown exponentially [Oliver Maisey was recently appointed as creative director in New Zealand] and now boasts an impressive client list of both global and local brands,” says McLaren. “He’s got a unique blend of business and creative skills, with the drive and the passion to help bring our operations in Singapore to the next level.”
According to the official blah:
Lightfoot started his career in advertising in the creative department as an art director, working across all of the creative disciplines – brand, retail, direct and digital with BKP Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and Ogilvy One. With a passion for creativity and enthusiasm for pushing boundaries, his work has seen him awarded a multitude of international and national creative awards along the way. While running McCann New Zealand operations over the past two years, Ben has also sat on the Australasian Board of McCann Worldgroup and is the Chairman of the Australia New Zealand Creative Council.
As for the extended Lightfoot family, he will be joined in Singpapore by his wife and their two children, aged one and three.
“But I do hope to keep up my Kiwi connections. I’m deputy chair of Keep New Zealand Beatutiful and my life really is here. It may just be a long distance relationship.”
And one filled with airport security alarms.