McLeay calls it a day at Whybin\TBWA—UPDATED

Todd McLeay has resigned from his position as chief executive of Whybin\TBWA, making way for Andrew Scott who is returning to New Zealand to lead the Auckland office with newly appointed executive creative director Christy Peacock.    

“I would like to thank Todd for his leadership and professionalism over the last three years,” says Paul Bradbury, the chief executive of Whybin\TBWA across Australia and New Zealand.

StopPress approached McLeay for comment on his departure and he referred media requests to Whybin\TBWA. But he did say it was time to move on from advertising and he has a couple of interesting ventures in the pipeline.

The departing chief executive first joined the agency in February 2013 and has overseen a staff of around 90. 

Earlier this year, Whybin founder Scott Whybin told StopPress there had been an increase in revenue since the arrival of McLeay, although the NBR reported a “$5.2 million drop in revenue to $25 million for the year ended December 2013” and said its results for 2014 were meant to be filed in July. There have been persistent rumours in the industry that McLeay was set to depart. He said in April those rumours weren’t true and were started by competitors and he said the reason he took the job was to create a better model. He felt like he had done a lot of the hard work around that. But said it wasn’t done yet and it wouldn’t be right to leave before the goal is achieved. 

McLeay is set to finish up in November, after working through a short transition period with Peacock and Scott (at this stage, it’s still unclear whether McLeay has secured a new role). 

Scott and Peacock (who takes over from Andy Lish, who took the reins after Dave King departed for Australia a few months ago), will join a management team consisting of David McIndoe (executive planning director), Che Tamahori (managing director, digital arts network), Robyn Budd (client services director) and Jean Arlove (chief operating officer).   

While in Australia, Scott worked at Whybin\TBWA Melbourne, guiding the agency through a period that saw staff numbers triple and revenue more than double. His stint at the agency coincided with major client wins such as ANZ, McCain, Origing and Medibank. He also enjoyed success on the awards circuit, winning a Cannes Grand Prix for ANZ’s ‘GayTMs’ campaign as well as the Asia Pacific agency of the Year at the New York Festival.

Peacock also has a strong advertising pedigree, having served as head of art/creative director at Fallon in North America, creative director at PublicisMojo Melbourne and also creative director at DDB Melbourne. He’s also worked at several agencies in London, including BMP, DDB, Needham and Mother. Most recently, Peacock was with M&C Saatchi Sydney and before that he was executive creative director at Joy Australia and New Zealand.

“We are excited that Christy will be joining us to creatively lead our Auckland office,” says Bradbury. “Fresh from delivering some damn fine work in financial services for M&C Saatchi, Christy is very aligned with us on what it will take to get Whybin\TBWA Auckland back to the top echelon of creative agencies in Asia Pacific. Christy has strong experience on Trans-Tasman accounts and had created some of the most effective tourism work in the world for Tourism Victoria and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.”

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