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303 MullenLowe Perth names new CCO as agency stalwarts exit

303 MullenLowe Perth has ushered in a number of leadership changes, as agency stalwarts Richard Berney and John Linton depart to launch their own business.

The pair have spent a collective 25 years with agency – Berney as ECD for the last seven and Linton promoted to head of strategy in 2019.

Damian Royce joins as its first chief creative officer

The departures follow the exit of joint-managing director, Todd Baker, in November, shortly after the agency saw the end of its 20-year relationship with Edith Cowan University.

In light of the departures, the Attivo Group-owned agency has hired former Havas Melbourne ECD, Damian Royce, into the newly created role of chief creative officer.

303 MullenLowe Perth has been part of the Attivo Group since 2021, when IPG Mediabrand’s sold majority of its stake to the New Zealand-based holding company.

Royce relocates from his native Melbourne to Perth to take on the new role, bringing 25 years of industry experience across positions at TBWA, Cummins&Partners and Clemenger BDDO Melbourne.

Managing director René Migliore said Royce’s hire was a deliberate move in the agency’s evolution.

“This is an important hire, one that adds a brilliant new dimension to our amazing creative and design team. Damian is an exceptional talent, one of Australia’s most respected CDs, a brand builder, proven team leader, a digital pioneer in creative circles and one of the nicest people you’ll meet. He also brings strong business nous to help solve a range of business problems with creative solutions.”

Migliore continued: “We’ve been lucky enough to have Rich Berney with us for 18 years, and John for eight years. They have been fundamental to this business, giving their heart and soul,” he continued. “They’ve built their respective areas within 303 MullenLowe and we’ve seen them grow and flourish, but it’s an exciting time for them to back themselves and build something of their own. It’s also the perfect time for the business and our evolution. They’ll remain good friends to the agency and we genuinely wish them every success.”

On his appointment Royce said: “Joining a creative company with an all-new leadership team ready to help brands grow is a rare opportunity, and it’s exactly what I was looking for. Along with René, Attivo CEO Cam Murchison, a new Chief Strategy Officer, and an evolved agency team, we will leverage the many ways creativity can be used to move businesses forward. It’s an exciting time to join 303 MullenLowe, who have been building momentum in an ever-changing market. I’m looking forward to this collaboration and above all, helping brands get noticed.”

The new role will replace the remit previous undertaken by the ECD position, with Royce due to oversee all creative output and focus on generating new opportunities.

Migliore said 303 MullenLowe will also soon announce a new chief strategy officer that has been appointed as part of the new leadership structure.

Alongside the new c-suite appointments, the agency has also made a number of promotions, with Taryn Payne elevated to head of business management; Johnathan Julius to head of production; and Smiljka Dimitrijevic to head of planning.

Migliore added: “Taryn, Smiljka and JJ are all brilliant leaders within the agency and highly respected in their fields. Their passion and energy is infectious. They’ll own, design and build out the evolution of their respective areas of the business, significantly boosting depth of capability,”

“Change is the lifeblood of any agency wanting to stay both relevant and innovative. We’re embracing the opportunity to further evolve our offering, and our ability to create innovative, consistent results for our partners,” he concluded.

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