Blue 449 COO James Simmons set to depart after a decade

Blue 449’s chief operating officer, James Simmons, is departing the agency in January next year to return to the UK.

Simmons joined the Publicis owned media agency – which rebranded from Match Media in December last year – in 2007.

James Simmons, Duncan Parfitt and John Preston

Along with current CEO of Blue 449, John Preston, Simmons was a co-founder of Match Dialogue which merged with Match Integration to form Match Media in 2007.  Publicis Groupe acquired the business in June 2015.

Simmons was appointed as the COO of Match Media that year and spent 10 years in the role.

“It is time for a new chapter for my family and me so we have made the decision to return to England to enjoy the weather, but most importantly to be with our families – it feels like the right thing to do now.

“Leaving Blue 449 is difficult as it is an agency at the top of its game breaking new ground and forging a solid position in the market,” Simmons said of his departure.

John Preston, CEO of Blue 449, said in a statement: “Together we have built a consistently strong business with amazing talent, creating work that works with our wonderful portfolio of clients. We’ve created a text book success story.

“Ten years is a long time to work together, yet it feels like the time has gone in a flash which is a sure sign that we enjoyed the journey together,” Preston added.

Meanwhile, Duncan Parfitt, head of performance and analytics, has been promoted to the newly created role of Blue 449 Sydney’s managing director.

Parfitt joined Blue 449 seven years ago as its head of performance and analytics.

He joined the agency from LBi where he was the head of paid search for almost two years.

“With every change a new opportunity is created and so I am delighted to announce Duncan’s promotion to MD.

“Blue 449 sits at the ‘intersection of data and ideas’ and Duncan has a unique future focused skill set that will complement that position. I very much look forward to working with Duncan in his new role as MD, along with the talented group in the leadership team,” Preston said of Parfitt’s promotion.

Blue 449’s clients include TAL Insurance, 20th Century Fox, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Pernod Ricard, National Breast Cancer Foundation, PUMA and Southern Cross Travel Insurance.


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