Claxon names AKQA NZ’s Stephen Forth as CEO

AKQA New Zealand’s former managing director, Stephen Forth, has been named CEO of Queensland-based digital agency Claxon.

The appointment will see Claxon co-founder and current CEO Daniel Willis stepping down but continuing his role on the board.

Brett Campbell, Stephen Forth and Daniel Willis

Forth spent the last two-and-a-half years at AKQA and was elevated from managing director to executive director of alliances and partnerships for Australia and New Zealand in June. He left the business in January.

Prior to AKQA, Forth spent seven years at Sapient Nitro and Sapient Razorfish as its managing director.

Speaking on his appointment, Forth noted the challenges and opportunities Claxon faces as it moves into its next phase of growth.

“As the media landscape continues to change and brands seek better ROI, Claxon is well placed to deliver on those expectations with their current market offering. However, the real opportunity with Claxon is to continue to connect the key ideas of rapid technological change, human behaviour and societal shifts, with strategies for brands to adapt and grow. This is where I believe Claxon will continue to experience significant growth and expand into new markets,” Forth said.

“There’s something unique about an independent agency, a passion and mindset to grow, have fun and be successful, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunity to lead the talented group of people at Claxon.”

Willis said the time was right to appoint a new CEO, as Forth’s background will enable him to scale the business.

“Having just come out of start-up life, we felt it was the perfect time to appoint the right CEO to guide us through the scaleup journey. You can’t teach experience, and we feel that what Stephen brings to Claxon will allow us to meet our bold ambition even sooner,” Willis said.

Co-founder and chief evangelist, Brett Campbell, added: “A successful business is only as good as its people. We knew finding the right CEO to take Claxon into its next stage was critical and wouldn’t be easy. We’re rapt to have Stephen at the helm.”


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