Cummins & Partners nabs adam&eveDDB’s Michael McConville for global CEO role

After almost 9 years in the UK, Michael McConville is returning home to Australia to take on the newly created role of global CEO for Cummins & Partners, heading up three offices in Melbourne, Sydney and New York

McConville will join the the Australian independent agency in August after nearly five years as managing partner at UK based adam&eveDDB, and had previously spent time at WCRS/Engine as client managing director and partner.

“I was open to coming home but it had to be for the right thing,” said McConville.

“The right thing meant finding an agency with a global mindset, coupled with the ability to make brilliant local work. It meant seeing greatness in some of what an agency had done before, while seeing the ambition to go bigger and better than ever. Having an agency with experience is great but when you combine that experience with incredible potential… that’s what really excites me. From the first conversation onwards, what can I say, Sean and I knew it was right”.

“Culture is very important to me, so I’m here to build on an agency that lives with strong values, so people can feel backed to do the best and most creative work of their lives. The agency has clearly been an amazing breeding ground of talent in the past, now we want to move the agency, it’s people and our work into its next big phase,” McConville added.

“I’m ecstatic” said founder Sean Cummins.

“The last couple of years saw a wholesale exit of many of my partners, who had in their own ways reached existential moments. They absolutely gave the agency their best and we reached amazing heights. But they had their run. This was a great opportunity, one that rarely happens in a business like ours, where we could replace the top tier with new people. Let’s face it a healthy tree is pruned from the top”.

“Clients buy knowledge, category knowledge and to have someone like Michael come back to Australia after working on clients like John Lewis, Volkswagen UK and Global, Deutsche Telekom, Royal Navy & Marines and the Football League Cup is quite a special offering to the market.

“My aim was to continue to position our agency as endowed with thought leadership. There’s a sweet spot between consultancies and agencies where the leaders actually do the work rather than just admire the problem.  We offer hands-on wisdom rather than people managing down. Clients don’t have time anymore for people to learn on the account” Cummins said.

McConville’s work had picked up numerous awards, including at D&AD, British Arrows, Cannes and the IPA Effectiveness Awards.  While at adam&eveDDB he also co-lead the talent management team of the year during lockdown and created and oversaw the agency mental health program.

“It’s a truly exciting time to join the agency and to return home. I can’t wait to show our people, our clients new and existing, and the creative industry what we can do together” McConville said.

“We have used this time to work out what we want to be as an agency brand and a business and this is just one part of that. As Michael said, it is an exciting time and we have a few more big announcements to make about further leadership and business initiatives, just around the corner” Cummins added.


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