Ex-Wunderman Thompson CEO John Gutteridge joins Enigma as national CEO

Independent agency Enigma has appointed former Wunderman Thompson CEO John Gutteridge to the newly created role of national CEO, effective early this week.

John Gutteridge and Lisa Sutton Gardner

Gutteridge, who also becomes an equity partner in Enigma, was named for the role as Enigma seeks to grow its services and capabilities.

Most recently, Gutteridge led the merger between JWT and Wunderman across Australia and NZ. He was the CEO of Wunderman Thompson until the end of 2020, a role currently held by Matthew Parry. Prior to that, he was the CEO for JWT and Mirum APAC, where he brought the agencies’ creative and digital offerings together.

He also briefly left the industry to launch MAWDE, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce clothing brand that manufactures in Australia using sustainable materials.

Enigma founder and director, Lisa Sutton Gardner, said Gutteridge’s appointment will bring the experience the agency needs for expansion.

“We have run a healthy but understated business for three decades now and have been planning the next chapter for Enigma for more than a year. We are ambitious and the business is about to embark on a very exciting journey of expansion and growth.

“John brings to the national CEO role all the skills, experience, energy, and passion I have been rigorously searching for. We found instant chemistry, he and I are both entrepreneurs, and he is a great fit for our humble and approachable culture. I’m incredibly excited to work with John to realise our growth ambitions.”

Commenting on his new role, Gutteridge said: “Meeting Lisa was serendipitous, I felt inspired at the prospect of returning to the industry for the right opportunity, and this is exactly that. It was apparent very quickly that Lisa and the Enigma team have created a fantastic business and I was instantly drawn to Lisa’s authenticity and humility. Above all, it’s clear there’s a genuine ambition and commitment to take the business to another level and create a truly iconic and distinctive agency for the future.”

The appointment of Gutteridge follows Karl Bates joining Enigma this month in the newly created role of executive strategy director.


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