Former BMF MP Chris Kay appointed Saatchi & Saatchi London CEO

Chris Kay has been appointed CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi London from 72 and Sunny where, for the past three-and-a-half years, he was CEO for Asia Pacific and a global partner.

Kay joined 72 and Sunny from BMF in Sydney where he was managing partner. Prior to moving to Australia to set up the APAC region’s Sydney and Singapore offices, he led the LA office for four years.

CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Chris Kay

Magnus Djaba, global president of Saatchi & Saatchi, and CEO of the creative practice for Publicis Groupe UK, said: “At Saatchi, we have to be creative entrepreneurs, driven by a restlessness to improve ourselves, to find new and diverse answers, to find out how good we can be.

“I’ve known Chris for almost two decades and that is what he does. I’m excited to see how he changes us for the better and I hope, like all great relationships, we can do the same for him.”

Kay said: “I’m returning to the UK for the job not the move. Even the weather couldn’t stop me jumping at the opportunity to help steer the next 50 years for this iconic agency. I can’t wait to get stuck in with the team, our client partners, and collaborators, to make creative work that shapes culture, represents Britain today, and keeps the Saatchi & Saatchi name synonymous with pushing our industry forward.”

During his time in LA, 72 and Sunny doubled in size winning global business from Adidas, Google, Instagram, Miller Coors, Starbucks and Samsung, and employing more than 450 people. The agency was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for two years in a row and won more golds at the 2016 Effies than any other agency globally.

Prior to BMF, he was at Manchester City Football Club where he was head of marketing as the club became a global brand and won the Premier League for the first time.

Kay started his career in advertising in 2000 after leaving his hometown of Burnley to move to London and join TBWA. He will join Saatchi & Saatchi on 1 November 2021.

Outgoing CEO Sam Hawkey departs after nine years’ service. He was promoted to CEO in 2020 after working his way up through the agency he joined as an account manager. He will join Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as its new CEO.

The rest of the Saatchi & Saatchi London leadership line-up is unchanged with Richard Huntington as chairman and chief strategy officer, Guillermo Vega as chief creative officer and Sarah Jenkins as managing director.


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