Helen Karabassis, the former strategy director of McCann, who left after sweeping changes followed the merger of McCann and Smart in September last year, has been reunited with former colleague Chris Mort at media agency TMS.
Karabassis joins as head of strategy and insights at TMS, an independent agency with Toyota as its key client.
Chris Mort joined TMS as CEO in February, and left along with Karabassis and many others under the new regime led by incoming CEO Ben Lilley.
Also new to TMS is former Starcom national business director Saurin Worthington, who joins as group business director. Worthington spent more than 16 years at Starcom before leaving in February of this year.
Karabassis said in a statement: “I joined TMS because I want to work with interesting people who are doing innovative and interesting things. If that’s not enough, TMS is working with the largest automotive advertiser in the country and they’re growing – that makes my new role even more exciting!”
Worthington said: “I am delighted that my stars have realigned at a time when TMS undertakes its own exciting transformation. Returning to an independent community, I am enjoying the nimble and pragmatic collaboration with our senior agency team and showcasing the tangible benefits for our clients”.
The double hire is part of the agency’s strategy of making “experienced staff acquisitions”. According to TMS, the agency has an average industry sector experience of 13 years.
TMS MD Andrew Lamb, said: “We are thrilled with both of these appointments. Both Helen and Saurin have had over 25 years’ experience in the business. Helen’s research and strategy background is one of the strongest in Australia. In addition to her experience in creative agencies where she worked with a multitude of blue-chip advertisers, Helen was also head of market research at the Commonwealth Bank.”
“Saurin has headed-up some of the largest advertisers in Australia during her time at Starcom and Leo Burnett, and with that, comes a huge injection of experience that she brings TMS and our clients,” he said.