John Gutteridge named CEO of J. Walter Thompson across Asia Pacific

John Gutteridge, the Australian and New Zealand CEO of J. Walter Thompson, has been handed the role of CEO across Asia Pacific.

john gutteridge

Gutteridge: New JWT Asia Pacific CEO

The Englishman will continue to oversee the local operations of the WPP AUNZ owned agency, but will move to Singapore to take over the leadership in the region from Tom Doctoroff, who is returning to the US to “pursue a new opportunity”.

JWT is framing the move as being part of a “long term succession plan mapped out over the last year by Doctoroff and Gutteridge”. Doctoroff, who has worked with JWT for 24 years, had been based in China.

Globally the JWT network has been in turmoil in recent months with the resignation of CEO Gustavo Martinez in March over claims of sexism and racism from the agency’s former communications director, Erin Johnson.

Martinez’s successor, Tamara Ingram, paid tribute to Doctoroff in a statement saying he had built “momentum”, adding: “I’m confident John will build on that momentum.  He is a strategic thinker and a decisive leader who injects a very infectious energy and passion into everything he does.”

Gutteridge has been with the JWT network since 1999 as an account director in London, moving to New Zealand in 2004 to become CEO of the agency at the age of 30, and in 2011 assumed the CEO role across Australia and NZ.

Local offices will be run by Jenny Willits (Sydney), Michael Godwin (Melbourne), Doni Savvides (Perth), and Simon Lendrum (Auckland).

Gutteridge said, in a statement: “APAC is one of the most exciting places to be right now. We’re continually reminded of its importance in the global economy, and indeed the immense potential for so many businesses here.

“Tom has been an inspiration to many, and I admire the sense of community he’s worked hard to create across such a diverse group of countries. I’m looking forward to working with our leadership team to ensure we deliver a future-focused model with a best-in-class product.”


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