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John Gutteridge to return to Australia in Wunderman Thompson reshuffle

John Gutteridge is to return to Australia to lead the merged Wunderman Thompson’s ANZ operations as WPP reshuffles the combined agency’s management.

Gutteridge, the CEO of J Walter Thompson Australia, moved to Singapore in 2016 after being promoted to head up the WPP-owned agency’s Asia-Pacific operations.

Gutteridge was appointed to lead JWT Australia in 2010

In November, WPP announced it was merging JWT with Wunderman as part of group CEO Mark Reed’s project to simplify the struggling group’s structure.

The management shakeup also sees Digitas APAC boss Annette Male take over as Wunderman Thompson regional CEO while former Wunderman APAC leader Caspar Schlickum has stepped down with rumours he will be joining Accenture.

Gutteridge, who will join the WPP AUNZ executive committee, said of the move: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in APAC and there’s much to be proud of. I shall truly miss our clients, the diverse cultures and the great talent we have across the region.

“I am now relishing the prospect of being more intimately involved with the running of the business, the product and of course our clients, as we launch the exciting proposition of Wunderman Thompson.”

WPP AUNZ executive director, John Steedman said Gutteridge was an easy choice for the role: “John was an obvious choice.  Wunderman Thompson is a formidable offering and the opportunity to lead the new agency and create a creative, data and technology powerhouse is just what John was after.

“Leading JWT in APAC John successfully established himself as one of the most forward-thinking leaders in today’s marketplace — blending his award-winning creativity with his deep expertise in data and technology marketing will create an industry powerhouse.  His appointment is great news for Wunderman Thompson staff, its clients and WPP AUNZ.”

Tamara Ingram, chairman of Wunderman Thompson added: “John has been a very strong and effective leader in APAC and brought considerable talent and new business to the region. The business is now more diversified and modernised both in terms of skills and output. John and I have been in discussions since last year about his need to be closer to his family in Australia, this is a great outcome for John, Wunderman Thompson and WPP AUNZ”.

Gutteridge will start during the first quarter of this year.

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