Mark Coad is returning to the media world as CEO of media agency PHD after nearly three years at the helm of creative agency Clemenger Harvie.
Coad is seen as one of the most accomplished media operators in Australia and was credited with completing the turnaround of media agency OMD in his previous role.
The CEO role at PHD was not initially filled when Barry O’Brien, now chief sales officer at Ten, departed. The senior ranks at PHD are otherwise unaffected including Toby Hack remaining as MD.
Meanwhile Clemenger Harvie Melbourne will relaunch as CHE Proximity – less than a year after changing its name from CHE back to Clemenger Harvie. GM Chris Howatson will become managing partner which at 27 makes him one of Australia’s youngest agency bosses.
Coad’s strong Melbourne connections will also be a boost for PHD which recently launched its Victorian operation to support new $120m client ANZ. PHD’s Asia Pacific CEO Cheuk Chiang also recently made Melbourne his base, for family reasons.
Coad’s move keeps him within the wider Omnicom group.
Under Coad, OMD was voted media agency of the year in the 2009 Mumbrella readers choice awards.
One irony of the move is that Leigh Terry, who used to report in to Coad, has since moved up to be CEO of PHD’s parent company Omnicom Media Group, effectively making him Coad’s boss.
Terry said: “Mark Coad is without doubt one of the best media operators around, both locally as well as internationally. The growth ambitions for the PHD network, globally, regionally and locally are aggressive and Mark’s intricate knowledge of the Omnicom Group and the Melbourne media market – in combination with existing strong agency leadership to support him – make him the only candidate for this role.”
Barry Cupples, CEO, Omnicom Media Group APAC, said, “Mark’s coming back into the media world is a real coup.”
Toby Hack and Martin Patton will report directly to Mark Coad and continue in their current roles as MD’s of PHD Australia & Foundation, respectively.
Coad said “I have loved the challenge of running a creative agency. But I have missed the media side. When this opportunity came up – working with people who I know, trust and have great respect for, it was a no-brainer. I relish the opportunity and challenge of working with the PHD team and clients. I know and respect Toby and Martin and am really looking forward to working with them and their management teams.”
“Mark’s a fantastic Clemenger person and has done a great job at CHE,” said Robert Morgan, Clemenger Group executive chairman. “But, his heart is really in media and we’re pleased he can resume his media agency career within the Clemenger family.”
The move takes place next month.