Mike Napolitano leaves TBWA for DDB Melbourne, replaced by Ricci Meldrum

Mike Napolitano has departed TBWA Melbourne as managing director to take up the MD role at DDB Melbourne.

In his place, TBWA Melbourne has promoted Ricci Meldrum from regional group head on the ANZ account to MD.

Napolitano joins DDB to fill the gap left by Kate Sterling, who departed the agency for AI messaging business Live Person in May. His appointment also comes after the agency won the creative account for Kmart and was added to Coles’ agency roster.

Napolitano has moved to DDB Melbourne

DDB Group Australia CEO, Andrew Little, described Napolitano as “the perfect balance of talented and nice”.

“With a shared ambition of enabling people to do the best work of their career and track record of helping brands achieve incredible growth, there could be no one better at the helm,” Little said.

“We can’t wait for him to continue the strong growth our Melbourne business has experienced this year, despite the COVID-19 challenges. I know that Jess Hughes, Mossy and Jess Allison are delighted to have him on board, as is the rest of the Australian management team.”

TBWA Melbourne CEO, Kimberlee Wells, was glad Napolitano was staying within the Omnicom Group.

“Mike has had nine great years with the agency. We thank him for the contributions he has made to the growth of our people, our clients and our agency. He leaves with our full support to pursue a new challenge as DDB Melbourne’s managing director and are pleased he will remain within the Omnicom Group,” she said.

Napolitano spent nine years at TBWA, spending the last five as MD. Previously, he spent nearly seven years at George Patterson Y&R. Napolitano will commence his new role with DDB in October.

Napolitano said: “I’ve had nine great years at TBWA helping build one of the best agencies in the country. It’s always hard to leave a great team, but it’s time for a new challenge.

“I’ve admired DDB Melbourne and its growth over the last 12 months. I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the Melbourne office and create award-winning, effective work for clients like Coles, Kmart, Dulux Group and Porsche. I want DDB Melbourne to attract an unfair share of the best talent and even more great brand partners for us to work with.”

Meldrum has been with TBWA Melbourne since 2014. As MD she will continue her work leading the ANZ account, which is currently undergoing a pitch process.

Previously, Meldrum has spent time at BMF and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.

Wells said Ricci was “one of the country’s finest Advertising practitioners.”

“Respected by clients, loved by staff and energised by creativity. Ricci will continue to lead the ANZ business in conjunction with her stellar team and will work in partnership with our executive group on broader agency initiatives,” she said.

Meldrum commented: “TBWA Melbourne is a special place and I feel privileged to take on the managing director role of an agency that simply is like no other – and I’ve been around the industry for long enough to know.

“I’m excited by what the future holds as we all look forward to a new year. My passion for creativity, drive for effectiveness and a firmly held belief in nurturing individual potential, combined with the incredible talent of our team and trust from our clients, will see us continue to stand out in the industry.”

Contact the journalist:

Have more information on the article? Want to share an opinion? Just want to reach out? Email Zoe on or get in touch via LinkedIn.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.