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DDB CEO Nicole Taylor and strategy chief Fran Clayton in double defection to McCann

Nicole Taylor has departed DDB after just six months as the company’s Sydney CEO to join McCann as its national CEO. DDB’s chief strategy officer Fran Clayton is also defecting to McCann.

Taylor, who was promoted to DDB Sydney CEO in September last year, replaces Ben Lilley who finished up with the agency last week after resigning in February to move overseas.

Taylor is exiting DDB to take the helm of McCann Australia

Taylor joined DDB Sydney in 2011 as the lead on its Volkswagen account from her previous role as managing partner at Y&R.

Clayton will also be joining Taylor at McCann Australia as its national chief strategy officer after five years at the helm of DDB Sydney’s strategy division.

The duo are joining McCann six months after the agency lost four of its top talent in a raid by management consultancy Deloitte. Deloitte poached McCann Melbourne’s managing director Adrian Mills, head of strategy and media, David Phillips, executive creative director Matt Lawson and digital media lead Justine Mills.

Andrew Little, group CEO at DDB Australia, said: “DDB Australia is full of entrepreneurial people and, with the recent CEO movement across the industry, it’s not unexpected that our people are targeted.

“While I’m disappointed, both Nic and Fran are stepping up into national roles and I know that it’s the opportunity to turn around the agency that appeals to them. We tried very hard to keep them but at the end of the day they have the opportunity to run their own show.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with and promoting both Nic and Fran over the years, they are great mates and we wish them all the best.

DDB is currently recruiting a managing director and chief strategy officer for DDB Sydney.

McCann issued a statement saying:

McCann Worldgroup APAC President Charles Cadell says: “I am very pleased to welcome two of Australia’s most influential industry leaders to McCann Australia. Nic and Fran will be Sydney-based and lead our national operations. As a team, we are committed to continuing the upward trajectory as we enter this exciting new phase of growth under our new leadership team.”

Nicole Taylor comments, “DDB has been my much-loved home for over seven years and it has been an absolute privilege to serve the talented people and incredible clients at DDB Sydney. We were attracted to McCann because of their fearless commitment to creativity. Stepping up to the helm of McCann Australia, we are committed to building something very special in this market and we will do everything we can to support our people to make the best work of their careers”.

Fran Clayton, comments, “As a global network, McCann Worldgroup has real momentum and is making some of the best work in the world. We love the single-minded commitment to the ‘Truth Well Told.’

“Our industry needs a new style of leadership. Nic and I have always been passionate about building a diverse creative culture and know we have the perfect partner in the McCann network.”

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