PHD regional strategy head Chris Stephenson takes global CMO role

The APAC head of strategy and planning for Omnicom agency PHD, Chris Stephenson, is stepping up into the role of worldwide chief marketing office following the departure of Avril Canavan.

Stephenson, one of Australia’s best known media planners who helped launch PHD Sydney in 2009, will relocate from Singapore to London and will take up the global role in January. He will report to worldwide CEO Philippa Brown.

Chris Stephenson


Stephenson has held the regional role since 2015.

The promotion caps almost two decades at the Omnicom Media Group agency which has seen him rise through the ranks having joined in 2003 as strategy manager.

Brown described Stephenson as a “talented marketer who understands the PHD brand proposition, product and platforms better than anyone”.

“As well as having solid client experience and a deep understanding of our proprietary systems like Omni and Omni Studio, he has co-authored and championed PHD’s thought leadership over the years, presenting it on industry platforms across APAC,” she said.

“He is known as a truly creative thinker and, as worldwide chief marketing officer, will be instrumental in showcasing how PHD’s strategic, creative thinking can help brands make the leap ahead of their competitors”.

Stephenson, who has overseen strategy work for a number of high profile brands including Diageo, Singapore Airlines, Unilever, ANZ Bank and Google, said: “For the last two decades I’ve been fortunate to work with brands to engage their audiences in positive, constructive, and innovative ways.

“Now, powered by our ‘Make the Leap’ philosophy, I couldn’t be more excited to be working with our network around the world to do that for PHD.”

Stephenson’s predecessor, Avril Canavan, spent 11 years as worldwide CMO and is leaving to take up consulting.


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