Russell Howcroft: Y&R to Ten
Y&R Brands Australia and New Zealand boss and Gruen Planet pundit Russel Howcroft has joined Network Ten, as widely speculated in recent weeks.
The well connected Melburnian takes on the role on executive general manager early next year, and will relocate to his home town. However, Howcroft will maintain ties with Y&R as non-executive chairman of the group.
His departure has prompted a restructure at Y&R, with the main move seeing chief financial officer Jason Buckley taking on the role of COO of the Sydney offices of Y&R Brands, which includes the agencies GPY&R, VML and Ideaworks.
The announcement from Ten defined Howcroft’s new role as “responsible for Network Ten’s operations in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.” Ten’s station managers in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will report to Howcroft, who will join the company’s executive team, reporting CEO James Warburton.
Warburton said: “Russel is a great leader and one of the most outstanding advertising executives in Australia. We are very pleased he is joining Network Ten.”
“Russell is extremely well connected in the marketing, advertising and media sectors. His appointment will bring new skills and strengths to the Network Ten management team, particularly in the Melbourne market,” he said.
Howcroft commented: “After 24 years of working for some of the best agencies in the world, I am privileged to be given the chance to pursue another great passion. Television is a very powerful and engaging medium and my experience over the past few years have fuelled my desire to work within the television business.
“In this multi-screen world, television has terrific opportunities to lead the way and develop devoted audiences,” he said.
In a press release from Y&R, Howcroft paid tribute to his former employer: “Since returning to George Patterson Y&R in late 2006 I have had the time of my advertising life, and we have accomplished so much that makes me proud.”
Though Howcroft oversaw the launch of digital agency VML and Patts Melbourne enjoyed more success at Cannes this year than any other Australian agency, he will also be remembered for the closure of The Campaign Palace a few months ago, with the iconic Australian agency being folded into JWT.