Strategist Chris Stephenson moved to new regional role with media agency PHD



One of Australia’s best known media planners Chris Stephenson is being promoted to the newly created role of regional head of strategy and planning APAC for media agency network PHD.

The new role will see him relocate from Sydney to Singapore. and he will be replaced by Stewart Gurney as head of strategy for Australia, while Joel Pearson is being brought in from PHD’s London global planning unit as head of digital innovation.

Mark Coad, CEO of PHD Australia, said in a statement: “Chris has a stellar reputation in our industry and this promotion is recognition of the excellent contribution he has made to PHD Australia.

“One of his many achievements in Australia has been the successful strategy team he has built and nurtured within the agency. Chris leaves that team in the capable hands of Stewart Gurney.”



The agency, which counts ANZ Bank and PepsiCo amongst its clients, racked up 21 new business wins last year including work for Priceline, Bayer, Infiniti and Amaysim.

Stephenson joined the Australian branch of the Omnicom-owned agency from Vizeum in London in 2009.

Gurney also joined PHD from Vizeum in London in 2012, and has held the roles of strategy director and head of communications planning there.

Pearson led the planning on the multi-award winning Unilever Dove Beauty Sketches campaign as global innovation director at the global strategy unit in London.

“The changes reflect our succession planning strategy and ensure that we continue with our winning momentum,” added Coad.

The changes will be effective from early March.

Alex Hayes


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