Adweek reported on the latest lunacy at Wunderman Thompson, where new leadershit—oops, leadership—was assembled for the New York headquarters. And what a
photo-op picture of divertsity the unveiling ceremony delivered. Adweek stated many of the executives were pulled from Wunderman and POSSIBLE, further diminishing the original JWT persona. For an industry allegedly dedicated to building brands, this scenario underscores the true hypocrisy and lack of credibility at White advertising agencies.
WPP’s Wunderman Thompson Unveils New Leadership Team in New York Headquarters
8 executives report to CEO Joe Crump
By Patrick Coffee
Just over six months after the merger of agency networks Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson, WPP’s Wunderman Thompson has made several executive-level hires and promotions as its New York-based C-suite takes shape.
The team leans toward alumni of Wunderman and Possible, which have become the dominant forces in this coalition.
These eight newly named executives will all report to Joe Crump, who became CEO of Wunderman Thompson’s New York nerve center in March when Possible New York, where he had been managing director, folded into the new organization. Crump, respectively, reports to former Possible CEO Shane Atchison, who rejoined the agency world after a brief hiatus last December as Wunderman Thompson North America CEO.
The leaders include chief experience officer Sherine Kazim, who brings 20-plus years of experience to bear in designing digital experiences and physical spaces. Previous clients and employers include Huge, AKQA, Google, EA Arts and the Obama Presidential Center.
Helder Santo, who became president of Wunderman New York last May, has been promoted to chief client officer. Before joining the agency, he held managerial and account roles at R/GA, mcgarrybowen and Razorfish.
Former Possible New York svp of operations Michael Asaro will be chief operations officer, overseeing all New York-area clients. Former Wunderman director of talent management Monique Sample holds the same title at the new organization; she previously ran HR operations for Geometry Global, which included G2 USA, OgilvyAction and JWTAction.
Ingrid Bernstein, who spent 10 years at JWT New York, most recently as executive strategy director, will be chief planning officer. She was a pioneer in the field of digital content at that agency as well as Deutsch and Arnold, and she will use her expertise to help lead client campaigns.
Former JWT head of data and analytics Will Sandwick and Wunderman New York svp of analytics Arun Kumar will share the role of chief data officer, leading the team that draws upon Wunderman Thompson’s existing data assets.
Finally, former Wunderman North America chief technology officer Andy Jacobs will hold the same title at Wunderman Thompson New York. He joined the WPP network in 2017 after working at PwC, Razorfish and MRM//McCann.
“This is a team of industry stars,” said Crump in a statement. “Each person has a reputation and a track record for helping big, ambitious brands seize opportunities for growth. I am thrilled to introduce such a strong leadership team to the New York market.”
The news follows organizational shifts as Wunderman and then Possible moved into J. Walter Thompson’s headquarters in New York after the merger became official in January. Two rounds of layoffs occurred earlier this year, and some prominent executives have departed including Wunderman global CMO Jamie Gutfreund and North American CEO Seth Solomons, JWT North America CEO Simon Pearce, and JWT New York chief creative officer Ben James.