Jaimes Leggett is stepping down as CEO of M&C Saatchi Australia after seven years at the helm, making way for incoming CEO, Justin Graham, who is currently partner and chief strategy officer.
The agency says Leggett's departure "has been on the cards for some time," allowing them to have a gradual handover and transition plan already in place for July. But in light of the new business challenges faced during this recent "unprecedented period"—a clear reference to the COVID-19 world crisis—the leaders opted to move the plan forward.
“I’ve loved being a part of M&C Saatchi. There’s no perfect time to make a move like this, but with the rate of accelerating change in the world right now, it’s important that we get ahead of it and allow the new leadership team to set the platform for the business’ future,” Leggett said.
Graham joined the agency in 2013 after working with Droga5 Sydney, BBDO in New York and Leo Burnett.
“Justin is a gun. He’s smart, good around the work and great with people," Leggett said of Graham. He’s one of the best strategic thinkers in the market, and I’ve no doubt he will continue to deliver that direction to both ours and our clients’ business.”
"What a time of change in the world to be stepping into the role, Graham said. “I believe there is enormous opportunity to create value for our clients, more so now than ever, and that will only be possible by continuing to attract and build talent unlike any other."
Leggett joined M&C Saatchi as Australia CEO in 2013, moving to Sydney after serving as Ogilvy's managing director in London. In a release, the agency noted it has reported double-digit growth each year of Leggett's tenure while launching new businesses like This. Film Studio and acquiring media agency Bohemia.
Of Leggett, M&C Saatchi Global CEO Moray MacLennan noted: "He, more than most, embodies our global position as home to the creative entrepreneur. I wish him the best for his next endeavour. He’s going to be missed. And I’d like to welcome Justin to the CEO position. Justin has an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the business and is the perfect person to continue the agency’s momentum.”