Ogilvy is sticking with Asia-born talent for its top creative role. The network announced it is promoting Piyush Pandey, the chairman of Ogilvy India, to take over as worldwide chief creative officer, replacing Tham Khai Meng, who was abruptly fired in July.
Pandey takes on a brief to raise the quality of creativity across the Ogilvy network. He will retain his current responsibilities leading the Indian business, remaining based in Mumbai. But from the new year he will work in partnership with Ogilvy’s global chief executive John Seifert to oversee creative standards at the company.
Seifert said he had considered both internal and external candidates for the global creative role. “I wanted someone who would be a real partner to me and who would be true to the creative spirit of our founder David Ogilvy," he said. "But it was very clear that Piyush was the right candidate for the role.
“Piyush is deeply rooted in society and culture and the humanness of our world. He’s also someone who doesn’t look backwards, only forwards, and who is enthusiastic, excited and humble. He’s someone everyone can be inspired by.”
Seifert added that his working partnership with Pandey would become a model for Ogilvy offices around the world, with the creative and business agendas coming fully together. “To date we hadn’t really galvanised our network to ensure creativity is the lifeblood of everything we do," Seifert said. "Piyush will now help me drive that.”
Pandey, who with his brother Prasoon was awarded the prestigious Lion of St Mark for outstanding contribution to creativity in communication at Cannes this summer, is a towering creative figure in his home country. He was named the most influential man in Indian advertising for eight consecutive years by The Economic Times, and the Ad Club of Mumbai voted his commercial for Fevikwik the commercial of the century and his work for Cadbury the campaign of the century.
Pandey’s appointment comes as Ogilvy prepares to announce in January a new 20-strong creative council for the company, which will include 50% female creatives. Seifert said he was determined to accelerate the diversity within the agency’s creative ranks, through external recruitment and accelerated internal talent development.
Meanwhile, Joe Sciarotta the CCO of Ogilvy US, has been appointed as deputy chief creative officer, worldwide, reporting to Pandey and Seifert. Leslie Sims joins Ogilvy from VML Y&R as chief creative officer of Ogilvy USA, reporting to Lou Aversano, chief executive, USA.