The two chief executives of VMLY&R in Australia and New Zealand have resigned within weeks of each other, following the completion of the agency merger.
Aden Hepburn, who took over as sole chief executive of VMLY&R AUNZ in May when co-chief Pete Bosilkovski announced his resignation, has now decided to depart from the business.
Hepburn is being replaced by VMLY&R global chief retail and commerce officer Jon Bird, who is relocating back to Australia from New York.
He will take up the role from early July, while Hepburn will stay on for a few months to ensure a “smooth transition” across VMLY&R’s client partnerships and the business as a whole.
Hepburn and Bosilkovski were appointed to the co-CEO in September last year, following the merger of VML and Y&R in September last year.
Hepburn formerly ran VML as managing director and executive creative director for nearly seven years, while Bosilkovski was formerly chief executive of Y&R.
Bosilkovski and Hepburn were tasked with fully integrating the agencies, which are part of WPP AUNZ.
Hepburn is leaving to “take a break from the business” after more than 15 years within the WPP network, according to the release.
He said: “I’ve had the most amazing time, loved every minute with the group, and couldn’t be prouder of our collective achievements. I leave the business in great shape and am excited to see what VMLY&R can do from here - the positioning, capability and promise of the agency is powerful.”
VMLY&R global chief executive Jon Cook recognised Hepburn’s “commitment to the business, his clients and his team”, and the contribution he has made to VMLY&R.
“I chose Aden to open the doors of VML in Australia in the first place. He built an incredible company and has led award-winning and transformational work across some of the world’s best brands. I thank Aden and wish him all the best for the future,” Cook added.
WPP AUNZ interim chief executive John Steedman said the team was excited about Bird’s imminent arrival back to Australia.
“We’re thrilled to have someone of Jon’s caliber join the ANZ team,” said Steedman. “Jon’s global experience and network connections, teamed with his deep local knowledge and digital prowess, makes him the ideal choice to lead VMLY&R ANZ as it moves into the next phase of growth.”