WPP AUNZ appointed a new New Zealand management team as it announced that Sven Baker has resigned as New Zealand MD and will move to a transitional role as non-executive chairman.
The new management team, reporting to Jens Monsees, CEO of WPP AUNZ, is Chris Riley (CEO of GroupM NZ), Kelly-Ann Maxwell (CEO of Designworks), Luke Pierson (CEO of Wunderman Thompson) and Damian Ferigo (NZ CFO of WPP AUNZ).
Monsees praised Baker's leadership over almost two decades. "He has played a pivotal role
overseeing some of NZ’s most successful M&As, has driven growth, spearheaded great campaigns
and has worked hard on collaboration with all the brands within NZ and across Australia,” Monsees said in a release.
Baker said it is "absolutely the right time to step back" as there is "an incredibly talented group of senior leaders ready and able to step up and drive this business forward". In addition to his governance role for WPP AUNZ, Baker will be pursuing broader interests, including
actively supporting a portfolio of technology startups that he is becoming increasingly involved with
as an investor and advisor, he said.
The NZ management team takes over immediately. Riley, Ferigo and Maxwell are based in Auckland and Pierson in Wellington.