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Opti taps new MD: ZenithOptimedia has appointed Stuart Rutherford to the role of New Zealand managing director, effective mid-May. He replaces ZO general manager Sophia Quilian who is moves into a senior role at sibling agency Starcom.

Rutherford is the former managing director of PHD Group, and in his new role, he will report to ANZ ceo Ian Perrin.

“Sophia has done a great job of leading ZenithOptimedia over the last couple of years but decided it was time for a change in focus, which happily the Starcom/ZenithOptimedia group can accommodate,” said Perrin. “We also have ambitious growth plans for the New Zealand market, and so it was important to find a leader who matched that ambition. Stuart has demonstrated a passion for client business and a relentless focus on the quality of strategic output.”

Quilian said: “It has been a personal decision to step down as the general manager of ZenithOptimedia – running a business and having a family requires lots of energy and at the moment, my family needs a greater share of this energy.”

ZenithOptimedia moved around the corner to the Saatchi building when Publicis Mojo pulled the plug on NZ in 2003. The agency now shares space (and back-end functions) with Starcom.

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