Arrivals & Departures: Leadership changes at Y&R and True

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Y&R has announced that Managing Director Steve Kane will leave the agency at the end of the year (he’s joining True – scroll down to next story), replaced by Y&R’s current Head of Planning Jono Key, who’s been promoted to Managing Director, effective in the New Year.

Kane joined Y&R NZ in early 2014 from TBWA NZ where he was Creative Director. He’s leaving Y&R NZ to join independent agency True as Managing Director.

“The past two and a half years have been a phenomenal ride,” Kane says. “I’m hugely indebted to Josh [Y&R CEO Josh Moore] for giving me the opportunity to work alongside him and the brilliant talent pool he’s assembled at Y&R.

Skin in the game
“I’m incredibly proud of everyone and everything we’ve achieved over the past couple of years. Highlights would have to include being named Campaign Brief Agency of the Year 2015, the slew of international recognition for a range of brilliant campaigns and the international client base this work has attracted.

“It’s been an honour to work alongside some of the finest talent our industry has to offer and I’ve been overwhelmed by their trust, support and seemingly inexhaustible indulgence of many of my Dad jokes*.

“My decision to leave Y&R hasn’t been an easy one and I’m dreading my farewell speech as it’ll be a weepfest but I’ve always wanted skin in the game and that’s the opportunity True has offered.”

Y&R Head of Planning Jono Key is to be promoted to MD, effective January 1, and will continue in his planning role until a replacement is found.

Key has been with Y&R since 2013 and has been instrumental in the agency’s growth and creative recognition over this time.

“2016 has been a watershed year for the agency,” he said. “The first half was defined by global recognition for campaigns such as Burger King McWhopper, Jaguar Actual Reality and the Lewis Road / Breast Cancer Cure Breast Milk campaigns.

Key the natural successor
“The second half saw a focus on new business, and saw the agency pick up local new creative business accounts wins for Jockey and Arnott’s Campbell, as well being appointed to a regional creative roster for Kraft Heinz APAC.

“These three new global accounts were won without a pitch and this has enabled us get down to the business of working with our new partners on what will be some even more memorable work from the agency next year.

Key acknowledged that the agency’s success is down to the dedicated team across both offices and the long-standing and successful partnerships the agency has enjoyed with some of New Zealand’s best known brands.

“The agency has changed significantly since I joined and while I’m sorry to see my great mate Steve leave, it’s a special opportunity to lead the agency as we aim for an even bigger 2017 and bring to market our unique mix of media and creative thinking,” Key said.

Y&R ANZ CEO/Chief Creative Officer Josh Moore said Key was the natural successor to Kane.

“We greatly appreciate the leadership, passion and often inappropriate contribution that Steve brought to the agency during his time here. On behalf of the entire management team we thank him for his part in the success we’ve enjoyed over the past 12 months.

“Jono was one of the first hires I made nearly four years ago as we undertook to rebuild the agency brand. I’m looking forward to what Jono will bring to the role and I’m very excited about the next chapter in Y&R’s story under his leadership as we continue to focus on the success of our clients both here and abroad,” Moore said.


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